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Easy Being Green | Grocery shopping

Cut grocery bill and go green, too

We're all looking for ways to cut down on our bills. Grocery shopping is a necessity but there are ways to lower your costs each week while lowering your eco-footprint. Here are some ways to be green for the planet and your pocketbook. McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers

Stock up on green cleaners: When you create a green cleaning kit with baking soda, white vinegar, borax and hydrogen peroxide you have all you need to clean everything in your home. And, it's just a fraction of what it'll cost you to buy store-bought household cleaners. For instance, a 76-ounce box of Borax can produce 19 gallons of mold and mildew cleaner. You would need to buy more than a 150 16-ounce bottles of store-bought cleaners to produce the same amount.

Do the prep work yourself: A few extra minutes in the kitchen really can save you a few bucks each week. If your family eats a lot of chicken, buying the chicken whole or with the skin on will bring immediate savings. Boneless and skinless chicken breasts cost about $4.99 a pound. Compare that to chicken sold with bone and skin that's priced around $1.99 a pound. You could use the savings to buy organic chicken and feel good about serving your family a healthier piece of poultry. Also, instead of buying produce that has been cut and peeled for you, do the work yourself and pay half the price.

Buy in bulk: You know those individually packaged crackers, cookies and other snacks? You'll probably want to ban them from your home after finding out the true cost of convenience. Plus, the packaging on those small items is usually tough to recycle. Your best bet is to go big when it makes sense. Take those popular cheese crackers. The big box costs $3.79 or $0.28 an ounce. If you get them in the individual size, it costs $0.40 per ounce! Instead, put the crackers from the large box into a small reusable container that your child can bring to school.

Shop in season: Shopping in season for produce is smart for you, your pocketbook and the planet. When you buy foods at their peak, they aren't being shipped around the world to arrive at your grocery store. That means they're usually much more affordable than at other times of the year.

Do what grandma did: When you spot organic fruits and veggies on sale — buy up! Then, you can do what our grandmothers did by preserving them. Whether you freeze, can, or dehydrate your foods — you'll have the next best thing to fresh, organic produce for a time when you'll want them and they are no longer in season.

Cut grocery bill and go green, too 05/12/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 12, 2011 8:47am]

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