Updated: Feb 21
Shopping can be a daunting task, particularly if you hate the thought of whizzing around a large supermarket on the weekend trying to navigate through aisles of bad trolley drivers and overly enthusiastic children.
This is by far my least favourite activity of the month.
I do however love cooking. The idea of finding new recipes, discovering new cuisines and creating a delicious meal from scratch is incredibly satisfying. So the fruit and vegetable aisle is usually where you will find me.
Unfortunately, this can lead to an eco-nightmare if you are trying to avoid pre plastic-packaged food in favour of the looser options. I’ve found that in some shops, the loose products don’t always look the freshest, there is also the awkward juggle when trying to weigh your items and finally, what do you do when you go bag-less and have to scan your items at the till?
It really doesn’t have to be that stressful, take a look at my tips below for an easy eco veg shop!
1 – Bring your own bags
Whether it’s old plastic bags, old rags to tie up or even specialised produce bags, they can easily be added to your regular supply of reusable bags, kept in your car or hidden a handbag or rucksack.
And if you don’t have anywhere to carry your fruit and vegetables, supermarkets like Salisbury's are even starting to offer reusable bags to purchase for only 30p.
However, I have recently been inspired by Japanese Bento Bags, after weighing my fresh produce, I use old cloth or fabric to tie them up in a pouch ready to take home – sticking the label on the fabric for scanning. This is significantly less waste then the pre-packaged alternatives.
2 – Be open-minded
Loose fruits and vegetables do not always look as perfect as the pre-packaged selection. But that doesn’t mean they are any less quality. So if your carrot is a bit wonky or your pepper has more curves than normal give it a try anyway.
3- Lift & Look
There has been many a time when I have got to the fruit crates and stared at some sad-looking fruit. I am not talking a little bit wonky but rather squished and bruised.
However, having worked at a supermarket in my teens, I have learnt the tricks of the trade. Customers are more likely to walk past a bad bunch of produce before lifting up the crates to find a fresh batch underneath.
I do this all the time and get the pick of the lot!
4 – Community Matters
If you do have access to a farmer’s market or greengrocers, support your local community and shop there. Usually, their products are displayed in crates or metal bowls; only packaged upon purchase.
So take your reusable bags down there and support a local business.
Have you tried any of these tips? Let me know in the comments below.