From the promotion signs to how hungry we are – our shopping habits can have an impact on how much food waste we produce.
Often we buy more food than we need when we go shopping. The more we buy, the more there is a chance that it will be wasted. Bad for our pockets, and even worse for the environment. Click here to calculate the average amount of money you lose due to food wastage.
Our Respect Food programme is all about making that difference. From saving your money to saving the environment, every bit of food that is kept from wasting is helpful. We want to show you simple ways through which you can make a difference, so you can do your part in reducing food waste.
The average household in the UK wastes £700 a year on over-buying food that goes ends up as waste. Add up all the food wasted globally, and we’re wasting over $1trillion worth of food each year. Stores and supermarkets use clever ways to make us buy more food than we need. Read these 7 tricks you can use to get around that.
1. Look for longer use-by dates
Supermarkets tend to put things with longer use-by dates towards the back of the shelf. Particularly in fridge items and bakery items, always reach for the back so you can make the most out of what you buy.
2. Don’t shop hungry
Psychologists have found that you’re more likely to impulse buy and spend more when you go shopping on an empty stomach. Avoid racking up unnecessary bills and food which will most likely go to waste by eating something before you shop.
3. Look high and look low
Expensive products are usually stacked at eye-level by supermarkets. These also tend to offer little variation in their quantities. Look above and below eye-level to find smaller quantities at cheaper prices.
4. Buy only non-perishable items in bulk
Bulk buying is a good way to save cash and stop you from running to the supermarket again and again when an essential runs out. But rather than bulk buying short-lived perishable foods, only bulk buy items with a longer life that you use a lot. For example, if you and your family can’t live without dried pasta, you should stock up on it. But it might not be such a good idea to stock up on a lot of bananas.
5. Plan out your shopping list
Plan out your meals for the week and then create your shopping list for it. It’ll save you time and money, and it will stop you from buying things that you won’t end up using. Keep yourself organised by downloading a shopping list app. Free Shopping List Ease (available for Android and iOS) allows you to make a list of what you need to buy, but it also lets you make another list of what you already have and how much of it you have used.
6. Loose fruit and vegetables are better than packs
If a recipe calls for 1 tomato, don’t buy an entire pack! Supermarkets usually sell fruit as a better value when packaged, when in reality most people end up spending more in the long run and end up wasting most of it. When you buy loose, you can also choose exactly what produce you want. Storage also makes a big difference. So look where in the supermarket the fruit or vegetables are stored best, and how you can emulate this in your home. Grundig’s VitaminCare Zone fridge recreates the natural process of photosynthesis, which will keep your produce from ageing.
7. Do you really need that second one?
Brightly coloured signs screaming ‘buy one get one free’ might trick you into thinking you can get more for your buck. Truth is, most of the time the prices of these individual items are hiked, so you’re just paying the same price for two if you were to buy it when it wasn’t on promotion. Also, by being tricked into buying two, you’re more likely to waste it. Avoid falling for promotions.
So shop yourself savvy and remember these 7 tricks next time you go to buy food. See how you can save time, money, and the environment.