These days, supermarkets are open 7 days a week and sometimes even 24 hours a day. Combine that with the fact that the typical supermarket stocks tens of thousands of different products – and it means we can have almost anything we want at almost any time. It’s the perfect mix of temptation and convenience. It’s so easy to just shot to the store to grab a couple of things. But if you’re anything like me, ‘popping to the shop’ means you’ll come home 45 mins later with way more items than you planned to buy, and wondering how you just spent $156.
On my journey to living a bit lighter on the planet, I’ve learnt that fewer trips to the supermarket can make a really big difference. It saves me time, saves me money, means fewer trips in the car, and also stops me from buying more than I need which helps avoid food waste and additional packaging.
Here are my two favourite ways to skip a trip to the supermarket:
- Switch it up: When I run out of something or don’t have an ingredient I need, instead of heading to the shops I get creative and try and substitute it with something that I do have on hand. Here are a few of my regular switches:
- Chia seeds in place of eggs
- Rolled oats instead of breadcrumbs or flour
- Yoghurt instead of sour cream
- Baking soda and vinegar can replace baking powder
- Lemon juice and milk for buttermilk
Or my favourite way to skip a trip is to go old school and ask my neighbour.
- Make-do meals: My approach to meals used to be to start by asking – ‘what do we feel like’, followed by ‘what do we need’, followed by a trip to the store. Now my approach is to start by asking ‘what do we have’. Sometimes the fridge looks empty, but I’m always amazed at what can be plated up with a bit of creative thinking. Not only does it save a trip to the shop but it’s a great way to reduce food waste.A couple of my make-do meal favourites are:
– Tasting platters: I grab a platter and then gather all of the random bits and pieces that are left in the fridge. Crispy potatoes, oven-roasted nuts, boiled eggs or roasted chickpeas are great additions to really fill it up.– Leftover pizza: I make my pizza bases with flour and then just add enough yoghurt to make a dough – or I’ll use wraps or even pieces of toasted stale bread will work, whatever you have! I throw on some sauce (sometimes even just plain tomato sauce if that’s all I have), top with any leftovers or veggies that are past their best and add cheese. It’s so damn simple, and a family favourite at our place– Soup Special: I’ll cook up some onions, add some stock and herbs and then throw in any leftovers we have. Mince, rice, pasta, veggies, curry – you name it, they’re all invited to the soup party, and no two batches are ever the same!
So next time you feel like popping to the supermarket – see if there’s a way you can make do. I reckon you’ll be surprised at the money, time and waste that you’ll save.