shopping trolley

Action: Shop on a full stomach

This is a trick for reducing food waste, packaging waste and shopping bills all in one

We’ve all done it – bought a few extra items, fallen for a multi-buy offer, or treated ourselves to an unhealthy snack – all because we are hungry when we are doing the weekly shop.

You can actually make a massive difference to your shopping habits just by avoiding a shop whilst you are hungry. Plan your shopping days with this in mind – it really can make a significant different to your environmental impact.

Why does it make a difference?

Shoppers who are hungry tend to buy more food and more high-calorie products. Some research (e.g. Wansink, Cornell) has shown, for example, that people who go shopping between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. (after lunch, when people are less likely to be hungry) buy more low calorie items on average than those who shop between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

By shopping after you have eaten you are:

  • more likely to make healthier food choices
  • less likely to fall for multi-pack offerings and point-of-sale treats
  • more likely to stick to your shopping list and meal plan
  • less likely to make impulse buys

The environmental and other benefits

The main environmental benefit of getting into the habit of shopping when you are not hungry is an overall reduction in food waste, because you are less likely to overstock your cupboards and fridge or buy larger portions.

Plastic bottles

This is really important; food waste is a growing problem with some agencies suggesting that enough food is wasted in western developed countries to more than feed all the hungry people on our planet. This is not ethical or sustainable, and also contributes significantly to our two major practical environmental problems – climate change and plastic pollution.

Please take action to avoid shopping when you are hungry. By doing this you will:

  • reduce the amount of food you waste
  • save the carbon emissions associated with producing and transporting unused food
  • reduce the use of plastic packaging on convenience and snack foods
  • be more likely to make healthier food choices
  • save money on your shopping bills
  • are less likely to get stressed (“hangry”) when shopping

According to this article based on research by HelloFresh, unnecessary spending when hungry can add 20% to your shopping bill.

That’s definitely enough to make this action worth thinking about even without the environmental benefits!

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top