Plastic-Free Groceries On A Budget

inside my kitchen cabinet

Nothing is terribly revolutionary about my shopping habits, but the fact that plastic is often neglected from my grocery list means my habits have departed from the mainstream.  While trying to go plastic-free, we adjusted our weekly spending to $110, which includes groceries, toiletries, and dining.  We live on one income, so sticking to a budget is a must.  I often stock up on items such as toilet paper, flour, pasta sauce, and baking soda when they are on sale.  If you find it interesting to peek at my shopping list, then please do so.  Besides satisfying the curiosity of a few readers, I hope that one person, perhaps you, might be inspired to buy fewer items packaged in plastic.  I have a few more items to buy this week, such as orange juice, canola oil, and more produce, but the bulk of my shopping is done.

In Season Local Market

  • 1/2 Gal. Morning Fresh Dairy 2% milk ………………….$2.50
  • Apples a Plenty applesauce (Ela Family Farms) ……..$4.99

We still have delicious organic apples, pears, and red potatoes from last week’s shopping trip to In Season.

Safeway (only a couple of blocks from our house)

  • bulk donuts (Sunday morning treat)………………………$3.00
  • Lucerne cage-free eggs 1 dozen………………………………$3.29

Sunflower Farmer’s Market

  • 4 organic yams…………………………………………………….$3.28
  • 1 pair Maggie’s socks……………………………………………..$4.79
  • 1 pair reading glasses (plastic)……………………………….$11.99
  • 1.69 lb. organic gala apples…………………………………….$3.36
  • glass jar of organic Better than Bouillon………………….$5.99
  • organic celery……………………………………………………….$1.49
  • bulk: 1.49 lb. sesame sticks…………………………………….$2.97
  • bulk: .55 lb. peanut butter pretzels………………………….$2.19
  • bulk: 1.54 lb. maple pecan granola…………………………..$3.06
  • .57 lb. organic spring salad mix……………………………….$3.41
  • bulk: 1.23 lb. brown sugar………………………………………$2.20
  • approx. 1/2 lb. Muenster cheese (from the deli)……….$3.05
  • approx. 1/2 lb. chicken breast (from the deli)…………..$4.07
  • 1 gal. organic apple juice…………………………………………$5.99
  • 4 pork brats…………………………………………………………..$3.89

Highland’s Wine and Liquor

  • 6-pack Newcastle (Dan’s favorite)……………………………$8.99

From our garden at home

  • onions………………………………………………………………….$0.00
  • tomatoes……………………………………………………………….$0.00
  • basil……………………………………………………………………..$0.00

HUNI Farmer’s Market

We didn’t make it there this week because it was cold and rainy.  I still had a butternut squash, broccoli, and carrots from last week’s shopping.

Total spent so far (not including taxes)……………………………..$84.50 ($25.50 left in our budget for groceries and/or dining)

Weekly Menu

Each week, I make a menu along with my grocery list.  Sometimes we stick to the list exactly and sometimes we improvise.  We currently have pumpkin pie and pumpkin bars in the fridge for tasty treats and I do need to make or buy bread for the week.

  • butternut squash soup with buttered toast
  • baked sweet potatoes, corn, rice
  • grilled brats, salad
  • breakfast for dinner (might be whole wheat waffles or pancakes with fruit)
  • pasta (we always keep a stock of pasta sauce, some homemade)
  • free night (Dan will go out with friends after work one night and the kids and I will be happy to eat leftovers or sandwiches for dinner)
  • vegetable egg scramble (Dan made it recently with broccoli, red pepper, mushrooms, and onions topped with salsa….mmmmm!)

Bringing My Own Containers

  • bulk shopping – for most items, from bread to granola, I use Hands-On! reusable bags (I purchased mine at Whole Foods)
  • bulk shopping – for powdery foods or liquids, I use wide-mouth glass jars.  Bring them to the register first to be weighed.  Write the weight on the lid (I bring tape and a marker along).  Use another piece of tape to write down the item number after you’ve filled the jar.
  • deli meat and cheese – I bring lidded Pyrex containers or Tupperware-style containers.  They put the sliced meat and/or cheese into the container and stick the price label on the lid.  I’ve found that the employees at Sunflower Farmer’s Market are especially accommodating.
  • bulk salad mix – I again bring a lidded container and have it weighed at the counter before filling it with the salad.
  • produce – I bundle my apples etc. in reusable cotton produce bags. (you can find them at reuseit.com)
  • grocery bags – if you often forget to bring your reusable grocery bags to the store, leave some in your car.  I also find it handy to clip a ChicoBags compact bag to my purse.  The bag folds up into itself and is light-weight.  I also have a hemp Workhorse compact bag, which you can find at reuseit.com.

So, that’s it.  Our dining is pretty simple and some weeks see more variety than others.  We’ve enjoyed trying a few new recipes and learning as we go.  On this plastic-free challenge, our trash has dramatically decreased, our bodies feel healthier, our kids are tasting new foods and flavors, and our budget is in tact.  It is a win-win situation.

By the way, if you decide to shop at reuseit.com, using the code rcrkuk3 at checkout should save you $5 on a purchase of $50 or more.

Advertisements
Gallery | This entry was posted in Groceries, On the Menu, Well-Being and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s