Foodie news | Five ways to go green and save green on groceries | SierraSun.com

Foodie news | Five ways to go green and save green on groceries

Sheri Alzeerah
Special to the Sun
Jupiterimages / Thinkstockphoto.comShopping for organic items brings health to you, your family and the planet.
Getty Images/Creatas RF | Creatas RF

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Organic blah-blahs, all-natural thingamabobs and hormone-free yadda-yaddas weigh down grocery store shelves for good reason and#8212; being an environmentally conscious shopper is fundamental to a healthier, cleaner earth. On the other hand, these brown-box-with-green-font goods can weigh down a grocery bill too.

This New Year, resolve to go green while saving green by taking a few simple Mother Nature (and Father’s Bank) approved measures:-

1. Plan meals for the week-

Meal planning is key to saving money in the store and reducing food waste. By knowing ahead what to buy, when to eat it and when to expect leftovers, you’ll be less likely to throw out unwanted food. Lowering waste means less food for the compost and, when your family has a meal plan to stick to, more money in your wallet.-

2. Prioritize organic purchases-

Buying strictly organic can easily be a burden on the budget. Start small and save big by opting for organic produce. Fruits and veggies are some of the store’s most contaminated goods, serving as a bright and shiny surface for pesticides and chemicals. No matter how well this produce is washed, scrubbed and peeled, there’s no getting around the nasty unnatural content.

Go organic when it comes to produce, especially in regard to what many refer to as the especially pesticide-heavy and#8220;Dirty Dozenand#8221; and#8212; peaches, nectarines, strawberries, apples, pears, cherries, imported grapes, sweet bell peppers, lettuce, spinach, potatoes and celery.-

3. Consider buying in bulk-

Buying in bulk equates to buying less packaging and making less trips to the grocery store, reducing your carbon footprint in more ways than one. Non-perishable items, such as cereal, pasta and rice, are perfect buy-in-bulk goods. They won’t go bad any time soon after purchasing, they’re commonly used and consumed in a variety of meals and buying in bulk means saving money. Plus, bulk goods are generally less processed than their individually sold counterparts.-

4. Opt for recyclable packaging-

From cardboard boxes to egg cartons to plastic jugs to glass jars, many goods’ packages just aren’t meant to wind up in the trash can. Instead, make a trip to the local recycling center part of your routine.-

Or, if you’re feeling extra crafty, use these packages for your own projects and needs. Instead of buying a candleholder, use that empty glass jar to save money and have a unique display for your candle. Egg cartons are perfect for storing small items, such as sewing supplies, or as a paint palette.-

5. Don’t grocery hop

Get all of your shopping done at the same place at the same time to eliminate the need to drive back and forth between your home and the store. In order to do so to save gas and money, it is wise to go prepared with a shopping list when you do make your grocery trip. Check your pantry supply, refer to the meal plan and work off of that. When shopping with a list in hand, you’ll be much less likely to make impulse buys that will only end up throwing off your budget and your food waste.

Be Mother Nature’s favorite child by showing her some gratitude starting this year. Your wallet and#8212; not to mention future generations and#8212; will be happy you did.

and#8212; Sheri Alzeerah is a journalist and freelance writer for meal planning service http://www.foodonthetable.com