Save money and food waste by rolling menus

By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach

With the rising costs of living, we must be even more careful about how we spend our money to ensure we can still eat well. The halcyon days of abundant supplies of fresh affordable produce may be over for a while but we can continue to enjoy meals loaded with fresh produce provided we're careful about what we buy, we buy produce that's in season and we aim to use up everything we buy to eat.

Many years ago, I came up with the mantra :

Eat Fresh, Shop Local, Buy Less, Pay Less, Eat Less, Weigh Less, Waste Less

When you think about it this way, this threat of recession could be viewed on as a bit of an opportunity, one where we can take a good hard look at what we might ordinarily throw into the shopping basket that we don't really need. Cakes, biscuits, chips, chocolate, soft drinks, ice cream, alcohol, and anything else we managed to live without a century or so ago should be regarded as incidental discretionary foodstuffs that we can and would benefit from, eating less of. None of them are essential and all of them have contributed to chronic disease.

Essential foods, like fresh produce, meat, fish, pulses, wholegrains, nuts and seeds, avocado, olive oil and dairy products contribute to our overall good health and without them we may end up spending money on other things like doctor's appointments, invalid aids, and medications.

The point being, we need to continue to eat fresh food, but we have to shop wisely and plan to roll one meal into the next.

Here's what I mean:

Roast Chicken with roast potatoes, pumpkin, and Brussels sprouts

Chicken, celery, and avocado sandwiches
Make stock from the chicken, using the green tops from 2 leeks and 1 carrot.

Make soup using the white stalks of the leek, 2 grated carrots, stock, and leftover chicken.


Chicken, leek, and carrot soup (6 serves)

NO WASTE TIP FOR DOG OWNERS - Blend the pulp from the stock, spread over a baking tray and dehydrate in the oven at a low temperature to make all natural dog treats.


Leftover, pumpkin, potatoes, and baby spinach can be turned into a veggie frittata and make even more delicious with grated cheese.

Savings can be made when you buy a whole pumpkin.

Grilled salmon with roast pumpkin and baby spinach

Pumpkin and lentil soup (6 serves)

Lamb, lentil and veggie casserole

The idea of a rolling menu may seem foreign to some people, but I believe it's how our ancestors once lived and, in fact, how we all should live to reduce waste, save money and protect our planet and our health.


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