Google+ The Nostalgic Nightingale: Going Green 2014 - Day 7

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Going Green 2014 - Day 7

Living a more eco-friendly lifestyle entails much more than simply recycling paper and aluminum; it also includes reducing and reusing products that are already in the home. This post takes a closer look at purchasing groceries in bulk rather than convenient one time use packages and bulk food storage container options.

As those close to me can tell you, I love shopping with coupons. There's nothing quite like having enough groceries and household goods to last for at least three months while only spending about 75% of retail price. And there's nothing quite like the mess of product packaging produced from those coupon purchases. Just to give you guys an idea: It's just DH and me and our two pets, yet we have on average three 13 gallon bags of waste everyday due to product packaging and "disposable" wares. Not only does DH absolutely despise taking out the trash in the cold weather, but it's a huge negative impact on our environment. So to save not only our sanity but also Mother Nature, we have decided to start purchasing our groceries in bulk. Not only will this save us on our grocery bill, but also gasoline bill and wear on the car as we no longer have to go shopping daily. Instead we have a wonderful store, Sprout's Farmers Market, not too far from us that we can go to every two week to bulk shop as well as use coupons on the name brand health foods and groceries. Why every two weeks? Well that's because on Wednesday's the store runs a "double advertisement" special where the store ad from last week and this week are both valid for one day only. Pretty cool, right? While this store may seem to be a one stop shop, DH and I also enjoy shopping at our local farmer's market the first Saturday of every month. The local farmer's market has a lot of choices as far as groceries are concerned; with breads, jerkies, pastries, nut butters, honey, flours, and much more, however most vendors at our farmer's market take cash or debit card only so we really have to budget for those trips. By shopping at these two locations alone, we are able to swap out many of our one time use packaged goods for the more economical bulk option.
Check out the list below to see all the different types of food products available to my family locally (meaning "in store") in bulk purchases.

And of course there are the different varieties of sugar, flour, rice, etc but I decided against listing them as such specific inventory may not always be available. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that when bulk purchasing, you don't have to purchase a large quantity at one time. In fact, I only buy enough snacks, fruits, milk, bread, etc to last us until our next shopping trip; no more food falling out of cupboards or the "where am I gonna put this?" after each trip!

After purchasing groceries in bulk, they need to to be stored away properly. Improper storage could result in some rather unpleasant inedible outcomes, wasting your money and time. Below is a small table of my favorite/non favorite bulk food storage options. 

I favor the easier to clean and reuse containers even if it means a little monetary investing because I don't see the sense in spending money on products you literally use once or maybe a few times then toss in the waste bin. Also while most plastics can be reused and/or recycled, we as a family decided to purge plastic from our lives so the glass and metal options are more suitable for our lifestyle.

As for today's challenge: Take a look in the kitchen and write down as little as five staples or most used grocery items, then find a store near you that offers these products in bulk. The next time you run out of that staple, purchase it in bulk!

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