“How do you look at the food already in the refrigerator/pantry and determine which meals should be cooked? There are a lot of things in my pantry and refrigerator, but it’s a bit overwhelming, so I don’t think I’ve ever used them , But if I do use them, I might save money.”
I recently received this great question in my inbox. I have been reversing the meal plan for many years, so it just happens naturally without much effort. But this question allowed me to really delve into what my thought process is, to look at the ingredients I have on hand and to come up with dining ideas.
When I thought about this carefully, I realized that I did use a very simple three-step system. So, in this article, let me break down my ABC Reverse meal plan.
The ABC of Reverse Meal Plans
First of all, if you are a novice Reverse meal plan, This is just a fancy name for planning your meals based on the food you already have on hand and the sales in the store.
Many people think that meal planning is about thinking about what sounds good or what recipes you like, write down the ingredients needed to make these recipes, and then buy these items in the store. Although this is definitely an effective way of menu planning, it is not the most cost-effective way.
Instead, I practiced the principle of “buy in advance” and reverse meal plans-which means I would buy extra items that I knew we would use at the lowest price, and then plan our meals based on these items.
This means that what I buy at the grocery store is more than just the meal of that week-it is usually an extra item (sold at the lowest price!) that we will use in the coming weeks (or even months!). This means that we always have a variety of items at hand.
Homemade energy bites They are the most popular recipes here-and they are very adaptable! You can adjust the recipe according to the recipe at hand!
1. Evaluate what you have
You must know what you have to use what you have! To be able to start a reverse meal plan, I recommend that you quickly clean up and reorganize your pantry, cabinets, refrigerator, and freezer.
Take out all your things. Throw away old, outdated, frozen, things you know you will never eat (for example, your whole family thinks it is disgusting and won’t touch it), or expired things.
Yes, organize any remaining favorite projects. I find it really helpful to have a shelf in the refrigerator. I can put all the meat on one shelf, one shelf for all the bread, one for frozen vegetables, and so on. I do the same in our pantry and cabinets. In this way, you can see what you own at a glance.
If you have trouble remembering what you have, you can use a whiteboard, spreadsheet, or app to keep track of what you have. In this way, you will not eventually buy what you already own, and you will never forget that what you own can be a great addition to a good meal!
I will buy them when the price of eggs is reduced (you can use them for at least 2-3 weeks after they are sold by date!) and when the price of bread is reduced (I put it in the refrigerator). In this way, we almost always have the ingredients for French toast-which is great for breakfast on dinner night!
2. Break the rules
guess what? When it comes to your family’s menu, you can break the “rules”. Some people think that our meals are strange or cannot be eaten together…but who decides what is strange and what can be eaten together. There are no hard and fast rules for these things. So relax and enjoy the experiment!
When I share our meals on Instagram Stories, I often receive comments from people, “Wow! I didn’t expect you to serve together!” If your family likes it, no one will stop you!
One thing we do every week is to buy any discounted or discounted fruits and vegetables. Usually, this means that we buy more 2-3 products instead of buying many different varieties of products.
This product is the side dish for our meal this week. This means that we usually consume the same fruits/vegetables multiple times in a week. I know this may seem strange to some people, but because of the different sales/price reductions, it means-over time-we eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Moreover, at the same time, it saves us a lot of production costs.
I buy bananas at reduced prices and freeze them. Then, I use whatever vegetables, fruits, milk or yogurt I have on hand to make smoothies.
3. Create a new recipe
Speaking of experimentation: One of my favorite ways to be creative in the kitchen is to make recipes based on what we already have on hand, or come up with alternatives, instead of going to the store!
I see recipes more as guides than rigid rules, so I constantly adjust or change recipes. Note: Some recipes-your favorite yeast bread can’t be adjusted like a casserole! )
If you are not familiar with alternatives, the best way to find an effective method is to ask Google for ideas and try it out. If you are making a wedding cake for a friend’s wedding, this may not be the best time to try a replacement, but if you are cooking a pot of vegetable soup for your family, you need potatoes, and you only have sweet potatoes, use them completely.
The more fun you have in an experiment, the better you will understand what works and which does not work. Always keep some cheese on hand and some ice cream in the refrigerator. You can “fix” many things with cheese and ice cream! 🙂
Do you have any suggestions or suggestions for this follower who sent me a message? Leave a comment and let us know!