We’ve got through steps one and two of the Real Family Food Challenge in association with Sian’s Plan and we hope you’re all enjoying easy home cooked food. Now that you’ve got the cupboard fully stocked and are armed with lots of helpful support, it’s time to take control of cooking in your home.
Step 3: CONTROL the change in your home
Top tips to take control of your kitchen:
- Meal planning has many benefits – money saving, stress relieving, waste reducing etc. Try it out this week. You can do it manually using recipe books and old fashioned pen and paper, or else with technology on Sian’s Plan.
- Meal planning allows you to eat a balanced diet. Why not try having one red meat, one white meat, one vegetarian, one store cupboard and one fish meal a week?
- Use vouchers and special offers to make a meal plan for this week and make sure you include a dish from each protein base. Cut down on the cost of good quality meat in a recipe like lean prime mince beef, by adding a healthy filler like kidney beans or chickpeas.
- Make soup for lunch with leftover vegetables, turn stale bread into breadcrumbs to use in dishes like pasta vegetable gratin.
- With a good meal plan, you might make time to batch cook. Try out some cook once, eat twice 2 for 1 recipes. For example, roast chicken and chicken chow mein, and beef stew and beef and ale pie.
- Be aware that supermarkets have lots of ways of making you spend more. Read up on these sneaky supermarket secrets and how to beat them at their own game.
6 ‘To Do’s’ this week
1. Check coupons and special deals from your favourite supermarkets or from a variety of supermarkets, but make sure they really are saving you money!
2. Create an accurate shopping list, adding ingredients from the meals planned and stick to it when you next visit the supermarket. Don’t forget – hungry shoppers buy and waste more food. So always feed yourself and company before you go shopping.
3. Do your grocery shopping online. Using mySupermarket.com you can compare the cost of your basket with all the major retailers and find the best price for your shop. All our recipes have a link straight through to buy your ingredients via mySupermarket.
4. Check your larder, fridge and freezer for items you already have and mark them off your shopping list. Add store cupboard items that you need to stock up on. Enlist the help of the family especially young children. This is a life skill which can be fun together when approached with a positive attitude and as a regular routine.
5. Make one dinner from leftovers and store cupboard items.
6. Continually check for groceries in your kitchen that need using up.