Published 15 May 2020

Planning your meals and preparing a shopping list can help you save time, money and food waste. Research shows that about one in five bags of food we buy is being wasted, which is around $2,200 to $3,800 of additional cost per household every year.

Taking time to plan your food can help improve nutrition, reduce the stress of planning 'what's for dinner' and make your trip to the grocery store much quicker and easier. 

Food Stocktake

How often do you end up throwing away food because it is past its 'best before' date or 'use-by' date? Checking your fridge, freezer and pantry cupboards regularly is a great way to take stock of the food you already have at home, before you head out to shop. 

Meal Planning

Meal plans can be as simple or as detailed as you like.

By planning meals ahead of time, you can avoid impulse buys at the supermarket by knowing exactly what you need to purchase. 

Planned Portions

Cooking too much is one of the most common causes of food waste. Often, we cook too much in fear of not having enough food, or have trouble judging the right amount of food for meal portions.

Portion planning can help reduce wasted food and ensure a varied, healthy and balanced diet.  For more information about planning for healthy portions, check out the Australian Government's Eat for Health website which has serve sizes based on the Australian Dietary Guidelines. 

Shopping List

Make a list of all the items you need when food shopping, based on your planned meals, be sure to note the quantities you need next to each ingredient. 

You'll find it much easier to avoid excess food when you shop with a list. It can also help you save money, by not buying items you don't need.

Smart Shopping

Efficient and thoughtful shopping can help reduce food waste, as well as other types of packaging waste. 

  • Check the 'best before or 'use by' dates and only buy ingredients that you can use in time
  • Avoid food shopping when you are feeling hungry - you'll buy less and save money
  • Avoid impulse food purchases by doing your grocery shopping online with your shopping list
  • Think before you buy 'two-for-one' specials. Do you really need two? A deal is only good value if you can use the food 
  • Buying in bulk can be a good option as long as you have the right storage solution and can use all of the food before it spoils or perishes.