How to meal plan to save money and waste

Planning before your food shop can be really important if you want to stick to a budget and reduce waste. Here are some ideas to help you plan your meals and shopping lists effectively. 

  1. Consider what you already have at home and what is going off. Perhaps you already have food in the freezer? Or some store-cupboard staples you could use to rustle up a dinner?
  2. Choose your main protein and carbohydrate sources first and work around those.
  3. Pick a vegetable and think about how you can use it in different meals to help you reduce waste.
  4. Remember any leftovers can be frozen or used as lunches.
  5. Write out your shopping lists by food types (eg. proteins, carbohydrates, dairy etc). This not only helps make sure you don’t miss anything, but helps keep you focused in the supermarket so you stick to your meal plan.

Here’s an example of an evening meal plan and a shopping list. It can be adapted to be vegetarian by swapping out meat and fish. This is just one example to show how the same ingredients can be spread out across meals during a week and can be adapted across many meals and preferences.

You can download your own weekly meal planner here.

  • Monday

    Lentil spaghetti bolognese – onions, chopped tomatoes, peppers, carrots, tinned lentils and pasta

  • Tuesday

    Fajita wraps – chicken, onions, chopped tomatoes, peppers, sweetcorn, cheese and wraps (can add mayonnaise instead of sour cream)

  • Wednesday

    Chickpea curry and rice – chickpeas, peppers, peas, curry sauce and rice

  • Thursday

    Tuna jackets – tuna, jacket potatoes, mayonnaise, sweetcorn, and onions

  • Friday

    Wrap pizza – tomato puree, cheese, peppers and onions

  • Saturday

    Chicken pasta bake – chicken, onions, chopped tomatoes, mayo, sweetcorn, and pasta

  • Sunday

    Mince and lentils in gravy – small packet of mince, lentils, gravy, onions, peas, sweetcorn, carrots and mash potatoes

Shopping list for meals 


Chicken thighs

Tinned lentils x2*

Tinned chickpeas*

Canned tuna *

Mince beef 


Tortilla wraps



Rice *




Peas (frozen/tinned)*

Sweetcorn (frozen/tinned)*

Chopped tomatoes *






Curry sauce 

Tomato puree *


*could be an item you already have in the store cupboard. 

More information 

For general information about a range of issues relating to diet, nutrition and CF, we have a series of leaflets that have been written by CF dietitians.

Check out the leaflets


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