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Meal Planner: Tips and Essentials for Success | Five Dinners

Five Dinners Meal planner

Planning meals ahead of time helps take the stress out of cooking for the entire family. When you meal plan you know what’s on the menu, all you have to do is prepare, cook, and serve it for everyone to enjoy. Meal planning is extremely convenient for home cooks who get busy around meal times.

Reduce food waste


Aside from convenience, a good meal planner strategy comes with a few additional benefits, one of which is reducing food waste. About 4.5 million tonnes of food is wasted by UK households every year. This can be traced back to lack of preparation that results in too much food being cooked or uncooked food perishing. Impulse buying whilst shopping is also a big reason for excessive food purchases that ultimately contribute to your food waste. Those cases lead to food waste that could have easily been avoided as well as money down the drain — but a good meal planner can save both!

Thinking of meal ideas for the week can be hard, time consuming and for many it’s difficult to think of different dinners when you’re juggling life. But if you do have access to a meal planner you can save yourself the effort, some cash, and maybe even the planet. Here are a few meal planning tips that might help you out:

Write down meal ideas

Before you even know what ingredients you’ll need, you first need to know what you want to eat for the week. Using FiveDinners we take away the headache of choosing your meals for you. We do all the hard work in creating five new recipes each week for your own meal planner – which always comes with a single complete shopping list.

You can save the recipes, print them or just screen shot the meal planner recipes to your phone for later. You can use our grocery list to organise the items you need to buy. This will allow you to save some time going from aisle to aisle later on and make sure that you get everything you need.

Cook in big batches

You also have the option to meal prep or cook your meals ahead to reheat them later on. Of course, food will not be as fresh but it will save you loads of time later on. It will ensure that you’re getting nutritious meals and not grabbing instant yet unhealthy snacks in your pantry. It’s perfect if you want to meal plan a busy week ahead and might not be able to cook every day.

Using Five Dinners meal planner means you don’t need to waste hours every week getting everything ready. You can even try to get the family involved by creating your own meal plans from our FiveDinners members homepage. If not, you can rely on kitchen tools to make the process more convenient. A food processor is always a bonus as you can do so many things with it, like chop, mince, dice, and shred. It also comes in handy when making dressings, dips, and sauces. What’s more, 

 Store food in air-tight containers

Because one of the goals of meal planning is to reduce food waste, think about getting air-tight containers for storage, too. Even with meticulous planning, you won’t always be able to finish whatever you have on hand so it’s best to have proper storage for leftovers.

Reuse leftovers

Lastly, try to find creative ways to reuse your leftovers! You can search our database of recipes for ingredients that match your leftovers or use our email hotline to ask for help or ideas!

Five Dinners meal planner

Ultimately the goal of any meal planner is to save you time, save you the headache of choosing what to cook and maybe, just maybe help save the planet at the same time (and a whole bunch of cash for you!)


Article written for Five Dinners by: Allie Cooper