Blog post

How to do a
food shop

When you are considering your grocery shop, are you thinking of price, convenience, or sustainability? A few quick swaps can allow you to easily shop sustainably on a budget. So, here are a few tips to look after the planet when eating yummy food!

By Izzy Moxham-Mead - 10 March 2023

Plan your meals

Before going to the shop, create a detailed plan of all your meals and snacks for the week as to avoid spending on extra food. You may be less likely to buy meals when out or get a takeaway if you have already planned your meals for the week. This can help you to save money and reduce your overall plastic consumption from take away food containers. You’ll also become more aware of using up fresh food items before their expiration date or find unique ways to incorporate opened jars, like pesto, into other meals. This could reduce unnecessary food waste which is beneficial for your expenses and the environment.

Shop local

Purchasing local products whenever possible contributes to a decrease in food transportation and reduces your carbon footprint. By buying products from regional growers, you can support the local community and help to guarantee that there will be local farms in the future. Remember to look at food labels to identify where your food is being sourced from. Eating local is not only better for the environment and community, but also offers health benefits as you’ll likely be eating less processed food.

Rainbow array of fruit and vegetables

Buy seasonal products

Have you tried eating seasonally? Buying seasonal products can have a fantastic impact on the environment. This can help decrease your carbon footprint by reducing travel CO2 emissions. It can also be cheaper to buy seasonal food items, as the food is in peak supply, so farmers and distribution companies reduce the price. Who doesn’t love cheaper, healthier food?

Here is a quick list of seasonal foods to look out for in each season:

Reduce single-use plastic consumption

Single-use plastic products can cause damage to the environment, so here are a few easy ways to reduce your plastic consumption. When doing your weekly food shop, avoid buying a bag and take along your own reusable shopping bag instead. Swap to individual fruit and vegetables, instead of buying plastic-coated multi-packs. Look out for plant-based, compostable, recyclable, and reusable packaging where possible.

Freeze food if you don’t eat it

Did you know 40% of the world’s produced food is wasted every year? Do you often waste food because you forget to use it before it expires? Try freezing food to extend its lifetime. However, like others, I sometimes get confused about how to freeze food safely. Which foods can you not freeze? How long can you keep something frozen? Should you freeze food when raw or heated?

A hand taking a container with frozen sweetcorn from refrigerator

Here are some foods which are safe to freeze:

On the other hand, here is a list of food you cannot freeze:


Remember the importance of being environmentally conscious when completing your food shop. Additionally, celebrate the health benefits which are often aligned with smart, sustainable food choices. It’s a win-win situation!

About the author

Isabella Moxham Mead wears cats eye style eye liner and has long curly brown hair.

Izzy Moxham-Mead
Digital Marketing Student

I'm currently a Marketing (Digital) student at the University of Derby. I work as a Marketing Representative and a Social Media Assistant alongside my course. This has helped me gain fantastic, relevant work experience whilst studying at the University.