Frugal Family

Weigh-And-Save Future

Scrolling through social media, my feed is full of people realising just how full of rubbish our planet is becoming. Suddenly the population of Great Britain (and of course the rest of the world) are very much aware of the impact that our modern way of living is having on Earth. I see friends having a go at living a zero-waste lifestyle, celebrities are now preaching to their fans to make a change and social media is full of viral video’s pleading for you to make a conscious effort of how viewers can make a difference.

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We know that our landfills are filling up at an astonishing rate and our oceans are littered with plastics. Wildlife and sea creatures are dying, pollutants are affecting our ecosystems. The Earths population is rapidly rising, and with more people comes more waste. My biggest gripe is with our British supermarkets. Everything we buy comes from a packet. We decided 2 years ago to attempt to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle. We moved house to gain a bigger garden and grow more of our own food. We decided that if we did purchase from supermarkets that it would be reduced food that lands in our trolly. This was to reduce our spending and reduce food wastage created by the supermarkets.

But, why are we obsessed with wrapping food with plastic? Is it really needed?

I dream of a future where we no longer buy food wrapped in plastic. I would love to see the Great British greengrocer back in town, but reality has shown that these kinds of independent shops just cannot compete with the high street supermarkets. I don’t blame people for shopping all in one place. Life is expensive, fast and stressful in 21st century Britain. Aldi offers good quality vegetables for 29p. Sometimes I cannot even buy reduced vegetables at 29p! I want to see the return of the classic Weigh-And-Save style shops, where we can all buy what we can afford, waste less and say “no” to pesky plastics.

Why shop at a Weigh-And-Save?

Imagine the good-old-days. We have seen in the history books, or museums how our relatives would have popped to the local store in town and chosen food from big jars behind the counter. Their goods were weighed and placed in paper bags. Everything was bought as and when they needed it. The first and second World Wars meant that food was in shortage, materials had to be used for the war effort. They didn’t have the luxury of buying goods because the item was on a BOGOF offer, or chucking their left-overs because they already knew what was for tomorrow’s dinner.

At Milton Keynes Museum the kids discovered the Old Fashioned weigh-and-save sweet shop!
  • You only buy what you need. If you only need 5 spuds for dinner, then you buy 5. You don’t buy a bag of 10, and waste the other 5 because you don’t eat that many potatoes. No need to waste 10 and let them turn to sludge in your cupboard.
  • You only buy what you can afford. Many people in Britain are living in poverty. Some families cannot afford to buy a big box of laundry powder. They may only have £1 to spend on detergents. They could pop to a Weigh-And-Save and buy £1’s worth of powder. It will last them a few washes until they have the money to afford more- instead of going without completely.
  • Any kind of packaging has an environmental impact- even paper and cardboard packaging. Recycling these items also has an impact on our plant and resources. Taking your own bags when shopping for loose items is allowed! You don’t have to use those flimsy little bags for your loose veg.  Buying from a weigh-and-save shop would encourage you to take your own jars and bags to reuse and reuse again!

Would you like to see more Weigh-And-Save style shops on our high street? Let me know in the comments below. I know that if my local town had one I would certainly use it! Check out this list from The Zero Waster to find out where your local zero-waste shop is!


Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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  1. Absolutely! It makes sense and seems like everyone is a winner too 🙂

  2. I love the idea of this- what a great way of working towards less waste I would love to see more weigh and save style shops.

  3. Makes complete sense. Most of our fruit and veg here in Sweden is self weighing and not prepackaged.

  4. I’d definitely use one if there was one local to us – unfortunately our area has been taken over by big chains. Plastic wrapping on food is one of my biggest bugbears – I hate the waste.

  5. I’m trying my best to reduce packaging. But plastic packaging is everywhere. However, here in Portugal they seem to recycle more packaging than in the UK, so I’m feeling a little less guilty.

  6. The pre-packed veg and amount of wastage in supermarkets drives me mad! It’s shocking, especially when we all know what a state the planet is in. I always buy loose products when I can and often the veg does not need to go in a bag, but I so wish more shops would have paper bags rather than plastic, or maybe even give incentives for bringing your own storage, similar to coffee shops giving a discount for using your own takeaway cup.

  7. I love the buying only what you need but most of us like to buy in bulk so it would be a transition indeed. Cool tips though

  8. I have never heard of Weigh and Save stores before. It makes perfect sense. Hope we have more stores like this so people can buy just what they need.

  9. I have never come across a weigh n save type shop before, they do sound like a good idea. We used to have a fruit shop in our village and it was so handy for just popping in and buying one apple on the way to the park for my son etc, now it has shut I end up buying fruit pots from the spar which come in plastic wrappers, such a waste x

  10. I much prefer shopping at a greengrocers that use paper bags than a supermarket with all its plastic. Weigh and save looks great

  11. I think it’s a great idea and would definitely use shops like this. I try to be as eco friendly as possible x

  12. Since doing my meal planning we have saved on so much waste. We try and buy only whatever need for each receipe.

  13. Carla@ouramanahsourfutures says:

    Thanks for including our quote! I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for doing such a great job of makimg our mother Earth a bit cleaner

  14. Marion Sweet says:

    We had a one of these stores until 2yrs ago and it closed. I have no idea what exactly happened, but I shopped there on a regular basis. It is a big miss in our town.
    I live in Blyth Northumberland.

    1. We regularly visit Newcastle, and there is a fab weigh-and-save in the indoor market. We always stock up when visiting 🙂

  15. We used to have a weigh and save in town, but they shut down when the shopping precinct was being renovated and never bothered opening up anywhere else again
    As I’d love to have one local again

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