How much does it cost? Week 2


That’s not a zucchini … THIS is a zucchini 😉 Homegrown goodness!

Finally I have time to write about week 2 of the “as organic as possible, waste-free grocery shopping” experiment.

As mentioned in week 1, some people are concerned that waste free = expensive. Buying organic also costs more than normal produce, so I’m going to do a little experiment to see how much I spend each week on groceries. This unfortunately not unfortunately will be hindered by the fact we’re on holidays from 21 August, but hey, it’s still worth doing the sums.

I forgot to check the garden recently, and discovered the monster zucchini above. It made dinner for two nights. A delicious, simple pasta with grated zucchini, anchovies, roasted pine nuts, a fair whack of garlic and chilli flakes. So that meant I didn’t have to buy as much! And our neighbour gave us a small bowl of cherry tomatoes from his garden. I gave him … guess what? … a zucchini!

From week 1, I used up everything except all the olives. So I have them for week 2. I stupidly didn’t get around to eating all the pineapple before it started to turn (it was expensive!) and have chastised myself enough to know that waste won’t be happening again! As expected, we spent an extra 20 Francs at the grocery store, but what wasn’t expected was spending 21.50 Francs at another bio farm a few days after the initial grocery shop. But we ate well, again … too well really.

Once again, I shopped at the markets in the centre of Bern. I know they’re more expensive, but they’re convenient for me to walk to in my lunch break every Thursday. So here we go – week 2. All prices are in Swiss Francs (CHF).

11 August – second shop:

8.50  1 tub of blueberries (in my own tub. He said he couldn’t use the tub again, which was disappointing. The non-organic stall at the markets use their tubs again when I give it back. Maybe they’re lying to me?!)
1.45 2 bananas (without stickers yay!)
2.50 1 bunch radishes
3.05 1 iceberg lettuce
0.90 2 carrots
2.80 1 bunch spring onions
3.15 1 large beef-heart tomato


1.50 1 pink grapefruit
3.00 potatoes


13.52 1 fresh buffalo mozzarella
7.43 2 small churizo sausages
9.70 200g fresh pasta with lemon and spinach
12.00 215g fresh parmesan cheese


2.20 apricot danish
medium grainy loaf
1.95 small white loaf



Expenses still to come:

00.00 No trip to the butcher this week again, because our old nextdoor neighbours came to our house on Saturday with meat to cook on our barbecue.
20.00 estimate of additional items, which includes milk, bacon, yoghurt, juice and cheese which Leo bought.


95.15 estimated cost for two people for week 1.

A BIT BETTER! These items were mainly for breakfasts and dinners. The challenge is set to lower this total for next time, but I’m not about to make this a test/struggle to have the cheapest food shop ever – it’s an experiment.

Do you have a set budget for groceries each week? Do you budget for food at all? Do you buy what you feel like on the spur of the moment or do you plan ahead? It would be great to hear how you shop, so please leave a comment below.

(As an aside, all non-hard rubbish in Bern is incinerated. I’ll be doing a story about that in the future. Even if it doesn’t get buried, we still need to reduce how much goes up in smoke.)

On another low waste theme, Leo was a clever clogs again and cooked a fantastic tortilla with the potatoes, bacon and spring onion on Sunday …


Another great meal for Sunday, which was also dinner on Monday

Wishing you a wonderful, waste-free day!

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