So January is upon us…Happy New Year to you all. Are your waistbands and finances feeling the pinch like mine are? Despite my very best intentions healthy eating and restrained spending both went a little awol over the Christmas period. Oh well. I know I am not alone. According the Money Advice Service…
Surviving financially in the month of January is likely to be a struggle for more than one in four adults (28%). This coupled with the fact that over two in five workers (44%) were paid early in December means that more than 13 million people will have a longer wait until payday this month.
Blimey. But let’s be positive…
New Year = New Start.
I have a plan to help me survive January and kick start healthy eating too. I am going to meal plan. I have done this before so know it makes a huge difference to food waste and to eating a balanced, nutritious diet. It also helps me feel hugely more organised which makes me feel calmer and as a consequence happier. So it actually has a multitude of benefits.
Why do we need to address food waste?
Love food hate waste is a fabulous website to help us all in our quest not to waste food.
Food waste is a major issue. We throw away 7 million tonnes of food and drink from our homes every year, the majority of which could have been eaten. It’s costing us £12.5bn a year and is bad for the environment too.
We waste as families, on average of £60 per month. I could do with clawing the back this January and actually across the who year. What a huge saving that would be for minimal effort.
How to do it
For just 10-15 minutes of sitting down and planing out meals for the week you will make a huge difference to your finances. On a Saturday evening we will plan seven meals for seven evening to begin on the Monday(I always do this with my OH and with the children’s likes in mind.) I then check what we already have in the cupboards/fridge/freezer and draw up a shopping list of what else we will need . Then i shop online and plan the order for the monday. If I am ordering fresh salad and fresh fruit I plan in meals that use these towards the start of the week so they do not go off before it is time to use them.
That’s it. It really is just that simple. It doesn’t matter if you use a scrap of paper or a fancy planner what matter is you plan and shop to your plan and then you pin your meal plan somewhere you can see it and you stick to it!
By the end of the week the food we have bought should all have been used up and none should be left over.
When you plan a meal you tend to automatically make it balanced and nutritious, ensuring you have the adequate amounts of all the food stuffs you need and ensuring you get enough of you five a day. If you don’t meal plan you might find food has gone off, or you have no veg in, or in fact you can’t really make a balanced meal at all and you might even resort to an expensive takeaway.
Meal planning is most definitely better for your health and your budget.
If you need to think about managing money more carefully this month and for the year ahead do pop over to the Money Advice Service for some inspired advice they have lots and lots of great tips to help you survive January.