Nowadays I plan my trip to the supermarket thinking of ways to bring as little package as possible home, and when I can’t avoid packaging, I look out for the products which are more environment-friendly.
Luckily, my local supermarket – Colruyt – has a handy app where I can check for products and add them to my grocery shopping list. That way I know straight away my options, how much things will cost me, and if they come in bulk or not.
Maybe I should start by stating that I do not have a bulk store nearby. The closest at hand, Prana Bio Bulk, is a 30km ride from Dessel. It’d be crazy to shop there every week, especially when I already take half an hour – by car – each way to get to work. I’m planning a trip there in a few weeks, however, and I hope I can buy a few things in enough quantity to cover some of my needs – at least coffee, tea and other stuff I can only find packaged nearby – for a little while.
Still, I’ve only just begun this zero waste attempt, so I’m trying to adjust my needs to it. I consume more fruit and vegetables – which I can find in bulk very easily at my usual supermarket – and I avoid anything that I would buy only due to my greed. I mean, everyone needs some chocolate once in a while, certainly, but maybe not every week? Plus, I now make my own milk and yoghurts, and cookies! So, there are at least a few things I can stop buying. Of course, I need “material” to make these, but I happen to make them all with oats, water and peanut butter. I filter tap water, so I don’t need to buy it in plastic/glass bottles, I buy the oats in a paper bag I then recycle, and the peanut butter comes in a glass jar which I reuse for storage. The peanut butter in a jar is actually a bonus here, because I’m still gathering storage, and it allows me to spare money by not needing to buy any more jars.
(I’ll eventually try my hand at making peanut butter, but this comes with a funny story for another post.)
Now, let’s take a look at what I bought this week.
I usually take this rad pink bag to carry everything. It was a gift from the city hall to the inhabitants of the city I used to live in. It’s made of fabric and plastic, and as long as it’s still good to use, I’ll keep using it. I have two other bags, one made of plastic and one made of fabric, for when I need to bring home more stuff.
The smaller bags I used to carry the stuff in bulk were made by moi. I’ll post a tutorial for those this week still.
I never tried lentils before so I’m planning on cooking them this week, probably with some rice. I can’t find them here without a plastic bag, but I suppose they will last me a while.
They’re cheaper if I buy them in a plastic package, but it was one of the things I promised myself when I started this: if you can dispense some extra cents, do it for the zero waste. Also, if there’s something I can easily ditch the plastic from around here, is fruit and vegetables. I can’t fail in that.
Again, more expensive than the ones in a package. Still, I can buy only what I need, instead of having to buy a whole kilo, which is more than I can consume before they go bad.
Here we call these candy-tomatoes (snoeptomaten). Even though I’m not a big fan of raw tomatoes, I love these! I put them in a salad, or I just eat them as they are for a quick snack.
Comes in a jar, albeit with a plastic lid. I will keep it and reuse it once it is empty, so it’s very handy. I’ve bought it to make cookies today!
I haven’t yet found a recipe for cream, and I use it for a lot of desserts. In my group of friends, when we plan a dinner together, I always make dessert because I love baking. A friend of mine is moving to a new house this week and, for the house warming party, I am in charge of making… you got it, dessert. I’m going to make something simple: just whipped cream mixed with condensed milk, and coffee-dipped cookies, with frozen strawberries and strawberry sauce on top.
I can’t find cream in a jar/bottle. I suppose I could have bought it in a bigger package, but I’m still not sure how much I’m going to use, so it’s easier to buy it individually, otherwise I’ll end up wasting. I use it for cooking too, and I’m not sure how I can find a replacement for this. Any ideas/easy recipes?
Both the plastic from the lentils and the tetra pak package from the cream will be separated for recycling. I’ll eventually write a post on the blog about how we take care of our garbage here in Belgium.
This week was a smaller batch, I spent around €13, because I actually cleaned down my pantry/freezer, and was able to see better what I have in store. I have a bit to eat down before I need to start buying more meat and fish, at least.
This eating your pantry down was actually an idea I got from Zero Waste Memoirs. It’s a wonderful blog, I signed up for their Going Zero Waste In 30 Days newsletter and I’ve been getting very good tips. If you’re starting as well, you should definitely check it out!
And this was my weekly shopping. Want to share yours? 🙂