The benefits of using a weekly meal planner
According to the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), UK households waste a staggering £19bn worth of food a year. That's not only a shameful waste of food and money, it would equate to more than 25 million tonnes in needless greenhouse gas emissions.
We can all do our small part in reducing household food waste and one way to do this is to plan our meals. Going to the supermarket or making an online order knowing what we will be eating for each meal means you only buy the food you need - no more getting to the end of the week and throwing out those mushy tomatoes you never used!
Why start meal planning?
Meal planning can be helpful in a number of areas, and the benefits extend well beyond reducing food waste:
We don't always make the best choices when we're hungry - it's easy to reach for the snack foods or opt for something easy rather than something healthy. When you've planned your meals for the week ahead, you don't need to trust the decision-making process of a hungry brain, as you've already decided what you're having when.
Managing your portions
By planning out your meals, it's easier to control your portion sizes and avoid the temptation to overeat that may come with eating out or ordering in. If you're trying to follow a diet plan, this can be particularly important.
How much time do you spend each week stood in front of a gaping fridge searching for inspiration? If you lead a busy life, rushing from work to looking after the kids to caring for older relatives then every minute is precious. With your meals planned ahead, you can skip straight onto cooking or slide your tea into the oven while you make the most of your cherished family time.
Save your pennies
Whether living a greener life is a key priority for you or not, none of us want to be spending money unnecessarily. With every banana that ends up in the composter or loaf of bread that goes uneaten, that's money wasted. Planning ahead puts you in control of your food budget and ensures you only buy what you need. And maybe the odd treat - no one ever threw away out of date chocolate, did they?
Start meal planning today
All you need to start planning your meals is paper and a pen, so you could use any notebook or jotter to get you started. Using a dedicated meal planner is a good idea though, as they give you a clear structure to begin with and they look great too.
Pen Pusher offers two meal planner pads from Studio Wald - an A5 version and a larger A4 version, which gives you more room for detail. Both pads give you space to plan out a full week's worth of meals on one sheet and have a handy tear-off grocery list section. Each pad has 52 pages, so you get a full year's worth of meal planning in one go, and they're made from 100% recycled paper.
So start meal planning today and enjoy all the benefits they bring for you, your family and the planet.