Do you want to reduce your food waste, save money and live more sustainably? Well this is an honest review of the meal planning subscription service Platejoy, which has helped us achieve all those goals for over 5 years! We’ll cover how meal planning reduced food waste and the sustainable options built into the service.
For over 5 years, we’ve used a meal planning and recipe subscription service called Platejoy that generates a custom meal plan for us with thousands of recipes based on very personalized settings. We had tried some meal kit subscriptions, but they weren’t as flexible, had excessive packaging (not always recyclable/compostable either!), and were typically more expensive.
But before we dive into all the wonderful ways Platejoy has helped us, let’s chat about how meal planning helps reduce food waste and why it’s important.
Reduce Food Waste with Meal Planning
Reducing food waste is a wonderful way to improve your green living lifestyle and live more sustainably. Firstly, I’m not talking about meal prepping, where you prepare everything ahead of time. Just planning what meals you are going to have each week and only buying food for those.
Here’s a quick list of some important reasons why meal planning can help reduce your food waste:
- You only buy what you need – Having a clear list minimizes the extra stuff you buy. You know what I mean…the “oh I could use that somehow” food item…the delicious looking potato chips…the candy. We found having a list helps minimize our urges to reach for potato chips as a side of a meal we’ve made up in our heads. (I know I’m picking on chips…sorry chips!).
- Ingredient grouping – Planning ahead means you can use all your ingredients throughout the week. For example, you use just using half a can of corn on one recipe, one night and then never using the rest. By meal planning and selecting two recipes that each use a half a can of corn, you’re not left with leftover ingredients that could end up getting tossed out.
- Less food in the landfill – By having a meal plan, especially one created to your portions (thanks, Platejoy!), you’re less likely to buy or make extra food that then gets thrown away. This means less contribution to food waste in our landfills which leads to methane production that damages our atmosphere.
Below are a few other ways to reduce food waste as well!
Meal Planning Saves Money
Remember how meal planning can help minimize what you buy? Well this is a key factor in helping save money. By having a focused list, you’re less likely to buy something and then not use it.
Just how many times you’ve thrown away a bag of something or noticed it’s way past the expiration date. A couple dollars here…five dollars there…oh look there’s twenty dollars of wasted food I found in one day. IT ADDS UP over time.
A small monthly fee for a meal planning subscription can help save you from having that happen a couple times a month. By spending a little and planning, you actually can end up saving. In a month, we’ve estimated we save between $20-$40 even with paying for our Platejoy meal planning subscription! Truly a little meal planning goes a long way to helping save money.
We all get into a rut and tend to make the same things over and over. I know we sure did in the early years of marriage always making the same hamburger helper or something! Platejoy let us introduce new meals into our life. Not eating the same boring stuff all the time is definitely a plus!!!
FYI, If you decide to try out meal planning with Platejoy, you can use our code BIGLIV10 to get $10 off your subscription!
We had already been using Platejoy for a while when we made the decision to try improve our green living lifestyle. We realized that having a meal plan already did a lot, but Platejoy actually has a lot of sustainable and green options built in that you can choose from!
Sustainable Options built into the Platejoy Subscription Service
- Use seasonal produce – this option ensures you aren’t getting recipes with strawberries in them when strawberries aren’t in season (this also means you won’t be paying a premium for out of season produce!)
- Strategic recipes to minimize waste – this option does exactly what it says. It tries to select recipes that use similar ingredients so you can use all of what you buy instead of only using half a bag of spinach. This was key in helping reduce our food waste and best of all it does all the thinking automatically for you!
- Select specific ingredient – However, sometimes you still have a leftover ingredient or someone gave you some extra tomatoes from their garden. You can actually search for recipes with specific ingredients to include in your menu. This is a great feature as it means you don’t have to get creative and come up with a way to use extra ingredients on your own!
- Choose a specialty diet – reducing meat consumption and having a more plant-based diet is a proven way to reduce your footprint. There is an option for a lot of different diets from flexitarian to vegan. We’ve personally changed from an omnivore diet to a flexitarian diet, which gave us more plant-based recipes, but didn’t fully cut out meat.
All these green and sustainable options are built into the Platejoy meal planning app, which makes it so easy. The best thing is you can change your options at any time. So if something isn’t working or you want to take the leap to go fully plant-based, it’s just a couple clicks and a new recipe menu away!
Just some of the delicious meals we’ve had with Platejoy recipes
Imperfect People Who Still Have Food Waste
Even with all the wonderful ways Platejoy has helped us live more green and sustainably, we are imperfect people and still have food waste. The spinach that wasn’t used fast enough….the leftovers that we let sit in the fridge too long….the small toddler who decided to become a picky eater and waste food.
So….COMPOST COMPOST COMPOST!!! At least then our food waste isn’t going to the landfill and adding to the greenhouse gases. Also, we get to reap the lovely benefits of compost soil to use in our garden, which we try to grow food in (definitely amateur gardeners still). I can’t stress enough how composting has helped mitigate our food waste, especially after having a child. There are several ways to compost; like we wrote about in 19 Ways to Improve Your Green Living Lifestyle, so check it out!
Having a meal planning app has truly helped move the needle for us to leave a smaller footprint on our environment, reduce our food waste, and save us money!
Again if you decide to go the Platejoy route, you can use our code BIGLIV10 to get $10 off your subscription! Have you tried Platejoy or meal planning to help reduce your food waste and save money? Let us know in the comments!
Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through these links. Please note that I’ve linked to these products purely because I recommend them and they are from companies I trust. There is no additional cost to you.