Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Buying Meat Zero Waste

When it comes to Zero Waste shopping, the biggest worry that I had was with meat.  Am I going to be able to bring my jars into the shop? Will the butchers trust my containers enough to eradicate any health and safety worries that they might have? I made the decision to eat less but more quality meat so I was looking for a butcher who would be happy to sell me produce zero waste. 

Beeches of Walkley is a well know butchers in Sheffield, renowned for a really good quality meat, often sourced locally. I went in, asked for my meat to be filled in my jars and the rest is history! 

People often think that meat from the butchers is more expensive. That is not always the case! The lamb mince in the jar on the left was £6 per kg. If you buy fresh lamb mince from Sainsbury's, it is currently 8.50kg. Not only you are supporting local business and so keeping the money in your local community, it is actually cheaper!

They also stock a lot of freezer foods in bulk like cookie dough, beans, peas, hash browns and more. I am so excited to add to my zero waste food repertoire. 

How to buy your meat in bulk : 

1. Sterilise the jars beforehand. You can either put them through a hot cycle in the dishwasher or pour hot water over them.

2. Butchers are never self-service so I just hand my jars over, Chris weights the jars, tares the weight and just works out the cost. It helps if you write the tare of the jar at the top with a permanent marker. 

3. Just in case that you need to work out the maths here is how you do it. 

For example

Jar weight 250g
Total weight of the jar and meat - 750 grams
Price per kilogram - £6.50

Subtract the weight of the jar from the total. To convert it to kg, the formula is -

 Multiple it with price per kg = 0.5 x 6.50= £3.25 total

So far all of the local businesses that I have approached with Zero Waste shopping in Sheffield have been really supportive. For some of them, it is the first time (hopefully not for long) that they had a request like this, but were more than happy to ask me questions.  This is one of those things I love about shopping small. You get to know the people that are the backbone of your community who are proud of their work.  They work hard because they are passionate about what they do and not just for the company's self-imposed targets. Sorry supermarkets, you just can't compete with that.



  1. While I applaud your attempts to avoid plastic by visiting independent traders, which some of us less trendy types have been doing for years, I am curious to know what you plan to do with all those plastic tubs, ice cream cartons and Tupperware which you surely have. Wouldn't it be better to use those, not Kilner jars?

  2. Glass jars are more easily sterilized