Eating

How to make it three more days without grocery shopping

How to make it three more days without grocery shopping

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With a bit of planning, you’ll always have a few easy-to-prepare meals at hand – without any food waste.

With a bit of planning, you’ll always have a few easy-to-prepare meals at hand – without any food waste.

How to make it three more days without grocery shopping
Let me set the scene. I didn’t want to over-shop during the week and end up wasting food, but now it’s Friday afternoon and the fridge looks sad and empty. So I order a pizza for dinner, promising myself I’ll do a grocery shop in the morning. When Saturday morning rolls around, I don’t want to spend precious free time doing boring chores, and my online grocery order won’t arrive until Monday afternoon. What am I going to do?

Luckily for me, I pre-plan for this kind of situation, and you can too.

1. Pantry staples

Stock your pantry! There are a few pantry staples that can very easily become entire meals, so keep just a little of these on hand at all times. Don’t hoard so much food that moths get in and eat it (true story, lesson learnt the hard way). Just keep enough for a meal or two.

2. Freezer load

The freezer is such an exciting place. You can keep an entire pizza in there, ready to go in the oven at a moment’s notice! Cookie dough can live in there! Frozen berries! You can also freeze individual portions of whatever you’ve cooked as a kind little surprise for your future self.

3. Your fridge is your friend

There are lots of things in your fridge that can be combined to create a meal. Things you may have forgotten about – garlic, lemon juice, kimchi, pickles, bits of cheese, fruit you didn’t eat because it was too much effort to peel.  It’s a wonderland in there.

4. Have go-to meals in mind

Anticipate that you’ll have low energy and decision fatigue, and make it easy for yourself. If you have your meals in mind – saved as a note in your phone or a bookmarked from your favourite blog *ahem, this one* – you’ll be less likely to order takeout.

5. Get creative

You can also have some riff-able recipes that go with almost any ingredients. Things like pasta sauces – I haven’t met a vegetable I can’t make into pasta sauce – work well. As do curries, stews, soups, and if you eat eggs, a frittata or omelette.

6. Shopping list

Depending on how you eat, your key items will differ. I’ve written this guide based on how I eat, but obviously you can adapt it to your preferences.

PANTRY

Rolled oats, pasta, lentils, brown rice, chickpeas, canned tomatoes, coconut milk, chia seeds, eggs or chickpea flour, herbs and spices.

FREEZER

Fruit, veggies, bread, puff pastry.

FRIDGE

Pickles, Thai green curry paste, mayo, other condiments.

7. Meal ideas

Here are some meals you can make with the above listed ingredients, probably enough to get you through three days until your grocery order arrives. I’ll just go ahead and assume you have basics like oil, salt and sugar on hand, and that you know when to use them.

BREAKFAST AND PUDDING THINGS

Rolled oats + any frozen fruit = fruity oatmeal.

Bread + eggs or chia seeds + fruit = French toast with fruit coulis.

Puff pastry + fruit = fruit tartlets.

Chia seeds + coconut milk + fruit = chia pudding.

Frozen veggies + eggs or chickpea flour = omelette.

LUNCH AND DINNER THINGS

Bread + chickpeas + pickles + mayo = chickpea mayo on toast.

Canned tomatoes + pasta + lentils = veggie spaghetti Bolognese.

Frozen veggies + curry paste + coconut milk + brown rice = veggie Thai green curry.

Pasta + chickpeas + mayo + pickles = pasta salad.

Puff pastry + lentils + frozen veggies = savoury hand pies.

Canned tomatoes + chickpeas + brown rice = warm chickpea bowl.

8. Bonus ideas for extra flavour and variety

If you include any of the odds and ends at the back of your fridge, you can make even more fun and delicious combos. Carrots that are past their prime, potatoes, a wrinkled lemon – these can all be delicious additions.

Mirepoix is a mixture of finely diced onions, carrots and celery in equal amounts. If you chop extra of these next time you’re cooking, freeze them in a container. When you’re scavenging through your freezer, add it to any tomato-based dishes for extra yumminess.

Don’t forget about your condiments, stock powders, and herbs and spices. They add a depth of flavour that can make the same ingredient (canned tomatoes for example) taste completely different from one meal to the next – from Italian to Indian to Tex-Mex.

