Patchwork eating sounds cute, but apparently it's a new way of dining that is creating some serious food waste.
According to the Waste Less, Save More initiative from Sainsbury's, a fifth of parents prepare as many as three different dishes for one meal every day to suit the different needs, tastes and routines of their family. Even the average parent makes two separate dishes, creating less of a patchwork but still pretty patchy meal.
All these different dishes mean that 38 per cent of households admit to wasting food. Added up, over 3.5 million families in the UK are binning ingredients.
To solve this issue, and 'have a happy and waste-free kitchen', Sainsbury's is all for meal-planning. However, rather than planning by days of the week, plan by ingredients: if a particular dish calls for certain ingredients, plan something for the following day that uses some of the same things. If your evening meal would also suit lunch, make extra portions so you use up everything in one go.
Invest in decent storage containers so you can batch-cook and freeze multiple portions of a dish to defrost later too. And, if some of your household want to eat meat and others don't, try making vegetarian dishes to which meat can be added at the last minute – macaroni cheese topped with bacon, for instance.