I should say that this is not everything we will eat over the week :) Plans for next week also include a couple of nights out (Norwich Beer Festival, hurrah) and a party with friends, so less cooking than usual. I hope that isn't seen as cheating! ;)
To report on the shopping...
Fresh fruit and veg all went into paper bags, or straight into our fabric shopping bags. Big tick. We also got some tinned tomatoes and beans etc., and some local apple juice that came in a glass bottle instead of a tetra. I should plug the shop - Ford & Yarham on Gloucester Street in Norwich - as they are friendly and have a fabulous range of things including very local produce when available. Most things are unpackaged, but two of our staples, cucumber and celery, come only in plastic so we gave them up this week. (Later on I found unwrapped cucumbers at the Co-op, and let out an "Aha!" that made me look like some weird cucumber freak.)
In the bakery (Breadwinner), our Belgian buns went into a paper bag, but the bread we were expecting to get in paper was bagged in plastic after we said "yes" to getting it sliced. Turns out that as the loaf would have poked out of the top of a paper bag when whole, it would have been very messy when sliced! We'll know next time - and we'll re-use the plastic bag! Ironically we only bought bread on Mark's suggestion that he takes his lunch to work next week instead of buying a sandwich from Tesco.
The meat (Banham's butchers) and fish we bought came in those thin white plastic bags that get sealed with tape. We won't be able to re-use these, but at least they are small and use far less resources than the supermarkets' typical combination of tray, wrap, and juice-absorbing-pad-thing. Annoyingly, though, while I was pondering over next Sunday's roast dinner, the butcher bagged up the ham I'd just asked for - even though it already came in vacuum packs. And I had to buy two as he had nothing except packs of 3 slices. So that wasn't exactly a packaging victory! Next time we'll see if the other butcher nearby (Spurgeon's) slices cooked meat on demand. I have seen other people comment about taking their own containers to get meat etc. put into, so maybe that is also worth a try (we don't have many containers though, so if it works it's perhaps a good excuse to get a Chinese takeaway? ;)
Dried fruit, bought by weight from larger containers, also went into thin poly bags, but they will be re-used to carry the cake bars I'm going to make with the fruit (as a replacement for bought cereal bars). At least the shop knotted those bags instead of taping them! From the same shop, our eggs came in a re-used box with the farm's own label over the top of the original logo. Eggscellent! (Sorry...)
Finally we had to get new toothbrushes, which of course came in blister packs. I remember that the Natural Collection catalogue had toothbrushes with replaceable heads, so that's on the list to try.
Things we avoided compared to our usual weekly shop are:
- biscuits/cakes/cereal bars
- prepared stir-fry vegetables and sauce
- fresh herbs
- breakfast cereal
- flour/sugar and other baking ingredients
- toilet rolls/kitchen roll
To smugly polish our slightly green and very small halo, for the first time we cycled to the local shops and set not a foot inside a big supermarket (just a small Co-op). It is slightly embarrassing to admit it's the first time we have ever done it, but better late than never! We spent less than we would have in the supermarket, supported local businesses, were home quicker, and got a bit of exercise too. We easily fitted our stuff into four panniers, and nothing was damaged when we got home. It helped that the sun was shining though!
So, we've made an early and not exactly perfect start on Waste Free Week. The real challenge begins on Monday though - that's when we start keeping count!