Do you also tend to spoil food in the fridge more often? Do you have to go to the supermarket several times a week because something is missing for the next meal? Or do you often decide spontaneously what you want to eat and therefore end up with the same dishes over and over again? If you have any of these symptoms, you may need a weekly schedule!
Every eighth groceries bought ends up unused in the garbage can . This not only hurts the soul of every environmentalist, but also unnecessarily strains our wallet. Because in this way we literally throw more than 200 euros per head in the trash. If you want to avoid this crazy waste and at the same time save yourself a lot of stress, you can put a stop to the recurring meal chaos by creating a weekly menu and shopping plan. Just try it! You will quickly enjoy more time, money and healthy variety as well as much less wasted food.
Benefits of a regular meal plan
The advantages of weekly meal planning are manifold and are all the more important the more routine you develop:
- Time savings in planning – To create a weekly plan, you invest time once a week instead of thinking about what to cook and what you have to buy for it every day.
- Time savings when shopping – with a shopping list for the whole week in your luggage, you can go to the relevant shelves in the supermarket instead of strolling aimlessly through the store looking for inspiration. In addition, you can get the long-life ingredients when you go shopping , while you probably have to go several times without planning.
- Saving money – Those who plan their meals in advance and in peace can consider offers much more easily and benefit from price advantages by giving preference to seasonal products, for example.
- Waste avoidance – With a weekly plan, you only buy what you really need and use within a week. As a result, no surplus or forgotten groceries are wasted until they end up in the trash can without being used. Healthy dishes with fresh ingredients can be better integrated into everyday life, while fast food and ready meals, which usually cause considerably more packaging waste than fresh ingredients, become superfluous as a quick stopgap solution.
- Balance – A weekly schedule makes it easier to take into account variety and balance in the diet . Because you can distribute foods from different nutrient groups over the week.
- Health – with a weekly schedule, it is much easier, fresh food promptly after shopping to handle . In this way, you benefit optimally from the vitamins and other vital substances it contains, which are lost during prolonged storage.
Procedure for creating a weekly plan
Many roads lead to Rome, this also applies to the introduction of a weekly plan. For the simplest approach, all you need is paper and a pen. Before you start, the following one-off preparations make regular planning easier:
- Sit down with your family and think about which dishes you like to eat, what you always wanted to try and which meals you eat together at all.
- Write down the dishes and the associated ingredients on small pieces of paper or index cards.
- Make a plan of days of the week and meals to consider.
- Agree on a weekly appointment to create the plan.
Create the weekly plan:
- Sit down at the agreed time and think about what you want to eat in the coming days. You can spread the created cards on the table or add new dishes. Children are happy when they are involved in this decision-making process, for example by being able to choose a meal alone.
- Spread the selected dishes over the days and meals available.
- Based on the list of ingredients on the cards, create a shopping list for the weekly bulk purchase and, if necessary, an additional list for fresh ingredients that have to be procured during the week.
Practical helpers and tips for optimizing the weekly plan
How you design your weekly schedule is of course up to your personal preferences and your imagination. Here are a few more tips and suggestions:
- When arranging the order of the dishes over the course of the week, orientate yourself on the perishability of the ingredients in order to consume fresh and perishable ingredients as quickly as possible. Because then they taste best and contain the most healthy ingredients.
- Put particularly elaborate dishes on days when there is more time to cook.
- On days with particularly little time, plan foods that are easy to prepare or pre-cook. Some dishes taste even better on the second day.
- Reduce the effort by creating a digital template that you then only have to print out and fill out.
- Use digital recipe collections and shopping lists if you always have your mobile phone with you anyway.
- Include seasonal and regional ingredients in your planning. That saves money and protects the environment.
- Put the cards from the previous week aside for a week or more so that the same dishes are not drawn every time.
- If you find that there is a lack of variety and healthy dishes despite planning, try a meaningful categorization of the recipes and then choose one or two dishes from a category.
- Hang up the finished plan in a clearly visible place in the apartment. So every family member can check at any time which dish they can look forward to next.
Even with meticulous planning, there will be leftovers at one or the other meal. You can still conjure up wonderful dishes from most of them. Let yourself be guided by our recipes for recycling leftovers or the app “Too good for the bin!” to inspire!