Sunday, January 4, 2015

Thinking about Alternatives, Waste, Consumables and MYO


Re-use bags

Went grocery shopping this weekend.  Is it just me,  or is this a MUCH dreaded chore?

Actually, went around 8 PM on Saturday—and whoa! best time to shop-EVER!  Hardly anyone was there.  They were all at Wal-mart… I know because we went there first!  It was so crowded, and the lines were long and only 5 lanes opened.

I’m limiting how much we spend on groceries.  Only buying the basics.  I’m also hoping to build a list of MYO products in order to keep from buying so many different items—a lot of MAKE YOUR OWN  products can be made with basic staples if you have them on hand, eliminating the need to purchase READY MADE and then have the packaging to fiddle with or recycle. 

After cleaning  out the pantry on Friday, and consolidating certain items, putting some into jars and eliminating the packaging, it made me realize how much waste we have from groceries!  I’m not talking about food waste… just the packaging. Some items can be recycled—but we don’t even have a recycle truck that runs out here. We have to wash, sort, and deliver.  I’m not even sure where the closest recycle center is, except for aluminum and metal.  I know we can take paper, magazines and the like to a drop box near the high-school in the next town. But GLASS AND PLASTIC—I have to be creative with those.  Usually, they get repurposed—after that.  I just don’t know.

Pantry Sweep Empties

Here are some ways I’m reducing waste in our home.

  1. Don’t bring it into the home:   January 1st in the Dallas Metro-plex; they began charging for plastic grocery bags.  First they charge the business a surcharge for using them, then the business passes the burden onto the patron.  If you so choose to use “plastic”  for your groceries, you’ll have to pay per bag.  This is not being done here where I live, in our County—but I’ve seen on the news and it does make you aware.  So, I’ve been gathering Re-Use bags.  I have 5 (PICTURED ABOVE) that I’ve used the last 2 times to the grocery—OUR grocery gives a NICKLE credit for each bag I bring with me—so I save .25¢ YAY!
    1. Only buy products with the least amount of packaging materials.  I buy loose tea bags, instead of bags with paper wrappers around each bag plus a paper tag attached.  Once we’ve used them…they go right to the compost.  I’ve tried to eliminate tin cans as much as possible by purchasing dried beans instead of canned beans.  ( I recently found a recipe for Ranch Style Beans—I’m going to give a try and tell you the results later) We also try to grow as many vegetables as we can—eliminating the tin cans. 
    2. Try to repurpose if possible: If I have a choice, I’ll go with a glass jar, rather than tin can.  Glass jar can be re-used for storage, or GIFTS IN A JAR, crafts, paints etc.   I’m making a conscientious effort to buy some plastic jars too, they can be used to freeze things rather than bags. I can also get some mileage out of them that way.
  3. Using the Waste as a BONAFIDE RESOURCE:   For example—some cereal comes packaged in a box with an inner wax bag.  Those wax bags get used this week for quick freezing my meat on a cookie sheet. After pouring the cereal out… shake out the crumbs, open the bag, wipe clean and line a cookie sheet; next lay the meat- chicken, pork, beef, etc out on the cookie sheet cover with more wax paper, aluminum foil, etc freeze.  Once they’re frozen pop them into a bag for IQF portions.  When you are ready to cook, just remove what you need close the bag back up and return to the freezer.   I do this same ‘cookie sheet’ method with chopped onions, peppers, etc—once they’re frozen, I pop them into jars and put in the freezer.  This will be what the plastic jars are for.
    1. Another form of waste as a resource—I mentioned tea bags going into the compost.  Coffee grounds can go into the compost too. For us, the coffee grounds are saved along with the filter during the winter months—I roll them up and make fire starters with them. six fire logs2 COFFEE-LOGS  I add a little bit of dryer lint (which my daughters save for me) and some wax and roll them like a little burrito and they make a free and easy fire starter for the wood stove.  I used one this morning.
    2. Cardboard and Newspaper—go into the bed boxes for a lasagna type gardening method.  Eventually, breaking down into a mulch for the garden.
  4. MAKE YOUR OWN:  I mentioned MYO recipes.  There are other things you can make Instead of buying consumable items.  You can MYO—grocery bags, veggie totes. Rather than paper towels you can make cloth napkins—we’ve done this for years!  MYO swiffer dust mop pads, using old towels, or crochet them. You can also MYO Fem.products.

