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No Waste Menu Plan - 1 week, 6 recipes, no leftover ingredients | www.tasteandtellblog.com #menuplan #recipe #grocerylist
Have you ever had an idea come to you, but then you sit on it for a long time?  Like a really long time?  And all the while, you are thinking – this is a great idea, I should really act on it.

But then it takes you a year to actually do something about it?

Well, my big idea is coming to life today.  Forever ago, I got to thinking about menu plans.  I am a loyal fan of menu planning.  I plan a week at a time, and I try to only shop once a week.  I would be lost without a plan.  So I started thinking that I really should put together a menu plan and share it here.  And then I really started thinking.

One of my biggest frustrations in the kitchen is always having ingredients leftover.  One recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, but then you have the rest of the jar that you have to find a recipe for.  Or you need 1/4 cup of sour cream, and the remaining sour cream ends up going bad in the fridge before you can use the rest of it.  I constantly have ingredients in my pantry and fridge that I am trying to use up.

Well, I am here with a menu plan that will eliminate that problem.  At least for one week!  I am here with 6 meals and a grocery list.  And at the end of those 6 meals, you should have no ingredients leftover.  No waste!!

I’m super excited for this, and I hope you all are, too.  5 of these recipes are from years past here on Taste and Tell.  I actually tested out the week of recipes (and re-photographed some of them while I was at it) to make sure that I really did like the recipes and that it all worked out.  And I’m happy to report that it did work!  And not only that, they are all great recipes!

That being said, I do have a few things that I want to point out:

  • I’m only giving you 6 recipes – assuming that you will have one leftover/eat out/your on your own night.  We usually have one or two of those nights.
  • All of the recipes should feed a family of 4, with many of them giving you some leftovers.  You can save the leftovers to fill in for the 7th day, or leftovers for lunch are always one of my favorites!
  • There is a printable grocery list below.  You can click on the recipe titles on the list to be taken to each individual recipe, or you can click through on them below.
  • I haven’t assigned certain days they should be made, or a certain order they should be made in.  When I make my menu plan, I chose the meals but leave the days open to what sounds good that day.  Or I will usually make the meals with ingredients that go bad faster first.
  • There is a list of pantry staples that is not included in the “no waste” part.  Things like butter, flour or spices that most of us probably have on hand at all times.  So make sure you check your pantry stocks to make sure you have all of the pantry staples on hand.
  • The Cheeseburger Pie requires a pie crust.  I make mine from scratch, from pantry staples.  If you don’t want to make your own crust, you will need to buy one.  And most of the time, store-bought crusts come in a pack of 2, so you will end up with 1 pie crust leftover.  (But you can always use it for dessert for the week!!)
  • I’m not including side dishes or dessert.  Maybe in the future…

Let me know what you think – it was quite the puzzle to get everything to work just right, but if this is something you’d like to see more of in the future, let me know!!  Or if you just love the menu plan and grocery list and don’t really care about the no waste aspect, let me know as well!


Smoky Tomato-Bacon Pasta | www.tasteandtellblog.comSmoky Tomato-Bacon Pasta


White Chicken Enchiladas | www.tasteandtellblog.comWhite Chicken Enchiladas


Baked Ravioli | www.tasteandtellblog.comBaked Ravioli


Cheeseburger Pie | www.tasteandtellblog.comCheeseburger Pie


Baked Potato Soup | www.tasteandtellblog.comBaked Potato Soup


Ham and Cheese Pockets | www.tasteandtellblog.comHam and Cheese Pockets


No Waste Menu Plan - 1 week, 6 recipes, no leftover ingredients | www.tasteandtellblog.com #menuplan #recipe #grocerylistDownload PDF

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44 Responses to No Waste Menu Plan

  1. What a wonderful post! Awesome job putting this together. I also am bothered by leftover ingredients and not knowing what to do with them! This is great 🙂

  2. patsy says:

    I hav the same pet-peeve when it comes to recipes that call for an ingredient that always ends up with some of it leftover… I’ve gotten better about finding uses for some of them. Your menu plan is a great way to make sure everyting gets used!

  3. What a great idea, Deb! You should do this every month or so 🙂

    I always end up with ingredients that I’m trying to use up so know you’re not alone!

    The baked ravioli looks so tasty- perfect for a cold, snowy night!!

  4. leslie says:

    Now this is a GENIUS idea!!!! I hate throwing away leftover stuff I dont use!

  5. Kelly P says:

    love this!

  6. Jess Z says:

    I love this post! My husband and I are new to the kitchen and we have been doing this for a couple of weeks. We have begun typing out a spreadsheet of meals with similar ingredients and what we think is feasible enough for us to make. With our first child on the way, we realized we needed to change some things and learning to cook was top on the list. Please keep posting more of these from time to time. 🙂

  7. I love this so much. You are a genus!

  8. Tarah says:

    YES you should do this again! And again! And Again!!!

  9. Jenny says:

    I love, love, love this concept. Great idea and thanks for making life simpler for the rest of us!!

  10. This is really stellar!!! Every recipe is a winner and you’re right, most of the ingredients are readily available without having to go to a great expense. What a great thing–keep it up girlfriend!!

  11. Agreed! I hate throwing ingredients away becuase they go bad. Good list of recipes too!

  12. Great idea, Deborah! Wasting food is one of my pet peeves and I’m always looking for ways to reduce waste.

  13. ” One recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce, but then you have the rest of the jar that you have to find a recipe for. Or you need 1/4 cup of sour cream, and the remaining sour cream ends up going bad in the fridge before you can use the rest of it. “– STORY of my LIFE!

