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Well, there is, and it really is easy to do: buy your fruit and veg loose! So why does buying loose make such a difference, and how do you work out how much you need to buy to make sure you use it all up? Let’s take a closer look.

Why buy loose? 

Our research shows that if all apples, bananas and potatoes were sold loose instead of in bags sold by weight, we could save 60,000 tonnes of food waste each year. And that’s before thinking about all the other types of fruit and veg available to buy loose!  

The reason is simple: when you buy loose instead of buying a big bag of fruit or veg, it’s much easier to buy closer to your needs.  You can choose the amount you know you’ll need, so you don’t end up buying lots of extra that you won’t get round to eating before it goes off. 

Like Gino D’Acampo says, “Choose What You’ll Use!” Watch Gino surprise shoppers and give great advice on buying loose.

The bonus is that buying loose has the added benefit of reducing plastic waste, so it’s a win all round!

Tips for buying loose and using what you buy

Now that we’ve established why buying loose is the way forward, how can you change the ‘grab a bag’ habit and buy exactly what you need?  

Buying only what you need and then eating what you buy is easy with a few new habits, so here are some simple ideas you can try to save your food and ensure it gets eaten.

  • Check your fridge, freezer and cupboards before doing your shopping: what do you have already that needs using up? Perhaps you’ve already got a couple of carrots left and just need one or two more for the recipe you have in mind, or you’d forgotten you have a few spuds left from your weekend roast.
  • Write a flexible meal plan for the week: factoring in what you have already, take a few minutes to write a flexible meal plan for the week ahead. There’s lots more advice on this in our post on meal planning.
  • Make a list of what you’ll need: now that you know what you’re planning to cook, you’ll know what ingredients you need. You can now come up with a list of the total portions of fruit and veg you’ll need for the week using our handy Portion Calculator.
  • Stick to the list: when you’re in the supermarket or doing your online shop, tick things off your list and only buy the exact quantity you need from the loose fruit and veg section. Remember to take your reusable food bags or containers to pop your loose fruit and veg in if you’re heading to the shop!
  • Store it in the right place: when you get your loose fruit and veg home, you can make sure it lasts as long as possible by storing it in the right place – which, for most fruit and veg, is the fridge (it’s only really bananas, whole pineapples and onions that should be kept at room temperature). You might be surprised how many foods you’ve been storing in the wrong place

Keep following these tips and it won’t be long before they become a normal part of your weekly food routine. Have fun seeing how much food you can save!

A final thought to keep in mind: by helping fight food waste, buying your fruit and veg loose is better for the planet – but it’s also better for you and your family! Not only does less food waste mean more money saved (which you can then spend on other things), but it also gives you more freedom. Rather than putting up with the random selection in a pre-chosen bag, you get to choose the specific pieces of fruit and veg you want, giving you more control over quantity, size and variety. What’s not to love? 

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