Weekly food routine at home
It may help to remove a lot of the stress around shopping, planning, preparing and cooking food, saving you both time and money. It’ll also ensure your food is eaten and not binned!
Have a go, keep doing what you’ve learnt, and then try something else. Eventually, it’ll become second nature and regular part of your weekly routine.
Adopt a few simple habits to take the stress out of shopping, keep it simple and help you stick to your list when in the shop!
Remember to take your shopping list - notes on phone, photo of dry-wipe list on fridge. It'll keep you focused on buying only what you need.
Set your budget before you get to the store - and stick to it. It'll help to keep your eye on the £s and stay in control of your budget.
Use the 'Quick scan' hand-held facility in-store - it adds up your food bill as you go along. Plus you pack as you go saving time too.
Sense-check special offers - when will you actually eat the extra food? Is it in your plan? If you don't need it then it's not saving you money.
Tick off your list as you buy your food - so you know what's left to buy, avoiding unplanned purchases.
Keep kiddies distracted - by asking them to help you, if they can, or give them a simple activity to do - draw a basket and fill it with food they see that is e.g. green.
Supermarket own brand food - often tastes just as good as branded food. Give it a try and see what you can swap and save some £s at the same time too.
Storing your food after shopping
Putting your food away in all the right places will keep it fresher for longer - more time for you to use it in delicious meals.
Find out the best places to store your food - e.g. most fruit and veg should be kept in the fridge. Our food pages will help you learn more.
A good time to check the fridge temperature - take a quick look at your fridge temperature and check it's below 5°C. Keeps food fresher for longer.
Fruit bowl in the fridge - fruit goes bad quicker if kept at room temperature so keep your fruit bowl in the fridge. (Bananas and uncut pineapples should not go in the fridge.)
Make toast not waste - pop a loaf of bread in the freezer when home from shopping. Simply toast a slice straight from the freezer for a tasty snack. (Top 10 most binned food).
Freezer is your friend - most food that's binned is fresh food. Freeze food when you get home from the shop that you know you won't need until later in the week.
Keep an eye on your fresh food
Keep track of your most vulnerable fresh food to help you remember what needs using up first.
Eat me first fridge shelf - Keep food close to the end of its life at the front of your shelf - or create an 'eat me first' shelf. Easier to see & better than being forgotten at the back.
Freestyle 'use up food' meal - plan a day to use up leftover food or food close to the end of its life for a flexible, freestyle and creative tasty meal.
Get date label savvy - learn what date labels mean. 'Use by' is about food safety, 'Best before' is about food quality. It could save you money by not binning food in error.
Freezer is your friend - if you're not going to use up your fresh food or leftover meal portions then simple freeze them for another day.
Party/BBQ - serve only what you need by buying frozen food. Defrost in the microwave when you need more or for unexpected visitors. Saves excess food going in the bin.
Frequent checks - keep an eye on what's in your fridge, freezer and cupboard by planning in quick checks throughout the week.
Eat every edible morsel of food
Get more value and nourishment from your food by eating and using all the edible parts and reduce what goes in the bin.
Eat all edible parts of your food - no need to peel carrots and potatoes, use outer cauliflower leaves in cauliflower cheese. Greater value for the same price - packed with goodness.
Make your own stock - Save veg peel and other edible bits you'd normally throw away & simmer in water for 20 mins. Freeze and use when required.
Remember to plan time to defrost your meat safely - many recipes work well using meat that's been frozen. Defrost in fridge or in a microwave before use.
Serving the right portions - use smaller plates when serving food they will look full when the right portions are used vs being lost on a big plate creating temptation to serve too much.
Tackle kids not eating their food - ask them to help you prepare and cook the easier meals. When asked why they liked their food kids said 'because I helped to make it!'.
Bring back serving dishes - encourage your crew to serve themselves a perfect portion. They can have seconds if still hungry, limiting any uneaten food on plates going in the bin.
Planning to stay ahead
Simple, flexible and realistic planning will help you make the most of your food.
Create a realistic flexible meal plan - leave space for a 'use up fridge food' meal. Planning what you'll eat during the week reduces buying food for 'just in case'.
Who’s in and who’s out - plan around real life. You'll then know exactly what you need to buy.
Ease stress during evening meals - cook meals ahead at the weekend when you have more time and pop in the freezer. Defrost when required.
Start your shopping list - just after your shop. Keep it as an ongoing list on your fridge.
Keep shopping list updated - use your meal plan to update your shopping list. Simply add items when you run out.
Party/BBQ plan - jot down who will be there, what time of day (just after/before a meal?). Use the portion calculator to buy/make what you need.
Think before you shop
Take a few moments to consider what you need before you hit the shop - benefit from all your weekly good food habits.
What do you actually need? - check fridge, freezer and cupboards just before you leave for the shop. Know what food you already have.
What's in your fridge? - move the older food to the front of the shelf and make space for food you'll be buying. Update your shopping list.
Who's in & who's out? - sense-check your flexible meal plan and update the meals if plans have changed. Then update your shopping list.
Think frozen foods - a great nutritious flexible option for food at home. It's quite often cheaper than buying fresh food. Easy to use and stays fresh for much longer.
Quick shopping list - forgotten to do a list? - simply take a shelfie of your fridge to remind you what food you have at home.