    My dessert post yesterday was proudly declared as a baking leftovers post. And after I posted it, I thought, you know, no one will probably make these b/c they won’t have the same leftovers as I will. But hey, it worked for us 🙂

    Love this series and that you’re tackling it! I hate to waste and hate to buy things that I only use for something super limited, but it happens to the best of us.

  14. Sonya says:

    I absolutely LOVE this idea. I am a big fan of menu planning as well and try to use recipes that call for similar ingredients to cut down on waste but then I feel like we are eating the same thing all week. I love how diverse your choice are!

  15. I’m so impressed. I wish so much that I was capable of being this organized and think ahead. But going to the grocery store with a well-thought out list seems to be the most I’m capable of. Sigh. Frustrating….

  16. Emily D. says:

    Thank you! Thank you! That is always my biggest problem every week, too. I so often have buttermilk that goes bad or cilantro or whatever. I will definitely be trying this next week.

  17. I try to do this now with my weekly meal plans, but it is a lot of work and despite my planning I still have leftover ingredients! Sometimes, I even base entire meal plans on the half used bottles of sauces, jams, packages of cheese, etc. from the week before. My biggest struggle though, is coming up with ideas for meal plans that don’t appear to be the same meal every day of the week because I don’t want to waste or because pork chops were on sale that week and that is all the protein I bought! Also, I am trying to do a lot of meal planning around my pantry staples, so if I don’t have time to shop a few days into the week I know I can still make meals and get by. I am looking forward this feature for some new inspiration and seeing what meals you put together!

  18. Aggie says:

    This is so great Deb, and I’m sure helpful to so many! I’m still so new with menu planning, I love having a group of meals planned I will make for the week, and having all the ingredients on hand to make on the night it works best…makes life so much easier!

  19. LOVE the idea behind this. My question for you is when you make these recipes, do you eat all of it or do you have a lot that goes to waste? Every time I make new recipes I always have tons of leftovers that I never get around to eating or giving away.

    • Deborah says:

      @Christina @ The Beautiful Balance, we usually manage to make it through leftovers. A few of these recipes we finished the night I made them, and if we do have leftovers, my husband takes a lunch to work each day (where I usually give him leftovers) and I’ll eat leftovers for lunch. Plus I always plan for 1 day of leftovers – even if we all aren’t eating the same leftovers!

  20. Ashley says:

    This seems like it would be the perfect series to have on the blog so that more people can waste less!

  21. Jennifer says:

    This No Waste Menu Plan and grocery list is awesome! Thank you and I can’t wait to see more!!

  22. lori says:

    AWESOME! I would love to see more posts like this! Thanks!

  23. teresa says:

    you’re a genius, i am SOOO doing this!

  24. Kirston says:

    I am a HUGE FAN of your blog, love everything I try on it matter of fact, before setting out to do my once a week grocery shopping I visit your blog to meal plan. I LOVE this meal plan idea!!!

    Thanks keep it up!

  25. Megan says:

    Brilliant idea! I have sour cream going bad in my fridge right now for this very reason. I would love to see more plans in the future. Thanks!

  26. This is a brilliant idea! I feel so wasteful during the week and not being able to use all my fresh ingredients before they go bad. I loved Everyday Food magazine when they did something like this – now that they’re not in print anymore (at least paper copy print) I’ll be using your ideas!! Thanks hun 🙂

  27. Wow, this is amazing! I’m always wasting so many ingredients – and it seriously breaks my heart to throw all that stuff away because it goes bad so quickly!

  28. Excellent post! I like that you have included the grocery list as well.

  29. Jamie says:

    Great idea! Love the grocery list pdf.

  30. Joanne says:

    lately I’ve really been trying to make sure that I menu plan around any leftover ingredients I have the week after I buy them…some weeks it works and others not so much. i’m notoriously bad about letting nuts go bad lol. This is such a great idea!

  31. Courtney O. says:

    I love this! I appreciate the no waste menu plan but it is not a deal breaker for me.

    I too plan my meals by the week but I spend most of the time trying to figure out a good combo of chicken, pork, beef, veggie, fruit, etc. I will often create a menu and find that all of the recipes are way to rich to have in one week or that I have 4 Mexican dishes all together!

    Please continue to post weekly meal plans with the grocery list. The format is great and very useful.

  32. Awesome idea! And I love everything that is on this menu!

  33. Brandi says:

    I was wondering if you posted much about meal planning! Yeah! You are my hero! This is fantastic!

  34. Kristi says:

    This looks like an awesome concept! I love it! I am going to try it the next time I go shopping.

  35. Val from PA says:

    Usually when I see menu plans with grocery lists in magazines or on blogs, there are several recipes that just don’t appeal to me… Every recipe in this menu of yours, however, screamed my name! So, I’ve already printed out all the recipes and the grocery list and can’t wait to use them next week! Thanks so much!

  36. Rachel Cooks says:

    This must have taken you for.ev.er. WOW. You seriously are a superwoman/supermom!

    Great idea and everything looks soooo delicious.

  37. What a great post! It is very similar to something I did every week when my kids were small and didn’t eat very much. It kept me from serving leftovers for the rest of the week. My family hates leftovers.

  38. You are genius! This is such a great idea! And everything looks so good too!

  39. Andrea says:

    Love this! Please do more!

  40. Bree says:

    I want more like this. But could you add in a few crock-pot meals please. I can’t bake at the moment because my oven is broke and the part cannot be replaced. So I just have to suffer awhile longer with just my little toaster oven. Great recipes! Thanks a bunch!

  41. Stephanie says:

    I love menu plans with no waste! Thank you! Did you ever make any more?

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