How do you save money on groceries by buying in bulk, eating real foods, and avoiding processed junk and still be environmentally conscious about how much plastic you use? Do the two have to be mutually exclusive?
Packing snacks, saving leftovers, making lunches, and dividing bulk items all use plastic (or so it seems). Are there any real, cost-effective alternatives?
If you think about the amount of trash we produce by using disposable storage each month, it is easy to imagine replacing all that with simple reusable bags and containers instead.
Here are 5 great eco/budget-friendly options:
If you have already made the switch to reusable or paper grocery bags, why not go a step further and use produce bags that are sturdy and machine washable.
Even if they are made of plastic, the fact that they can be used over and over again reduces the amount of waste. Plus, these fun bags are great for other things like swimming suits, bath toys, and craft supplies.
Most of our plastic trash comes from sandwich baggies. We have tried other alternatives such a little plastic sandwich-shaped containers to go into coolers, but they are often bulky and an awkward fit.
These little baggies are great for trips, lunches, and diaper bags. They protect the food more than flimsy plastic baggies. You can even find waterproof ones to prevent spills.
3. Glass Leftover Containers
Most major brands of plastic containers are now making glass versions with a rubberized lid for easy storage. Ziploc VersaGlass Containers are our personal favorite.
4. Fabric Bowl Covers
Instead of using plastic wrap or aluminum foil to cover your lidless bowls, you can use these covers to safely store your food.
There are plastic covers you can buy to cover bowls, but fabric is machine washable and could easily be repaired.
Although not technically a storage container, plastic cups are the number one trashy item found in vehicles.
Did you know- you can save almost $50 a year with a reusable travel cup? Skip the gas station stops and pack bulk drinks instead. Most places will only charge pennies for ice (if anything at all) and you can fill up everyone's reusable cup. Even if you buy a drink, it will cost you far less for a refill in your own cup.
You may not be able to eliminate all the plastic used for food storage in your home, but you can take simple steps to reduce the amount of plastic going into the trashcan on a daily basis.
What plastic-free storage solutions have been successful in your home?