Whether it’s saving money, saving time, or wasting less, we’re always looking for ways to make grocery shopping more enjoyable! 

Here are five tips for reducing food and packaging waste when you grocery shop. If you want a full list of our grocery store hacks, check out the video below!

1. Use the Plan to Eat shopping list. 

When you shop from an organized shopping list, rather than at random, you are buying items that are applicable to the recipes you want to make!

When you create a meal plan in Plan to Eat, you can then generate a shopping list with all the ingredients needed for your recipes. This will help you waste less by using more of the food you buy!

Check out our blog about using Plan to Eat to waste less food!

2. Shop at the deli or meat counter for exact portions.

Shopping at the deli or meat counter allows you to buy the exact amount of perishable foods you need for your recipes. This will help reduce food waste because you’re not overbuying! Also, having your deli items wrapped in paper can help you reduce the amount of plastic you’re consuming!

3. Buy sale priced food.

This tip is less focused on personal waste and more about wasting less on a large scale. Grocery stores can only sell items until a certain date and then most of the perishable items get thrown away.

If you’d like to help reduce food waste in general (and save some money, while you’re at it!), we recommend purchasing items from the clearance and sale sections in the grocery store. Even if these ingredients don’t correspond with your current meal plan, you can always put them in your freezer and then try to plan recipes around them in the future!

The search and filtering options in Plan to Eat can help you find recipes with ingredients you already have at home. 

4. Bring grocery bags to the store with you!

When you bring your own bags to the store with you, you’re potentially doing the most “green” thing related to shopping! According to the Center for Biological Diversity, the average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags a year! Reducing the number of plastic bags you take home from the grocery store will greatly reduce your carbon footprint. 

5. Shop in the bulk section.

The bulk food section, similar to the meat counter, allows you to buy more exact portions of the food you need. This can be either large or small quantities of food, as much of the food in the bulk section is not extremely perishable. Also, you can either bring your own containers for buying in bulk, or you can reuse bags from previous trips! Reusing is reducing too!

For more tips on how to reduce waste, check out our most recent Coffee Talk video on Youtube

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