How do you shop?
Shopping is the one place where you can waste food before you have even gotten it home – by buying stuff that you don’t need, or won’t use. Going shopping can be like a battle against two enemies – yourself and the shop. To win this battle you have to know your enemies!
Many of us consider the climate impact of the things we buy in the supermarket; packaged or loose, organic or conventional, local or international. It’s hard not to get bogged down by it all! However, one of the simplest things to consider when shopping is – will I definitely use this food?
To help you answer this question, think about what you waste regularly, and why.
It’s also very helpful to be prepared – make sure you don’t go hungry, use a list, and then try to stick to it!
The following are some other important things to think about when it comes to your shopping:
How you shop
Shopping trolleys are big and filling them is costly. Using a basket will certainly focus the mind because you are carrying it but baskets are not immune to random stragglers! So, before you’re at the check-out take a last look at what is in your basket or trolley and put back the items that “mysteriously” ended up in there. Every item you put away represents money and food that could end up being wasted.
If you find getting to the shops difficult, or if you are constantly going over budget, or you have to bring the kids who throw everything in the trolley, then online shopping might be for you. While this service is available in most large towns and cities, many smaller supermarkets now offer this service as well. It allows you plan and budget without the various distractions that tempt you when in the shop. While there is a charge with these services, and delivery time can be an issue, it may end up saving you more than the cost of the service in the long run.
Track your waste