Happy cooking! Let me know what you think of these meals and suggest your back-of-the-fridge recipes on our Facebook or Instagram pages.

Let me set the scene. I didn’t want to over-shop during the week and end up wasting food, but now it’s Friday afternoon and the fridge looks sad and empty. So I order a pizza for dinner, promising myself I’ll do a grocery shop in the morning. When Saturday morning rolls around, I don’t want to spend precious free time doing boring chores, and my online grocery order won’t arrive until Monday afternoon. What am I going to do?

Luckily for me, I pre-plan for this kind of situation, and you can too.

1. Pantry staples

Stock your pantry! There are a few pantry staples that can very easily become entire meals, so keep just a little of these on hand at all times. Don’t hoard so much food that moths get in and eat it (true story, lesson learnt the hard way). Just keep enough for a meal or two.

2. Freezer load

The freezer is such an exciting place. You can keep an entire pizza in there, ready to go in the oven at a moment’s notice! Cookie dough can live in there! Frozen berries! You can also freeze individual portions of whatever you’ve cooked as a kind little surprise for your future self.

3. Your fridge is your friend

There are lots of things in your fridge that can be combined to create a meal. Things you may have forgotten about – garlic, lemon juice, kimchi, pickles, bits of cheese, fruit you didn’t eat because it was too much effort to peel.  It’s a wonderland in there.

4. Have go-to meals in mind

Anticipate that you’ll have low energy and decision fatigue, and make it easy for yourself. If you have your meals in mind – saved as a note in your phone or a bookmarked from your favourite blog *ahem, this one* – you’ll be less likely to order takeout.

5. Get creative

You can also have some riff-able recipes that go with almost any ingredients. Things like pasta sauces – I haven’t met a vegetable I can’t make into pasta sauce – work well. As do curries, stews, soups, and if you eat eggs, a frittata or omelette.

6. Shopping list

Depending on how you eat, your key items will differ. I’ve written this guide based on how I eat, but obviously you can adapt it to your preferences.

PANTRY

Rolled oats, pasta, lentils, brown rice, chickpeas, canned tomatoes, coconut milk, chia seeds, eggs or chickpea flour, herbs and spices.

FREEZER

Fruit, veggies, bread, puff pastry.

FRIDGE

Pickles, Thai green curry paste, mayo, other condiments.

7. Meal ideas

Here are some meals you can make with the above listed ingredients, probably enough to get you through three days until your grocery order arrives. I’ll just go ahead and assume you have basics like oil, salt and sugar on hand, and that you know when to use them.

BREAKFAST AND PUDDING THINGS

Rolled oats + any frozen fruit = fruity oatmeal.

Bread + eggs or chia seeds + fruit = French toast with fruit coulis.

Puff pastry + fruit = fruit tartlets.

Chia seeds + coconut milk + fruit = chia pudding.

Frozen veggies + eggs or chickpea flour = omelette.

LUNCH AND DINNER THINGS

Bread + chickpeas + pickles + mayo = chickpea mayo on toast.

Canned tomatoes + pasta + lentils = veggie spaghetti Bolognese.

Frozen veggies + curry paste + coconut milk + brown rice = veggie Thai green curry.

Pasta + chickpeas + mayo + pickles = pasta salad.

Puff pastry + lentils + frozen veggies = savoury hand pies.

Canned tomatoes + chickpeas + brown rice = warm chickpea bowl.

8. Bonus ideas for extra flavour and variety

If you include any of the odds and ends at the back of your fridge, you can make even more fun and delicious combos. Carrots that are past their prime, potatoes, a wrinkled lemon – these can all be delicious additions.

Mirepoix is a mixture of finely diced onions, carrots and celery in equal amounts. If you chop extra of these next time you’re cooking, freeze them in a container. When you’re scavenging through your freezer, add it to any tomato-based dishes for extra yumminess.

Don’t forget about your condiments, stock powders, and herbs and spices. They add a depth of flavour that can make the same ingredient (canned tomatoes for example) taste completely different from one meal to the next – from Italian to Indian to Tex-Mex.

Happy cooking! Let me know what you think of these meals and suggest your back-of-the-fridge recipes on our Facebook or Instagram pages.

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