Here's what our groceries look like this month. I shop once a week now, at the market (click here for my Paris market guide), returning rubber bands to the stalls and putting produce directly in my own bags. Not eating cheese or meat, and choosing fresh nuts instead of bulk, simplifies zero-waste shopping. I haven't had the experience others describe, where French people accept cloth bags and reusable containers without question. It's a struggle. I could go to one stand for months before they finally stop arguing with me. "Le sac, c'est trop petit," argued one man, who weighed my produce only days before and saw that in fact, it was not too small, it was significantly larger than the tiny "biodegradable" ones he wanted to use. Everyone is so accustomed to paper bags, one woman told me she saves and reuses them for years. "This was much easier in America," she said. Nevertheless, I saw one au pair at the market, pushing a stroller with a little girl beside her, carrying fresh almonds in the baby's hat. "We weren't supposed to stop here," the au pair explained. "But they wanted a snack."
To prevent produce from wilting in the fridge, click here for a zero-waste food storage guide. In the late spring / early summer, on average, I buy about twelve kilos produce. It costs 30-40 euro tops- Sunday, I spent 28 euro. Monthly, we buy 750mL olive oil, chia / hemp seeds, a coconut and lots of nuts. In the jars are homemade mustard, coconut cream, curry pastes, amlou left from Morocco, and tamarind juice. We don't eat out much- I cook veggies with a little olive oil, chili, garlic and lemon juice, and my husband asks for seconds every time. He's not even eating meat at home anymore!