5 steps to reverse meal planning
Reverse meal planning? We have all heard about meal planning, but what is reverse meal planning? It is a great way to save time and money and keep your family fed at the end of the month.
Covid has affected all our lives in one way or another. Many people have either lost their jobs altogether or have had to take a salary reduction.
Keeping your food budget down and avoiding food waste is an important step in staying financially stable.
Reverse meal planning also allows you to make use of specials that you find in the local newspapers each week.
People often complain that they may miss out on the specials that they unexpectedly find in store if they meal plan.
The steps to regular meal planning are: http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/meal-planning-sorted-life/
1. Do a pantry, fridge, freezer inventory
2. Find out what your family likes and doesn’t like to eat
3. Use a meal planning template to help you plan
4. Shop at home first, use what you have in the cupboards before you go shopping for more
5. Find your recipes
6. Go shopping
7. Feed the family those delicious and healthy meals
On the other hand, reverse meal planning has 5 steps:
So how does reverse meal planning work?
The first step is that you still use the pantry inventory and shopping in your cupboard.
Pantry inventory is a great way to clean out your freezer of foods that you have forgotten about; you know the ones that get pushed to the back of the freezer or the bottom of the chest freezer. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/step-4-what-have-you-got/
Use the time to clear out food cupboards and wipe them down, checking expiry dates and for possible insect infestation.
Knowing what you have at home avoids food waste and cuts down on your grocery bill.
Now that you know what you have, you can look at the specials that come up in the papers or online every week.
This is your second step. Every store whether they are a large chain or a small speciality store has specials on these days. Meal planning doesn’t need to be Monday to Monday, it can be Thursday to Thursday. So long as you plan for a full 7 days, you are sorted.
I still like to use my meal plan template to make planning easier, but it is unnecessary and may not align with what is special for that week. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/dinner-theme/
Being able to use specials and not buy them just because they are on special is an important mindset to have. A special that is wasted isn’t special at all, it is wasted money and food.
Step three is remembering to use your family likes and dislikes to choose what to make. I recommend doing a like and dislike check-up every few months, younger children and teens change their tastes more often than you can get them to do chores.
Buying something that is on special, when no one in the family eats it leads to wasted food. You are more likely going to spend time making the food and then throwing out the leftovers because nobody wanted to eat it.
Your fourth step is to find the recipes that contain the ingredients you have. Several recipe sites work for this, but Google does a good job too.
Allrecipes.com and Yummly.com allow you to look for recipes based on your cooking skill level, your family’s dietary requirements and the ingredients you have at home. These recipe sites also allow you to save recipes that you like and to find recipes by favourite cooks.
Google is more general, you type in the ingredients and it searches for the recipes, but it won’t go by whether you have the skill or the time to cook the meal it finds. You could land up paging down through the options for ages.
Finally step number five. Once you have all the ingredients that you need for your meal plan, feed your family knowing that you have done a good job of not wasting money or food and you were able to answer that all-important question, ‘what’s for supper’ plus you could counteract the statement of ‘there’s nothing to eat.
If you try reverse planning I would love to hear how it worked for you. Leave a comment down below.
If you would like a little one on one assistance, I offer a free, no-obligation 30-minute zoom chat. You can book online at https://calendly.com/adrienne-2/free