FemMe pads

(which I do, but have never written a post about)  There are actually, patterns online with methods for making, washing and traveling/storing them. 

These are just a few ideas—I’m sure you can think of other ways to LIMIT  waste in and around your home. I think too, that limiting the consumables—also helps to save pennies too. In the interest of WASTE, to some this may seem like a waste of time.  I don’t think so.

Making trips to the recycle center uses gas.Paying to have it hauled away isn’t any cheaper.  MYO products keeps money in your pocket that you’d otherwise, be throwing away.If you can find a way to make something that would otherwise be purchased, then why not?   Have you purchased fire-starters lately?  They’re expensive.

I’d be interested in hearing what YOUR THOUGHTS ARE on consumables and waste—the residual tin can.


‘Til next time, Be Blessed~



Do not grow weary in well doing for in due season you will reap if you faint not.”  Galatians 6:9


Unknown said...

Such an interesting post. I'd like to buy frozen veggies to eliminate cans as much as I can and I can use small amounts and put back in freezer. You are so right about the packaging and so much. I try to buy bulk. You have some great solutions. Thanks. Oh I used to have a paper roller and made firestarters with tight rolled newspaper. I also took sawdust from woodshop and mixed with wax in paper cups.

Rhonda said...

I live in a midsize town and we now have 2 trash cans that the city comes by and empties. One is for trash and other is for recycles. Most of our neighbors do not use their recycle can but we do. I don't know where you are planning on moving but you might check first if your new home has this kind of sanitation service

nszookeeper said...

The wax bags you get in cereal make great rolling out sheets for bread doughs, cookies, etc. as well. If you buy bacon and have the flexible harder plastic piece in it, clean it well of course, makes a handy chopping sheet, can be cut and used for stenciling, etc. Even foam meat trays can be scrubbed and used to make shrinky dink type of decorations. These are just some of the reuse ideas we have used over the years. As far as MYO (Make you own mixes) I have had and used for more than 20 years the Make a Mix I, Make a Mix II, and Make your own Groceries cookbooks. There is a combined newer Make a Mix cookbook as well in the book stores.

nszookeeper said...

I forgot as far as the tin cans go we clean and save those as well. There are many uses for them. Fill them with water and freeze them- then use nails and hammer to decorate with a design, let them thaw and draw- paint them. This make more stable luminaries and inside/outside decorations you can place a candle in safely. Make new candles by placing stubs in the lower portion of the can without any holes punched in the area and melt in low oven or in pan of water on the stove- add a wick, safer to use during power outage (at least here). Decorate the cans, mixing differing sizes, by painting, covering with fabric, etc. and screw them into a piece of scrap wood from the bottom to create organizers for the bathroom, kitchen, sewing room, etc. I do usually a scrap piece of fleece in the bottom to cut down on noise, but that is just me.

A Daughter of the King said...

I am so happy that I'm not alone in my quest to reduce trash and waste. We have reduced our trash to 1/2 of a bag per week. The thing that is the hardest to eliminate is plastic storage bags (lunch bags, gallon sized freezer bags, etc.) and plastic packaging. We're blessed with recycling. I've been tempted to inspect the end of the line for the recycling to "see" what actually happens to the items I toss into that can. Good Job, Patricia. Inspiring as always.

My Repurposed Life said...

I don't MYO products, but I do recycle, reuse and repurpose anything I can. :)

I DREAD the grocery shopping. I only go when I have to (today) because I have to pick up my RX and 2 for Louie, plus Cat Food.... it's going to be a very expensive shopping day for me.
I got a $100 gift card from Home Depot for Christmas, so I plan to use that on some storage options to help me bust the clutter!
Oh, our garbage service includes recycling for a reasonable cost, and the green can fills up MUCH faster than the garbage can. It makes you realize how much one can send off to the landfill that isn't necessary. :(

great post Patricia!

Sunny Simple Life said...

They pick up our recycling which is nice but of course it costs us.

Shug said...

I could use some good lessons in this area. I must admit, I'm not super good at recycling. My husband does a great job at it and I leave a lot of that up to him. You posted some things that I need to ponder on....I need to step up to the plate and do a better job. Thanks for posting and opening my eyes a bit...

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

We are lucky that we have two recycling places that are nearby, at least near where we would have to drive to shop. That being said I prefer the cans to plastic packaging since I don't have trash pickup and would have to burn the plastic since the recycle center does not take plastic packaging. The only thing I have problems with are the lids.