You may or may not have already noticed from my new (second) instagram account: JessEatsEthically, that I’ve made a bit of a lifestyle change recently. I’ve decided that I really want to try and eat products from ethical sources, as well as organic products. I want to be an ethical consumer in all parts of my life. I’ve started becoming more conscious when it comes to recycling and it really annoys me how much packaging supermarkets package their food in! This naturally led me to try and see if I could shop ethically and organically for less, which as you can see from the title, is possible.
There’s a lot of stigma about being an ethical consumer, that it’s expensive and requires a lot of extra thought. I’m not going to lie, until more people start buying more ethical brands, the price is going to be higher due to less demand. If the brands soon realise more people are buying their products, the price should decrease. I was quite surprised however, that my shop from two separate stores (Natural Collection and Ocado) came to £55.74! That’s less than we normally shop!
I’ve done the hard work for you and have collated a meal plan for two people for five days. If you see below, I’ve assumed that you already have some kitchen cupboard staples. It’s only normal for me to have quite a few of the ingredients to hand which obviously lessens the price. Once you build up these kitchen staples, you’ll save money in the future too.
Also, reviews to come on certain products! Let me know in the comments which you’d like to know more about!
*The following post contains some affiliate links. If you click through to any of the websites and purchase something, I get a commission from the sale at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your continuous support.
Kitchen Cupboard/Fridge Staples
- Plain Flour
- Dried Yeast
- Granola or any cereal
- Olive oil
- Chicken breasts (in freezer)
- Ras el Hanout spice (Maybe that’s just me!)
- Pine nuts
- Coconut milk
- Mustard seeds
I have also included a simple recipe below for the time being, however I may end writing some of the recipes up on my Jess Eats and Travels blog, so perhaps keep this bookmarked for when I do!
Granola with yoghurt and banana (I’ve been using *Nutribrex lately)
Coffee with milk
Mackerel salad – Mix lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and red onion together with some olive oil, salt and lemon juice before topping with the tinned mackerel (This will definitely be up on my Jess Eats and Travels site next week)
Salad with leftover salad items – be as creative as you like!
Baked beans on toast with grated cheese
Any leftovers from the night before – this is always an option if you have leftovers. Better to not throw them away!
Wild Apricot Geo Bar – There’s five in the box so they should last you all week.
1. Pizza margarita & pizza tonno e cipolle (tuna and onion) – Make two pizza bases: BBC Good Food has a basic pizza dough recipe, although I will have one going up on my blog on the weekend if you want to wait. Spread the passata and sprinkle chunks of mozzarella on both. On one, add tuna (sustainable of course!) and sliced red onion. Cook in the oven at 180c until golden brown (about 10 minutes). Top the cheese and tomato one with the fresh basil.
2. Pasta with sardines, chilli and lemon – Cook spaghetti until al dente, drain and toss in olive oil. Fry chilli and garlic, add sardines and lemon juice and zest. Fry 1 minute. Mix through pasta with pine nuts and basil.
3. Chicken and red pepper traybake – Place, chicken, peppers, onions, garlic and rosemary (or any herb) on a tray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and mix in tbsp olive oil. Roast for 35 mins on 180 degree fan until chicken is cooked through and peppers are caramelised.
4. Broccoli, aubergine & halloumi traybake – Place broccoli florets, aubergine cubed, red onion quartered on a tray. Mix in tbsp olive with tbsp ras el hanout (or any spice you have). Place sliced halloumi on top with a handful of pine nuts. Bake at 180 fan for 30 mins. Dress with chopped mint.
5. Creamy potato curry – Par-boil four potatoes, cubed. Fry chopped onion until soft, add half chopped chilli, grated tbsp fresh ginger, tsp poppy seeds, tsp of mustard seeds and two curry leaves. Fry 1 minute. Add two tomatoes, quartered. Fry until soft. Add potatoes and mix in. Add in can of coconut milk and leave to cook for 15 minutes.
Some extra bits that I bought (obviously your shop will be less if you don’t buy these, or you substitute them for any of the staples you don’t have)
Aluminium foil (100% recycled)
Health and Beauty
Natural Collection Shopping List
*Method Designed for Good Gel Hand Soap, Mimosa Sun, 354ml – £2.50 (I LOVE Method products)
*Friendly Soap Natural Shampoo Bar – Lavender and Teatree, 95g – £2.60 (equivalent of three bottles of conventional shampoo bottles!)
*Suma Organic Passata, 690g, pack of two – £3.50 (you only need one but at least you’ll have one spare!)
Online shop from Natural Collection total: £27.22
Ocado Shopping List
*Ocado British Growing Basil – £1.25 (You can keep this growing to use again)
Waitrose Duchy Organic Aubergine – £1.50
Waitrose Duchy Organic Potatoes, 1.5kg – £1.76 (Currently on sale from £2.35)
*Bart Curry Leaves – £1.99
Waitrose Poppy Seeds – 90p
Villa Organic Mozzarella, 125g – £2.09
Waitrose Duchy Organic Peppers, two per pack x 2 – £4 (£2 each)
Ocado shop for fresh ingredients total: £28.52
Grand Total: £55.74
So there we have it, a full-on shop for 5 days that’s all pretty much ethical and organic! Below I’ve written a few pieces of advice on how to be more mindful when eating and consuming. Please don’t take this as me preaching; these are all pieces of advice I’m trying to implement in my life and remember, nobody is perfect!
How to be more mindful when consuming
- Always use up leftovers. These will always come in handy for lunches the next day, saving you money.
- Lessen your meat intake. We’ve decided to try and limit it to twice a week. Veggies are always cheaper!
- Make a shopping list or meal plan so you don’t go crazy at the supermarket and pick up needless items.
- Make treats a weekend only thing (see below).
- Bake your own treats so 1. you’ll enjoy it more and 2. it’ll be more effort so you’ll do it less.
- Try not to buy tons of crisps and chocolate bars. Remember, if it’s in the house it’ll only be consumed. Out of house, out of mind!
- Take the bus to your local green grocer as much as you can. You’re likely to make some savings from not using any fuel to drive there yourself and sometimes you find there’s some good deals going on! Plus they’re less likely to use as much packaging.
Do let me know your thoughts on this post and any way I can make it better next time! Anything you’d like to see?
PIN ME! PLEASE?