Zero Waste shopping in the big city

I have been trying to reduce waste in my household for 2 years now, with more or less success.Perhaps I am the most skilled in the kitchen and during the weekly shopping, now I will share my experience with you.We are a downtown family of four with a dog.The children are not so small anymore, so we need a lot of food on a weekly basis.I'm not claiming that zero waste shopping is an easy genre, or that it doesn't take more time than normal shopping, nor that it doesn't cost more, because none of this is true.The market and the packaging-free store are also not out of the way, and they are also somewhat more expensive than the usual stores.This kind of shopping takes at least 3 hours a week, and my husband, Dani, also helps with it, so it's easier.That doesn't sound very appealing, but I want to be honest.Of course, the sight of an empty bin always motivates me.


The first thing I learned as a 40-year-old is planning.Before, I never planned anything in advance and I was an artist of ad hoc thrown together quick lunches, meals, with the help of Lidl.This has changed, as it is necessary to plan environmentally friendly shopping.


I have two huge Printed shopping bags (the same size as IKEA blue bags, but strong jute cotton made of linen), I reserve one for market products, the other for packaging-free shop products.I have at least 20 canvas bags in different sizes, I rotate them.Not all of them are "Printás", there are all kinds of things that have been collected over the years.Then there is approx.I have 10 canning jars and 10 plastic boxes (the old ice cream boxes and the large 1l sour cream boxes have worked really well, I've been using them for a long time and they still close very well, even though they were originally designed for single use!).I don't always bring everything with me, when making the list I check whether I have put a suitable container for it (jar, bag or box).I always add a few more containers in case I come across something I didn't plan on but still want to buy.

Then I leave with the two bags, which are already damn heavy, even though I haven't even bought anything yet.


At the market, I buy the following without packaging:

  1. Of course, vegetables and fruits.Here, I also resort to tricks such as if the strawberries have been pre-portioned into plastic boxes, I ask the seller to let me transfer them to my own, but only if they can use them again, and it works.
  2. All dairy products - sour cream (I'm from Vojvodina, I eat everything with sour cream), Greek yogurt, mozzarella, cottage cheese, butter and all cheese - they all go in appropriate boxes and bottles.
  3. Meat products - I am a vegetarian, but my family is not yet, although we have already managed to reduce meat consumption quite a bit.There is no problem here either, they put cold cuts and meats in my box.
  4. I would like the baked goods in a collapsible canvas bag.

      I usually buy the following in the packaging-free store:

      Salt, sugar, honey, oils, eggs, seeds and dried fruit (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts), chocolate, tea, oats, rice, bulgur, lentils, flours, soup pasta, spaghetti and lasagna noodles, and frozen green peas!!! All of these can really be bought without packaging, isn't that amazing???

      Here, things are mostly put in snap and canning jars, I put the pasta in a canvas bag, and the green peas in a larger plastic box.And the divine chocolate balls in a big box, because they sell out quickly.

      A zero waste shopping trip provides enough ingredients for breakfast, snacks and snacks for the children for 5-7 days.If you're interested in what I cook with these, I'll write about that next time :) I go to the packaging-free store every 2 weeks.


      ! I would highlight the Boci dairy shop, where I can buy all dairy products without packaging.
      Hunyadi tér market - I can get everything here too, and there is a larger section of small producers outside on Saturdays.
      Simple garden market - on Sundays, although very touristy, the selection of small producers and organic is good.There you can also come across such treasures as packaging-free salad mix, tea mix, or Hungarian organic lemons :)
      Ligeti shop - packaging-free shop with everything , which is not on the market.
      Backpack shop - divine breads, vegetables from small farmers and super craft beer in returnable bottles - but only open on Thursdays and Fridays.

      The point is that, although it is not easy, I find that we eat much healthier since I have been shopping this way, because the processed food we consume is close to zero, and the ingredients are not only packaging-free, but they come from controlled, local, often organic manufacturers and producers.And if I compost successfully, our bin is not even half full in a week (and it's a small bin :)) For me, it's worth the extra time, and wearing shoes is equivalent to a workout :)))

      Come and make shopping bags and bags with us, so that your shopping is also waste-free! We are holding a screen printing workshop on June 29, details in the Facebook event.

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