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11 Food Resolutions Worth Making in 2021

December 23, 2020
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Here they are in no particular order! Which work for you?

  1. Make a grocery list
  2. Plan your dinners ahead of time
  3. Give up on Pinterest worthy (unless it brings you joy)
  4. Don’t stress about variety
  5. Leverage your freezer
  6. Do a food waste audit and implement logical changes
  7. Reset family norms and get some help! Insist on it.
  8. Eat less meat
  9. Serve smaller portions at each meal
  10. Try something completely out of your comfort zone once a month
  11. Cook from your pantry/fridge first

 

Make a grocery list

You know you should! It makes your trip faster, saves money, you’re less likely to forget things, and you won’t buy things you already have or don’t really need. Even if you’re shopping online, make the list first so actually putting items in your (virtual) cart is just mechanics, not wrapped up in decision making. We aren’t good multitaskers, its been proven.

 

Plan your dinners ahead of time

I promise this will ultimately reduce your overall weeknight stress. I’m sure we can agree that feeling pangs of hunger at 5pm and also wondering “What the heck do we have for dinner” is awful. If you’re responsible for feeding other people in any way, it’s even worse! Jot down a rough plan weekly and it will help. 

 

Give up on pinterest worthy (unless it brings you joy)

If you don’t enjoy cooking elaborate, coverworthy meals, truly – don’t. Don’t even leave a thought of “but I should” anywhere around. Simple, delicious, basics can come together in 15 minutes and be made from scratch with whole ingredients. No need to stress about anything else.

 

Don’t stress about variety

Most people think they need to reinvent dinner way too often. Mini-ruts are ok. Introduce a new thing much less frequently and don’t worry about variety for variety’s sake. We’re comforted by the familiar. 

 

Leverage your freezer

Pre-made and portioned sauces, casseroles, soups, and even grains and vegetables make dinner time come together quickly and easier. Follow me on instagram to learn more about using the freezer to reduce waste at the same time.

 

Do a food waste audit and implement logical changes

The food waste audit is one of the most visited pages on my website. Track what you’re wasting for 3 days or a week, then use that info to make changes. Always tossing out lettuce? Buy less lettuce. Bread? Set up a system for breadcrumbs or buy less. Potato Chips? Don’t open a second bag until the first one is completely empty. Get the whole family involved in the audit! 

 

Reset family norms and get some help! Insist on it.

So often, people tell me they’re the only one responsible for dinners. (It’s moms ok…it’s only ever the moms who tell me this). Make family help!! Just stop doing it all. Make your kids sit down and talk about what’s for dinner this week and which types of fruit and snacks they’ll want. Have a non-cooking dad be in charge of take out from deciding on the place, the order, and setting the table and cleaning up (this is what my husband does.) Reset expectations and stay strong.

 

Eat less meat

You do NOT have to become a vegetarian. Try for 5-10% less. There are theoretically 21 meals per week. How many have meat in your home? 10? 18? Reduce that number by your target perfect; you’ll need to have perhaps 2 lunches and 1 dinner without meat. That’s not a lot! We have tons of vegetarian recipes. 

 

Serve smaller portions at each meal

Leftovers are more appetizing when they haven’t ever been served. IE. Leftover chicken pot pie from the pan is delicious, but leftovers from your plate that have been smashed up, drooled on, and forked over are gross and much more likely to end up on the trash. Serve smaller. Go for seconds if you need too. 

 

Try something completely out of your comfort zone once a month

Here’s where variety comes in. Choose something new to you that feels fun to try and shake things up. It can still be quick and easy or it can be longer cooking. Try to plan it for a day when you have time and aren’t stressed. 

 

Cook from your pantry/fridge first

Whether you over panic shopped during lockdown and have too many cans and beans or it’s just a regular week, before you shop for more or make a meal plan, just check what you already have. Type it in to the What’s In Your Fridge Recipe Finder for ideas to use things up! Keep that rotation going.

Alison
Alison Mountford is the Founder and CEO of Ends+Stems, a meal planning service designed to reduce household food waste and stop the effects of climate change. Alison has been named a Rubicon Waste Fit Champion, was a finalist for the Spoon Tech Startup Showcase, and has appeared on many podcasts and radio shows, and works as a food waste consultant.

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