Plastic-Free Shopping Tips - The Grocery Store

As you know, our one, simple Blisshaus rule for the grocery store is:
 
Just...   skip...   the...  plastic!
Simple, yes.  
Easy?  
Not so much, right?
 
The first time you hit the store with the goal to avoid plastic, you’ll notice the stuff everywhere: Bags that hold apples, liners in cereal boxes or the shrink-wrap on cheese. Once you look for plastic-free items, you’ll see that they are far & few in between.
What’s a momma (or papa) bear to do?! Not to despair. Plastic-free shopping is possible.

Note: We continually add tips to this tally and would love your best plastic-free tricks.
Please send us your plastic-free ninja moves and we, in turn, will share them with our Blisshaus community.
Simply email hello@blisshaus.com with your scoop.

 

Tip 1: Go naked for fruits & veg

Fruits and veggies in plastic bags: Always skip the plastic bags in the produce aisle. Just put your fruits and veggies loose into your basket, naked! You end up rinsing or peeling their skin anyhow. Stuff spinach or loose-leaf lettuce into cotton baggies. If you have to weigh your produce, pop the label onto your arm for the checkout. Your kids might think you're silly, but the checker will be just cool with it.
Our market kit includes cotton grain sacks and produce bags to help you corral your little items like arugula leaves and sugar snap peas. All the big veggies can just go home in their natural state.

Tip 2: Fresh loaves are fresher

Bread in plastic bags: Chances are, you're already suspicious of the plastic-wrapped loaves that last for months. So are we. Simply switch to the freshly baked loaves that come in paper bags.  They have fewer additives and, if you're lucky, might still be warm from the oven. At home, use beeswax wrap to keep the bread soft for days.
Each beeswax wrap lasts us several years. We use large ones for bread. We like to cut a big one into smaller sheets and use them to wrap sandwiches for school lunches. We also use them to store our cheese in the fridge. Simply wrap the cheese in parchment paper first and then use wax wrap to keep the bundle tight.

Tip 3: Think like the milkman

Milk in giant plastic gallon jugs: Skip these ugly jugs. Look for milk in glass bottles from local dairies. When empty, pop your glass bottle into the dishwasher. Once clean, slip it into your grocery bag and bring it back to your market for the $1-$2 refund depending on the dairy farm.
(Note: We understand that you might have to buy cheap plastic gallons of milk if you have teenage boys at home. Glug away!)
Photo courtesy to our beloved Straus Family Creamery in Northern Cal. This is not an ad - we just love you, Straus, so much. Thank you for the great work!

Tip 4: Go old-fashioned for soda & juice

Soda & Juices & Water in plastic bottles: These are so out. For soda, glass bottles are rare, so reach for cans instead. Cans are way easier to recycled than plastic. Juice in glass is easier to find. We love the R.W. Knudsen juices for their huge selection and broad availability. They even have orange-carrot juice in glass bottles. Or try kombucha in glass bottles for fizzy fun. For water, we simply use tap water at home.

Tip 5: Squeeze the condiments bottle before you buy it - and buy only glass

Ketchup & Mayo & Mustard in squeeze bottles: Seek out condiments in glass bottles and jars instead. Not only will you skip the ugly plastic bottles, but you can also show off your ketchup-bottle-banging skills to your kids. And no worries if you end up with a big blob of ketchup on your plate - admit it, this is the stuff dinner table memories are made of!

Tip 6: Skip the zip

Sandwich & Snack & Freezer zippy plastic bags: Save a ton of money and plastic by skipping the ubiquitous zippy bags. Use parchment paper or aluminum foil to wrap sandwiches like grandma did. Get some reusable tins for loose snacks. Use glass containers to freeze food. You can do it! We know it!

Tip 7: Go big & save big on the (apple)sauce

Applesauce in individual plastic cups: Buy large glass jars of apple sauce instead. Then use small glass jars from mustards or jam to dish out smaller batches for on-the-go. You'll save the planet and your money!

Tip 8: Smash up the guac'

Hummus and Guacamole in plastic tubs: Buy fresh avocados and smash them with a fork. Buy canned chickpeas and whizz them up with tahini & olive oil in the blender – voila: fresher, better dips without any plastics.

Tip 9: Become friends with the deli staff

Deli meats & cheeses in plastic pouches: Come to think of it, these are less than appetizing. Chat up your deli staff. Show them the glass containers you brought from home and have them slice your salami and cheese directly into your dish. The customers next to you will be impressed, we promise. Makes for a prettier fridge at home, too.

Tip 10: The final frontier... Yogurt

Yogurt in plastic cups: These are indeed tricky to avoid. Yogurt in glass jars is rare and pretty expensive. Try to make your own at home – it’s easier than you think and delish! If you have to opt for plastic containers, go for the largest you can find and dish out individual portions.

 

 

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