Are you a SMART shopper? Try our top tips for smart shopping. You'll be surprise how easy it is to save money and slim your bin.
Make a list
- Make a list and stick to it. Plan your needs for the forthcoming week and write them down. Check what you already have at home to ensure that you'll only buy what you need - you'll save money by resisting offers on perishable goods that which won't keep.
- Don't shop when you're hungry! You're much more likely to buy food that you don't need and end up wasting it.
- Try internet shopping to save fuel, time, and allow you to check what items you already have at home at the same time.
Watch that label!
- Check the 'Use By' dates on all the fresh produce you buy. Supermarkets always put produce that they need to sell at the front - so check that you are taking items that will last until you need them.
- Don't BOGOF! It is easy to be lured into buying special offers such as Buy One Get One Free. On some dry goods these may represent genuine value for money but remember the 'Use By' dates if you opt for a special offer on fresh produce. Are you really going to get through all of that food before it goes out of date?
- Look for products with little or no packaging such as fresh fruit and vegetables or dry goods
- Try and avoid individually wrapped portions such as cheese slices and juice.
- Where possible, buy in larger quantities to reduce the amount of packaging
- Choose products in packaging which you know can be easily recycled locally
Choose reusable, refillable or durable items
- Opt for concentrated products in reusable or recyclable containers
- Buy rechargeable batteries and energy saving light bulbs
- Avoid disposable razors, pens and lighters
- Buy energy efficient, long life products such as light bulbs. Energy saving light bulbs last 12 times longer than normal light bulbs and each bulb can reduce your electricity bill by £7 every year.
- Look for long lasting (and energy efficient) appliances when buying new electrical items - ensure these are well-maintained to increase product life cycle
- Choose reusable crockery with cloth napkins instead of disposable ones.
- Buy recycled paper toilet roll, napkins and kitchen roll.
SNUB - Say No to Unwanted Bags!
- Use your own canvas bag rather than plastic bags when shopping. Try and remember to keep a few reusable shopping bags in handy places such as in your car, next to your front door or in your hand bag.
- Try to buy locally sourced produce where possible. This will reduce the carbon emissions that food generates on its way to retailers' shelves. Some farms offer a local home delivery service. Farmers' markets are also a good opportunity to support local businesses.
- Click here for local Farmers markets in Norfolk.
- Try an organic Vegetable Box scheme. Click here to find an organic box scheme in your area.
Buy recycled and environmentally friendly products
Here are a few examples of recycled and environmentally friendly products on the internet. There are new websites appearing all the time, and you can have fun finding new ones by entering 'recycled products' or 'recycled gifts' into an online search engine. Don't forget to also take a look around your local area for artists and craftspeople making unusual items out of recycled materials.
- The Recycled Products Guide has details of products made from recycled materials. Available at www.recycledproducts.org.uk
- Cut Outs offer a range of recycled products from various different materials ranging from clocks and Christmas decorations made out of circuit boards to clipboards made from juice cartons to coasters made from plastic bottles www.cutouts.net
- Ecotopia sell a range of environmentally friendly, organic and recycled products ranging from mother baby and child to confectionary to clothes www.ecotopia.co.uk