If you don’t have a plan for the food that you buy, then you increase the odds that you’ll toss it out.

Planning your meals and making a shopping list are two easy ways to reduce your food waste – the less you buy, the less you waste.

There is no need to stock up on two weeks’ worth of food at once, instead, buy little and often, knowing exactly what you need for your meals. This reduces how much food and money you waste and ensures your food is super fresh.

Meal plans

Planning your meals is helpful in so many ways. Not only will you reduce the food you waste as well as saving some money, it can also save your valuable time and help you avoid the dreaded 5pm panic.

When making a meal plan, start with what you already have. Do you have a pumpkin that’s been in the cupboard for a few weeks? Put pumpkin soup on the menu. Last night’ s mince in the fridge? Buy some corn chips and turn it into nachos. Find recipes here.

Once you have an idea of what meals you can make with the food you already have, add a couple of family favourites into the mix so you have enough meals for the week. Write your plan on a whiteboard or on a piece of paper and keep it on the fridge.

Handy hints:

Like the idea of a meal plan but don’t want to do your own? Download our seasonal Easy Choice – Family Kai meal planner or our Five Dinners for Under $100 meal planners created in collaboration with New World.

Shopping lists


Once you have a meal plan it should be easy to write your shopping list.

Check your fridge, freezer and cupboards carefully to see what you need. Open jars or pick things up to see how much is left in them. It sounds silly, but the key thing now is to remember to take your shopping list with you to the supermarket! Tuck your shopping list in your wallet as soon as you have finished writing it. Better yet, record it on your phone – there are plenty of free apps to help you.

Handy hints:

Click here for cooking inspiration