Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shopping ECO friendly and saving money!

My grocery shopping day is finally over. My first stop was Costco. All I could think was, I would rather be on Etsy. It was crazy busy. They keep talking about a recession in our country, well I do not want to go to Costco when we are not in one. With it being SO busy, and trying to shop with 3 kids at my side, I really paid attention to prices. I even wrote some of them down. After which I went to the traditional grocery store. My savings...just not worth it. I also used to go to Costco as an eco friendly option. With the idea if I buy bulk, there would be less packaging. Over the years though, I have seen these major warehouse store cator more and more to the resident rather than the business. Therefore, creating even more packaging than if you buy it at a regular grocery store. For example, bread. I can go to a traditional grocery store and buy 2 loaves of bread individually. However at the warehouse store I am buying the same 2 loaves of bread and being forced to put both loaves together in a larger bag. Frozen pizzas are another example. I can go to a traditional grocery store and buy 3 frozen pizzas individually. However at the warehouse, you buy 3 of the same pizzas, and they have an extra box around them. I am sure this extra packaging is costing the producer a lot, and therefor the consumer is paying for it.

On the other had if you want to save a TON, go to the bulk section at a traditional grocery store. (This would be the serve yourself bins) Most commonly filled with beans, rice, snack foods, and granola. The size and selection will depend on the grocery store. It can be quite surprising if you have never compared the prices. This also goes to prove how much, we as humans pay for our pretty packaging. The fun part of this section is finding your own containers to put the stuff in when you get home. Of course you can always use the plastic bags you bought it in. For any of you that would love to go the extra mile and not even use those plastic bags, you can check out these from Ficklefaerie

These bags are on my shopping list because I take advantage of the bulk section quite often.

Another bulk option that more grocery stores are offering is bulk peanut butter and bulk honey. Whole Foods have offered this for a long time. I refill my plastic container when ever I need more honey. At home I put it into a old katsup container. You know, the ones that are stored upside down, and have the little no spill hole. It's the EXACT same thing as many of the off the counter honey jars have. Therefore I can buy an ENDLESS amount of honey/agave and never have to buy more plastic than my first bottle. This also allows the farmers to have a much lower overhead! As for peanut butter, you can reuse the plastic containers as well. Even if you don't want to do that, I promise you fresh ground peanut butter is better than any other peanut butter. No added oils, no added sweeteners and taste better.

An extra purchase that was made at Costco was Snap containers that are made out of glass.

I love these things because you can put soup or anything in them and they do not leak. However, when I bought them a few years ago, they only came in plastic. When I saw them at Costco, I debated whether or not I could get something equivalent on Etsy, and I decided I could not. There are plenty of handmade and vintage bowls. However the snapping feature of the lid was essential. So, I went ahead and bought them. They are also not local in anyway (made in Korea). However, there are no USA made companies that sell something with the features I am looking for. The money saving they will accomplish for to-go lunches/left overs/ect. will be well worth it. Also, if I use them as storage units for bulk purchased foods, the packaging I will save will far out way the carbon foot print of the overseas travels.

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