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.
Here are some ways I’m reducing waste in our home.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. 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.
- Cardboard and Newspaper—go into the bed boxes for a lasagna type gardening method. Eventually, breaking down into a mulch for the garden.
- 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.
(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