5 tips to reduce #MealPrep waste
#MealPrep is a huge trend at the moment, with thousands of people up and down the country spending their Sunday evenings dividing pre-prepared food into portions for the week. However, we recently found that as much as a third of all meal-prepped food is thrown in the bin. The main reasons for this waste revolve around uncertainty on food safety, forgetting the food needs to be eaten and getting bored of eating the same food for a few days in a row. Sound familiar? Here are some top tips to help you get the most out of your meal prep and make sure you’re not wasting food.
- Try meal-swapping with friends or colleagues
If you’re guilty of throwing food away through boredom, meal swapping is a great way to cut down your meal prep food waste. Find a friend or colleague who meal preps too, meetup mid-week and swap meals so you have something different for the remainder of the week. You could even turn this into a competition to ensure you both get as inventive as possible – a sure-fire way to guarantee tasty meals!
- Get clued-up on food safety facts
Our research shows that one of the biggest reasons meal-preppers throw away food is that they are unsure as to whether their meals are still safe to eat. If this sounds familiar, make sure you’re storing and labelling your food correctly. Most freshly cooked meat and veg will be fine to last Monday-Friday if stored correctly in the fridge in an airtight container. Labelling the meal you’ve cooked and the date it was prepped will give you peace of mind that it’s safe to eat, especially if you’re cooking in large batches and freezing different meals.
- Make use of the freezer
When it comes to meal-prep fatigue, the freezer is your friend. If you know you’re going to get bored of a meal after a few days, simply stick it in the freezer and cook something different. That way you’ll have a load of healthy and nutritious frozen ready-meals for when you don’t want to cook later on. Just make sure the freezer doesn’t become a temporary stop for meals on their way to the bin a few months later!
- Repurpose your prep
This is another great way to make sure you’re not getting bored with a meal. Leftover pasta can easily be spiced up with a new sauce, turned into a yummy pasta bake or added to a frittata recipe to give it some extra body. Leftover chicken? Try making a curry or soup, or add it to leftover salad and make a chicken salad sandwich. The key to combating food waste is getting creative...
- Prep in smaller batches
If you know you’re likely to be bored of your lunch by the middle of the week, then only meal prep for the first half of the week. This also gives you the flexibility to go out for lunch or dinner if the opportunity arises without feeling guilty about throwing your extra meals in the bin.