Save Money and Food Waste with the 4x2 Method for Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning
From selecting recipes to chopping veggies, planning just a single meal is a multi-step process. It’s no wonder we’re always on the hunt for new tips and tricks to make grocery shopping and meal planning easier. Today, we’re highlighting two versions of the 4x2 strategy that can help you shop smarter, save time, and eat healthier at home.
The 4x2 Grocery Shopping Method
There are two 4x2 methods that can help you simplify meal planning, reduce food waste, and save money. The first method, made popular on TikTok, involves shopping for core food items first around the perimeter of the store. You’ll start by selecting:
- Two fruits
- Two veggies
- Two fats
- Two proteins
For example, you might fill your cart with blueberries, bananas, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, nuts, chicken, and eggs. Then, you’ll shop the center aisles to round out your meal plan. This method is popular because it ensures you don’t forget the main ingredients and helps you avoid loading up your cart with snacks.
The 4x2 Meal Planning Trick
The 4x2 meal planning method is a simple and effective strategy to reduce food waste while simplifying your weekly routine. The idea is to plan four dinners for the week and purchase enough ingredients to make those meals for two nights each.
Here's how it works:
1. Plan Four Dinners: Take some time to plan out four dinners for the week. This can be done on the weekend or whenever you have some free time. Make sure to choose meals that are easy to prepare and that your family enjoys.
2. Make a List: Once you have your dinners planned out, make a list of the ingredients you'll need to make those meals. Make sure to check your pantry and fridge to see what you already have on hand. This will help you avoid buying unnecessary items and reduce food waste.
3. Shop Twice a Week: Instead of making one big grocery trip for the week, try shopping twice a week. This will help ensure that you have fresh ingredients for each meal and reduce the chance of food spoilage. If two shopping trips don't fit into your schedule, try out some of these hacks to keep your food fresh.
4. Cook for Two Nights: When it's time to make dinner, prepare enough for two nights. This will save you time and energy, and you'll have one less meal to worry about during the week.
This meal planning method helps you avoid stressing over what to make for dinner each night and save time on cooking. It also promotes healthier eating choices as you’ll have dinner planned and can avoid unhealthy takeout options.
Now that you’ve learned how to save time on meal planning and grocery shopping, take a look at these reminders on how to handle food properly and keep yourself safe while cooking.