With the high cost of everything these days, people are learning to be more frugal. In being frugal, you are also very often helping the environment. This is never more evident than when you do your grocery shopping. Here are a few frugal and simple things you can do to save money and the environment:
Make a List
Writing out what you are going to cook and your grocery list is one way to avoid going to the grocery store over and over again. Make use of meal planning. Create menus a week or two in advance so that you can buy everything that you need in one pass. How many of us go to the grocery store for a few things and end up running back again and again because we forgot something? If that sounds like you, it’s time to get organized. Having a list and a plan will not only save you money, but time and gas running back and forth.
Buy in Bulk
This works for things like meat, cheese, canned goods, and frozen vegetables. The bigger the package, the less you pay per pound. You can wrap meal size portions of meat, cheese, and vegetables and store in the fridge or freezer. Date your frozen items so you can rotate them and use them up before getting freezer burned. If you use a lot of canned diced tomatoes, for instance, that would be one item you would want to buy at a big warehouse style store by the case.
Visit a Butcher Shop
The butcher will cut up meat for you in the sizes that you need, eliminating waste. Also, butchers use paper to wrap their meat. It is easier to recycle than plastic or Styrofoam trays that you get with your meat from the grocery store. Make friends with your butcher and you’ll learn what cuts to buy to get the most meat for your money. You’ll also be privy to specials. Don’t forget to ask your butcher about soup bones. This is a personal service you probably won’t get from any big grocery store.
Use Reusable Shopping Bags
These simple cloth bags are cheap, roomy, easy to carry, and are handy. Just keep a couple in your car, along with an insulated freezer bag or cooler, and you’ll get your food home from the grocery store safely, economically, and environmentally friendly. The more plastic bags that grocery stores hand out the more they have to buy, which trickles down to you, the consumer, in prices. The environmental impact of plastic bags is horrible; they simply do not recycle well, if at all.
Discover the Beauty of Leftovers
Each year, families waste tons and tons of food because it’s simply thrown out. No one wants to eat the same thing over and over again. That’s why you have to be creative. Granted, some dishes like spaghetti and chili are better the second time around, so you don’t mind eating it again the next day or a few days later. But, other dishes need to be re-created to be palatable. A beef pot roast with potatoes, onions, and carrots is good the first night, but please, no re-runs. Instead, take the beef the next night, shred it and turn it into beef enchiladas with some spicy tomato sauce and cheese. Totally different meals using the same beef – that’s the way to get your family to eat leftovers.
Buy Reusable Water Bottles
We waste millions of dollars on bottled water each year. That’s not to mention the resources used to create those plastic bottles, or the horror of the plastic bottles that end up in the landfills, lakes, streams, and oceans. An easy to use kitchen tap water filter and stainless or BPA-free reusable bottles eliminate this resource wasting and environmentally damaging nightmare.
Are your grocery shopping habits wasting money and harming the environment? Are you being as green as you can be? Take these simple steps to help you change your habits and create a more environmentally friendly household, and world!
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