…and save in the process!

If you’re a meticulous recycler, most of what ends up in your trash probably falls into one category: packaging. Chip bags, candy wrappers, the bags inside cereal boxes, oatmeal packages and more: not recyclable.

One way to avoid some of that packaging is to buy bulk, either at a bulk food store or in the bulk section of your regular supermarket. True, not all products are available in bulk, but many are. And, true, you’ll need some sort of packaging, but usually that’s a soft plastic bag: a material that is perfectly recyclable (it’s in the same recycling category as plastic shopping bags).

So, the next time you have a choice, why not choose bulk? You’ll use less packaging; what you use is recyclable; and you’ll likely save money since bulk food is usually cheaper than the packaged, brand name stuff!

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Resist the urge to run to the convenience store for every little need

There’s no doubt that convenience stores are convenient. But they come with three price tags:

  • Because they are always there and always open, they are a safety net we easily learn to depend upon; they remove the need for us to plan ahead.
  • Products are more expensive than they would be if purchased from a grocery store.
  • Convenience stores often involve stepping into a vehicle and going for a ride (and the cost of that trip often is greater than the cost of purchases).

The next time you run low on something and feel tempted to zip out to a convenience store, why not consider these two alternatives:

  • Check your cupboard, and improvise with what you have on hand
  • Visit a neighbour to see if you can borrow what you need. (Comes with social fringe benefits too!)

Both of these alternatives (drawn from a great book I’m reading, Your Money or Your Life) fall within the definition of ‘resourcefulness’, a skill our grandparents knew well, and something we’d probably do well to rediscover.