Meal planning is a great way to save money and time while staying healthy. But beyond these benefits, meal planning can also help households combat food waste, since you get to avoid buying ingredients you don’t need and might otherwise end up spoiling.
Moreover, with the ongoing global health crisis, making the most out of what you have has never been more important. In fact, The New York Times reports that the entire U.S. food supply chain has started to strain, causing panic-buying and shortages in supermarkets everywhere.
Meal prepping as a solution
As both consumers and businesses in the food industry, it’s up to us not to contribute to hoarding and food wastage. While it’s not a be-all and end-all solution, meal planning may indeed be a good place to start.
Most restaurants and fast food joints have closed their doors, so people are either relying on fast food deliveries, take-outs, or home-cooked meals to get by. With the long lines and potential health risks, Huffpost informs that people have every reason to be reluctant to go out and do their shopping. With that being said, this is an opportunity for meal prep businesses to provide healthy alternatives to consumers.
However, in response to the supermarket food shortage mentioned, most groceries are now limiting the number of items that people can buy at a time, which is why it’s important to plan your purchases. Knowing what meals you have to prepare will also help you determine the right amount of ingredients to buy. Not only is this a good way of avoiding a surplus of ingredients in the house, but it’ll also make shopping much faster—so you won’t have to stay outside for too long.
Meal prepping tips
1. Prioritize versatile ingredients
The restrictions on number of ingredients you can buy will surely limit your choices of unique dishes you can whip up. As such, having versatile staples to go with your meal can help eliminate much of the guesswork that comes with meal prep. Rice is one such pantry dish that goes with anything, and it’s easy to prepare with the right tools. This Black & Decker 3 cup review proves that today’s rice cookers are both practical and compact. Its simple yet functional design does away with all the complicated settings normally present in your average rice cooker. Other versatile ingredients to consider are pasta, wheat bread, and potatoes. All it takes is a little creativity, and you’ll be serving something different every day.
2. Use all parts of every ingredient
Every part of a certain food is usable if you know how to prep it. Kale stalks, for instance, are juicy and tender if they’re cut small and sautéd well. The greens that surround cauliflowers that normally end up in the trash can actually be used to cook collard greens. There’s a use for everything, so consider the possibilities when planning your meals as well.
3. Track your portions
You don’t want to overcook, as this makes it easy to waste food you cannot finish. But of course, you want to make sure that your entire household has enough to go around. To this end, Sprwt can give you access to real-time data that can tell you precisely what you need for each recipe—down to the measurements of your ingredients. As a result, you’ll always have the right portions, no matter what.
It goes without saying that food is essential for survival, but it isn’t something we should be taking for granted—especially now. From grocery shopping to the actual cooking, every step of the process has the potential to add unnecessary wastes. Plan your meals mindfully to ensure it doesn’t happen.
Article specially written for sprwt.io
By Alessandra Mitchell