Many of us enjoy grabbing lunch from a café while at work, hiring caterers for special events, or eating out with our partner at the weekend. However, all this has been put on hold while the country has to adhere to strict social distancing rules to keep the coronavirus pandemic under control.

As a result, it can be a change for some people to have to prepare all three meals at home, especially if there are several members of the household all under one roof at the moment.

Here are some tips on how to prepare your meals so you don’t run out and have to go to the shops unnecessarily, and can continue to maintain a healthy diet without reaching for junk food.

  1. Plan ahead

The most obvious thing to do is take some time to plan ahead, thinking about what everyone typically eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not forgetting snacks too. We can grossly underestimate how many biscuits we normally chow down in the office, or how often we used to pick something up from the corner shop, or even how many ingredients are required for a family meal.

Therefore, writing down a meal plan for an entire week or two can be incredibly helpful in making sure you stock your shopping list with the right items and appropriate quantities.

Think about how often you want to head to the supermarket, whether that is once a week, once a fortnight or you wish to rely on farmshop deliveries instead. The less frequently you want to venture out, the more meals you will have to plan for. Don’t forget to increase the quantity of essential items, such as milk and bread, as well, otherwise you will quickly run out.

  • Buy plenty of essentials

There are some things that are always useful to have in the house, in case you change your mind about what to cook or have to self-isolate and need to stay at home for longer. Items such as tinned or frozen fruit, beans or veg are great at ensuring you can still get healthy vitamins and minerals; root vegetables are a good choice for bulking out meals and do not go off quickly; dry foods, such as grains, porridge oats, pasta, rice, crackers and lentils, are always good to have in; while making sure your freezer is stocked up with extra bread, milk, vegetables, and meat is wise should you be unable to go to the supermarket.

Herbs, sauces, soups and even cheese can also be frozen, so you might want to buy some extra just in case.

  • Do not waste

While it might seem that making a very long shopping list could lead to more food waste, this has not been the case so far. The public is becoming thriftier with their food spend, making the most of everything they buy as a result.

Environmental charity Hubbub found that 48 per cent of people said they were throwing away less food than they were before the pandemic, perhaps due to 51 per cent planning meals more carefully and the same proportion making better use of their leftovers, the Guardian revealed.

Chief executive of Hubbub Trewin Restorick said: “It’s encouraging to see some really positive changes taking place in households.”

Leftovers can be used for lunches the following day, frozen for a later date or turned into another meal entirely. Alternatively, Brits could batch cook stews and sauces to avoid fresh vegetables and meat going to waste.

To find out more about how we can help you with catering in Reading and the surrounding areas, contact us today.