We all know that in this economic downturn it’s really important to save money whenever and wherever possible. However, it’s also important to make sure that saving money doesn’t mean reducing quality or spending a lot of extra time. Many of us want to keep the environment in mind at all times as well.
It may sound overwhelming, so how can we combine all of these things? The answer is green shopping. Below are three tips that can help you save money, save time and protect the environment all throughout your daily shopping routines.
Before you even leave the house, gather all reusable shopping bags. You’ve seen them in the stores – whether it be Target, Meijer, Kroger, etc – and you’ve probably considered purchasing them, but you think to yourself “why should I spend money on a shopping bag when I can get plastic or paper ones for free?” The answer, of course, is that it’s a good way to avoid adding to the buildup of landfills. Purchasing just a few reusable bags and taking them with you whenever and wherever you go shopping is a great contribution to saving the planet. (And they really aren’t all that expensive!)
Clip coupons and look for sales. Clipping coupons can be time-consuming and frustrating, but if you simply take 10-15 minutes once or twice a week to look through your newspaper ads to find the coupons you need can really add up and help you save money. Comparing pricing at different stores is also a good way to make sure you get the best deal. Some stores even offer rewards programs that are free, can earn you points and can qualify you to purchase things at special prices – this includes not only grocery stores but also pet stores and some clothing stores.
Shop local and drive a hard bargain. When shopping for food, instead of purchasing your produce from your big name grocery store, consider going to a local farmer’s market. This way, you can make sure the fruits and vegetables you are purchasing are not only tasty and organic but also are grown by environmentally responsible farmers. (And you may even be able to get a bargain and save even more money.)
For more helpful hints on how to be green at home, please visit our Green Homes section.
Jennifer Griffin, Contributing Writer and Public Relations, GreeningDetroit.com
Jennifer is pursuing a degree in Journalism and English from Wayne State University, and she is also a Contributing Writer for The South End.