Smart Shopping

Smart Shopping

As we look at ways to reduce our waste and even our recycling, simple changes in our shopping habits could make a big difference.  The great part is that by reducing waste, we could also save money. 

Grocery shopping is a drain on everyone's pocket book, but we all have to eat.  We have all experienced having to clean out the refrigerator and finding fruit and vegetables that have been hidden in the back and been forgotten.  The food that we throw away because it spoiled before we can use it can be as much as 25% of our grocery expense.  One strategy to avoid this waste is to make a meal plan and use that plan to create your shopping list.  Another idea is to shop more often, buy less, but use what you buy.  With less time between trips, you are more likely to remember what is in that bottom drawer in the fridge.  If these don't work and you still find items reaching the edge of usefulness, choose a day or 2 each week to explore your refrigerator.  If you find things that you don't think you will use in time, you can preserve them to use later.  For many things, freezing it to cook with other items later is a great option. 

Take your reusable bags with you to the grocery store and the mall.  Many people have developed the habit of taking their reusable bags to the grocery store.  Have you ever thought to take one with you when you go to the mall or shopping centre?  I promise that the stores won't mind tucking that small item in your bag. 

When you look into your garbage or recycling, do you see single use beverage cups?  Take a reusable coffee mug and water bottle with you in your vehicle or bag.  You can even stash one of each in your reusable shopping bags in your car or truck.  It is an easy change that can also save you money.  Some coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own mug. 

Focus on quality, not quantity.  We live in an age of convenience.  People are drawn to that multi-pack, throw away option when they shop.  We also gravitate to the local dollar store.  If we actually buy items that are quality products, it will last longer and it could be years before you need a second one.  Over time, this could also save you money. 

These are just a few suggestions that you can try to reduce the waste and even the recycling you create at home.  Take these new ideas and make them your new daily routine.