Why I’ve Been Using a Food Inventory To Minimise Waste

There’s a lot of uncertainty now surrounding jobs, money and when we’ll return to a ‘normal’ life. I get it. I have two pay cheques left and then I’m out of work. With so many jobs I’ve applied for on pause, it is very scary and daunting time as the future months are very much the unknown. So, I’ve been doing what I can and taking control of my home.

We’ve all seen the queues at the supermarkets and heard about the panic buying mode that many have bought into. For me, I’ve used this time to really get a handle on what’s in my cupboards, fridge and freezer. I’m guilty of picking up an item we use often every week in my food shop, without checking what we’ve got left. So, I’ve started an inventory.

Last weekend I went through our cupboards, fridge and freezer and did an inventory of every tin, packet of rice, noodles etc and the same in the fridge and freezer. Once I had a clear idea of what we had, I did the lists in the notes section on my phone and then, based on what we had in, I got my tried and tested fave recipe books out to meal plan for the week.

My aim was to minimise waste as I’ve read about many households throwing away fresh food waste during this crazy time as they’re buying more than they can eat and also, to keep our food bill low as we need to be cutting costs where possible to save money.

So, my inventory looked a little something like this:

From here, I was able to meal plan for three meals a day, all at home with both Darren and I home for the foreseeable and write an exact shopping list of what we needed. I didn’t want us to buy stuff we didn’t need, and to get away from adding random bits to the trolley – as again, that’s how the bill stacks up!

Meal Plan

Breakfast

Darren doesn’t eat breakfast really and my work would always supply breakfast, so in a bid to stop me eating toast and overloading on bread every day, I bought a box of ASDA’s own cereal – Right Start. It’s a cheaper, budget version of muesli, but it does the trick with oat milk and keeps me going till lunch.

Lunches –

·         Jacket potatoes with broccoli and cheese quiche/tuna mayo and cheese/beans and cheese

·         Homemade paneer lentil dahl – leftovers

·         Fish finger sandwiches

Saturday – Veggie oomph kebabs with naan bread, homemade potato wedges and coleslaw

Sunday – Homemade veggie lasagne with green beans

Monday – Homemade veggie lasagne with green beans

Tuesday – Tikka paneer dahl with red lentils

Wednesday – Spinach and courgette pasta with a crème fraiche sauce

Thursday – Red snapper (frozen from Iceland) marinated in jerk sauce with veg and quinoa

Friday – The Green Roasting Tin – corn with black beans, feta, sweet potato and tomato garlic bread

I’ve really enjoyed cooking, meal prepping and knowing we’re getting the most out what we’ve already got in this last week. I would highly recommend an inventory to everyone – particularly in this current climate and it will help you get a handle on what you already have in to stop buying twice or the unnecessary panic buying!

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Ruth Writes
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Ruth Writes is a 30-something Liverpool based blog covering mid-size fashion, pescatarian food and beauty.

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