Go Further with Food
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Do you go grocery shopping without a plan? Do you have intentions to cook several meals a week, but end up overbuying groceries and tossing the rest in the trash? Statistics show about one-third of the food produced for human consumption worldwide is lost or wasted every year. That equates to about 1.3 billion tons of food.
With a little planning, you can not only help reduce that number, but save money. Our Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services team discusses how meal planning, online grocery shopping and embracing leftovers can help you go further with food.
Weekly Meal Planning Made Easy
When it comes to reducing cost and waste, it’s important to create a plan. Look at your upcoming week and strategize when you can cook and prepare food. If meal planning seems a bit daunting, several online organizational tools can help.
- Emeals. With Emeals, you can sign up for one of many specialized plans (heart healthy, vegetarian, slow cooker, budget friendly, etc.). The service provides you with recipes as well as a complete grocery list for the week.
- Plan to Eat. This tool allows you to build your own library of favorite recipes or find favorites online. Just drag and drop the meals you’ve set for the week and the program creates a grocery list which can be edited as needed. Note, this does not provide you with recipes or a plan for the week but will definitely keep you organized.
- Fresh 20. Fresh 20 uses 20 fresh, local, organic and seasonal ingredients for the weekly recipes they provide. It even constructs a grocery list for the week. The plan also includes step-by-step instructions for pre-prepping, so your cooking throughout the week is much easier.
Online Grocery Shopping
Once your menu is planned and you have created an organized list, save time using the convenience of online grocery shopping. Many grocery stores allow you to set up an account and order online to either pickup or have groceries delivered straight to your door.
- Pick up. Typically if you order online to pick up at the store, there is no fee. Just place your order, choose your pickup time and the groceries are wheeled out to your car.
- Choose delivery. Many grocery stores such as Kroger and Walmart offer delivery services. After you place your order, choose a date and a window for the delivery time, and the groceries are brought directly to your home. Some grocers offer free delivery on your first order.
- Prime Now. This grocery delivery service is available through Amazon Prime. The groceries are usually available through Sprouts and Whole Foods. You can use your Amazon Prime account to pay and a local courier will deliver groceries based on the window of time you choose. Tipping for this service is optional.
- Instacart. Enter your zip code and Instacart will provide you with grocery delivery options in your area. You can request either delivery or pickup at the store and your first delivery is free. Tips are accepted for the delivery drivers.
Shop Once, Enjoy Leftovers!
If you’re really looking to stretch your dollar, purchase food items that can be utilized for more than one meal. Rotisserie chicken from the grocery store is a great example.
Enjoy chicken with a quinoa brown rice blend and roasted Brussels sprouts the first night. Serve chicken tacos the next night and make a white bean chili with chicken the third night. The beauty is you can do the bulk of the prep work the first night, making meal prep the next two nights nearly nonexistent. Here’s the breakdown:
- Night One: Roasted Chicken with Brussel Sprouts. Wash and cut Brussels sprouts in half, toss with a little olive oil and place in a preheated oven at 425 degrees until crispy and done. Meanwhile, remove pre-made chicken from store container, debone and throw away the skin. Serve a portion of the chicken with the roasted Brussels sprouts and add a side of Seeds of Change® Quinoa and Brown Rice (microwave for 90 seconds). Dice and divide the remaining chicken into two sandwich baggies for the next two recipes. Mince some garlic and dice an onion for night three and place in the refrigerator.
- Night Two: Chicken Tacos. Sprinkle chicken with taco seasoning. Slice an avocado and place chicken in corn tortillas with a few avocado slices. Top with chopped tomato and cilantro.
- Night Three: White Bean Chili with Chicken. Use the remaining chicken, chopped onion and minced garlic prepped on day one. It’s a delicious, filling dinner and you can portion the remaining chili into individual containers for lunches the fourth day.
To schedule a one-on-one consultation with a registered dietitian nutritionist or for more information on Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.
Article provided by: Courtney Moore, RDN, LD, Patty Kirk, RDN, LD, Kathy Duran-Thal, RDN, LD, and Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.