Guide to plastic-free grocery shopping
I have been practicing plastic-free grocery shopping for a while now and it hasn't always been easy. I had to adapt my grocery shopping routine, learn a few tricks, and even found new menu inspirations.
Here are my top tips to help anyone who wants (and should) plastic-free grocery shopping. Let’s do this together!
1- BRING YOUR OWN CLOTH PRODUCE BAGS
Do not buy food in plastic wrap, instead choose loose vegetables/fruits/grains and seeds.
Use cloth produce bags to carry the loose vegetables/fruits/grains/seeds. You can often find them at health food stores or buy them online.
You can also bring your own glass jars and bottles. Get the weight on these before you fill them up at the bulk bins. The cashier will deduct the weight of the jar from the total weight of your food when checking you out so you pay for the food only. See down below my favourites bulk shops in London.
2- BRING YOUR OWN CLOTH SHOPPING BAGS
Use tote bags or fishnet bags to carry all your food. You can also use bread bags to carry your bread or anything coming from the boulangerie.
3- DO NO BUY PLASTIC BOTTLES
Stop buying water, soda, juice and other beverages packaged in plastic bottles.
If you do not want to drink tap water than simply filter your water. And why not make your own juices at home? Nothing like a freshly pressed orange juice.
Make non-dairy milk.
Nut milks and rice milk almost always come in bottle made of several layers of materials, including plastic. If you have a blender, you can make these milks yourself at home.
Check out my easy recipe for homemade almond milk there: https://www.callherchef.com/blog/2018/5/30/top-5-store-cupboard-essentials
4- COOK MORE!
The food you cook yourself does not contain plastic. So, eat real food, not food wrapped in plastic.
Meal prep + Make a shopping list.
With a shopping list in hand, you will not only avoid all those plastic-wrapped impulse buys, you will also know just how many bags, jars and containers you’ll need to take with you to the shop.
Learn to preserve food.
Ferment or freeze your seasonal food. For example, to avoid buying plastic wrapped tomatoes in winter, roast them when they are in season and keep them frozen until winter.
Make more staples yourself.
Many of your favourite snacks in plastic are things you can easily make yourself. Foods usually packaged in plastic, such as yogurt or vanilla extract are also easy to make.
If you aren’t sure about how to make all your favs yourself, then why not book a private Cooking Class with Call her Chef and learn everything you need to master it. What better way to improve your cooking than in your own home? Get in touch.
5- CHOOSE THE RIGHT GROCERY SHOPS
You have got to help yourself by going directly to the right places. For exemple check out your local farmer markets or go to the biggest supermarkets as they will offer a bigger choice of loose foods.
Where/How to buy cheese/meat/fish? Go to your local cheesemonger/butcher/fisherman. Use lightweight containers. Most of them are cool with people bringing in their own containers.
My london favourite places for plastic-free shopping:
+ Check out Bea Johnson's bulk locator on her blog zerowastehome.com
Too busy? You can also get delivered all the ingredients directly to your door with https://plasticfreepantry.co.uk
Let’s be honest, the 0% plastic grocery shopping isn’t always possible. But the idea here is to be more conscious and to reduce our plastic use. And believe me, once you have try going without plastic, you will notice it everywhere! Last tips from me would be to be patient and kind to yourself. I did (and still do) sometimes buy plastic while grocery shopping. And that’s OK. Making just a few small changes can have a big impact on the amount of plastic we use on a day-to-day basis.
I would love to hear from you! Share your top plastic-reducing tips in the comments below!