Meal planning is a strategic approach that significantly helps in preventing food waste by ensuring that all purchased ingredients are utilized efficiently. By planning meals ahead of time, individuals can create precise shopping lists that align with their weekly menus, reducing the likelihood of buying unnecessary items that might end up spoiling. This foresight helps in portion control, ensuring that only the required amount of food is prepared, thus minimizing leftovers that often go uneaten. Additionally, meal planning encourages the use of perishable items while they are still fresh and allows for the creative use of leftovers in subsequent meals. By organizing meals and shopping with intention, households can reduce the amount of food discarded, save money, and promote a more sustainable and conscientious consumption pattern.