Making a Meal Out of Something

Making a Meal Out of Something

Meal planning tips to make the most of what you have at home

Whether you want to limit trips to the supermarket or limit food waste, here are some ways to make the most of what you have in the cupboard, fridge and freezer.

  1. Plan meals for a few days ahead. A short list of meal ideas can help you plan your shopping list and use what food you already have.
    Tip: Always look in your fridge, cupboard and freezer before you start planning meals and before you shop.
  2. Plan what you are offering to the family based on what food is available in your local shop or supermarket. To make shopping more affordable buy food that is on special and fresh produce that is in season.

    Tip: It can be helpful to use simple recipes that don’t need special ingredients that may not be available, or you must go to an extra shop to buy.

  3. Look for seasonal recipes. Vegetables and fruit are often lower priced when they’re in season (and tastier). Find out What’s in Season

  4. When planning meals, think about how you can use leftovers. For example:
    • Roast chicken leftovers can be used in sandwiches, on a pizza or in a fried rice.
    • Cooked pasta can be used in a tuna pasta bake.
    • Cooked vegetables can be used in a baked egg and vegetable slice or quiche.
  5. Freeze leftovers or plan to cook a larger amount to freeze into meals. If you are cooking at home more than usual this can get tiring and having leftovers can give you a break from cooking. This is also helpful if you become unwell and not able to cook. More about freezer filler ideas
  6. Store foods correctly as this helps them last longer. For example, storing some vegetables correctly can help them last for a couple of weeks. Find out more about storing fresh produce
  7. At this time, it is helpful to keep a few days’ worth of basic foods in your cupboard, freezer and fridge if you become unable to leave the house. This means if you need to order a food delivery you have enough food for a few basic meals. More about Pantry Basics at this time
  8. Be flexible and don’t worry too much about what food groups you are having or missing in the short term. It is always good to think about what you eat over a week or so to consider if you are meeting your nutritional needs.

Talk to your family about what they like to eat. This way you can plan for everyone to have a favourite or preferred meal in the week ahead. This is a great way to get kids involved in planning and cooking. Read more about family mealtimes