Is menu planning the key to reducing food waste?

One of the ways people reduce food waste is to create a menu plan.

The idea is that you know what you will be eating for every meal, so therefore you know exactly which food to buy each week; which results in less waste.

I love the sound of a menu plan; it appeals to my organised mind, but I’ve never found it works for me.

And I must admit, I’ve felt a bit of a failure because of it.

The idea of knowing what we will be eating when, seems a recipe for success. It avoids arguements discussion about what to eat, everyone knows what’s on the menu and I guess you fall into a rhythm with it so food shopping is no longer a chore.

Sounds like bliss!

But in our house, we’ve got some unusual habits:

  • Little Miss Green’s appetite varies from day to day
  • I eat predominantly vegetarian food which the other two don’t like to eat too much of
  • Mr Green is the sort of guy who eats curry and beer one night and is on a raw salad cleanse the next

aka, we’re a family of fussy blighters…

Reducing food waste

I was discussing ideas for reducing food waste on a blog a couple of years back and a few people said how shopping every day for food helped reduce their food waste. In fact, several people have hardly any food in their house at any one time.

It makes a lot of sense if you think about it.

I guess shopping goes along the lines of: check your cupboards and fridge, see what needs using up and go and get the rest of the ingredients to complete the meal.

But you need some serious will power to avoid temptation if you shop daily, don’t you think? You mustn’t shop when hungry, you mustn’t be lured by the stuff on offer and it’s probably best to avoid walking past a takeaway pumping out it’s delicious smells as you get close.

So I’d love to hear your opinion.

Do you menu plan for a week and do one big shop?

Do you keep little food in the house and top up daily?

Do you have a massive food store and just top up with fresh foods occasionally?

I’d love to hear what works for you in reducing food waste.

Posted in

Rachelle Strauss


  1. sian breslin on August 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Rachelle
    Love your blog and what you’re trying to do about food waste. We have much in common. For me, grocery shopping on a daily basis is a no no – not enough time, not enough money and not enough discipline to pass temptation. I much prefer meal planning. It might help to plan for 5 days only. This way it is manageable for new meal planners. Making a list of the meals everyone likes in the family is a good start and use those recipes or variations of them. My secret is choose only four main meals that you need to shop for and the fifth day uses up any left over fresh ingredients and or store cupboard ingredients. As time goes on, you create a very efficient manageable store cupboard, fridge and freezer and a more regular eating plan. Everyone is eating healthy meals regularly, with minimum food waste.
    I’m not naturally an organised person, but when it comes to healthy food and reducing food waste, meal planning definitely organises me. For anyone like me who needs help being organised have a peep at my award winning meal planner, no obligations just here to help.

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