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How to make an effective meal plan

By BaxterStorey 27 May 2023

Save time, money and effort´╗┐ one meal plan at a time ­čąĹ´╗┐

Meal planning has so many benefits from portion control and preventing food waste to saving significant time and money, which can help you stay one step ahead as a student. With a little bit of organisation when it comes to food, you can focus more on your studies, spend more time socialising and stay energised. 

So here's some top tips to help you get started:

Don't start from scratch´╗┐

By now you'll probably have at least a few dishes you enjoy and know how to make from the top of your head. Make sure to implement these into your meal plan, especially if you're a newbie to meal planning. The key is to keep it simple so start with your go-to meals. ´╗┐

Once you get into a good routine, you can always explore new recipes and get more adventurous with your cooking!´╗┐

´╗┐TOP TIP: Create a place to keep recipes you find, whether that's on your favourites in TikTok or in your phone notes.

a bunch of food sitting on top of a wooden table

Check what you already have

Before you start writing your shopping list, check what is already in your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards. Make sure to look at the 'use-by' dates to see what needs using up and plan dishes around these. This should be your starting point for your grocery shop.

Not only does this make your shopping trip that much shorter but also prevents you from throwing random stuff in the trolley and wasting money on ingredients you don't need. ´╗┐

a refrigerator filled with food

´╗┐Same ingredients, different dish

´╗┐Speaking of spending money on unnecessary food´╗┐, make your life even easier by planning meals that use some of the same ingredients. You'll be surprised at how many different dishes you can make!

Instead of boiling your veggies, why not roast them? Instead of seasoning with salt and pepper, spice things up with some paprika...the possibilities are endless. ´╗┐

a bunch of different types of food on a plate

´╗┐Use up your leftovers´╗┐

Whatever ingredients are left over, you're sure to be able to create a delicious dish. Some super easy meals that can be reheated include pasta, soup, curries, lasagna and stir-fries. ´╗┐

TOP TIP: Always freeze food in the portion sizes you'll want to defrost so you're not wasting any extra food. ´╗┐

a plastic container filled with meat and vegetables

Make time to meal prep´╗┐

´╗┐Before the week starts, set aside some time to prepare your ingredients. Wash and chop any veggies you know you'll be using and freeze anything that might go off before you use it.

This way, you can simply toss the ingredients into the pan without spending so much time prepping when you're busy. Just like that, you'll have more spare time to socialise, study or relax. 

a bowl filled with different types of food on a table

´╗┐If you're struggling to think of meals, check out our recipes here ­čžĹÔÇŹ­čŹ│´╗┐


Follow us @ualcatering ´╗┐for more updates. ´╗┐

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BaxterStorey proud to provide students, staff and visitors with a high standard of food and service across all 12 UAL sites.
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