My Improved Grocery Trip

The past 4 weeks have been very pleasing to me! I have found ways to avoid plastic packaging and stick to no bags, recyclable, box board or my own recyclable/cloth bags. I shop at my local Bulk Barn and Grocery store, Sobey’s. Occasionally Wal-Mart and Summerside Butcher Shop.  I would like to expand to our local Farmers Market!

Here is how I am doing now.

Produce with no plastic ✔

Carrots, beans, tomatoes, lettuce and apples
Corn
Broccoli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berries. The kids and I love berries! plastic containers, but at least they are recyclable! We do have a blueberry bush and a Mulberry tree. Someday I want a big patch of berries, different varieties. Maybe an apple orchard too! Depending on what everybody eats. There are 7 of us! ☺

Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cucumer (not wrapped in plastic) and a single red onion, no mesh wrapping for a bunch of them!

 

Bulk Barn take in. ☺

Almonds, pistachios, cashews, choc. Covered almonds, some candy treats for kids, gummy worms, garlic powder, chocolate chips, rice, summer savory, recently bought ground coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some items need improvement, sometimes we are just stuck with plastic.

Popcorn (switching back to our popcorn maker and seeds, last boxed stuff), pads (looking for a change) kraft dinner (don’t eat much of this)
Chips
Meat and hotdogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bacon and sandwich meats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recyclable packaging

Clothes hangers, the recycle label is there, small, but there! Check them over if you are tossing!
Canola oil, vinegar, cooking oil, popcorn seeds, and curry sauce
Milk and chip dip
Yogurt drinks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All I did to start, was to choose a recyclable container/box board over waste plastic. Next was to purchase them without bags. Reuse containers and mason jars!

Hello Coffee Maker

So, our Keurig died today. Not for certain, but it won’t pour water into cups. This happened to us with our first Keurig machine 2-3 years ago. So wanting a coffee fix, I pulled out our old coffee maker from the closet and used my remaining coffee grounds, 4 Tbsp. Great cup of coffee! Now I am thinking, should I make the switch to this one? I think it is more convenient in a way as not having to fill the little reusable filters. Just make a few servings in the maker to get through the morning. It stays heated and ready to pour a new coffee before the Keurig could. Plus, our machine has a program to set a timer to make coffee at whatever time we set it too. No waste except for the plastic packaging for the filters. I am sure there is another package that would be recyclable or boxed. I will have to search. I already know Sobey’s does not, but they do have a cone type filter in boxes. I am not so sure that is what I want in our maker. New exploration ahead!

1 Tbsp of ground coffee per serving, same as a Keurig K-cup.

Update, August 13th, 2018

After a couple of days of using the coffee maker, I have found I like the Kurig much better. The taste is better, I seem to go through a lot of ground coffee with the maker comparing to the k-cup. We bought a new Kurig and I will continue with the reusable k-cups and coffee grounds.

Comparison

3 weeks ago I took notes of prices per 100g of different products between Bulk Barn and my local grocery store, Sobey’s. These prices are 3 weeks old and have or will probably change. There are positives and negatives on both sides. I like to keep in mind the packaging material and prices. Is it worth the extra nickles to avoid plastic? Paper?recyclable containers?Fill your own container and go plastic free?

I prefer the Bulk Barn for many of these products. Of course freshness is desired. I can bring in my own containers to fill, as long as they are clean.  Firstly they need to be weighed at the counter and the cashier will mark the weight per kg on the container. Collect your product and re-weigh and the cashier will take off the container weight marked.

Here are my notes.

Product per 100g          $ at Bulk Barn.         $ at Sobey’s

Pretzels                             0.63  !                           0.70 

Rice                                     0.48  !                           0.45  plastic bag  X

Honey                                1.41    X                         0.80  recyclable    !     

Pistachios                        3.04   !                          3.00   plastic bag       

Almonds                           2.60                            3.99                          X      

Walnuts                           2.99                            3.19                           X    

Chicken Gravy               0.96                            7.96                          X     

Brown Gravy                   1.03    !                         7.96                             

Large Rolled Oats         0.27    !                         0.33                             

Cocoa                                 1.67    !                          1.76                          X    

Hot Chocolate                1.03    !                          1.33                           X   

Dark Brown Sugar        0.29   !                          0.25  plastic bag  X     

Powder Sugar                 0.29   !                          0.25  plastic bag  X     

White Sugar                    0.18    X                        0.14   papaer bag  !     

  All Purpose Flour          0.27    !                         0.27 2.5kg paper bag! 

Salt                                     0.18    !                          0.20                           X     

Baking Soda                   0.27    !                          0.25 box                  !        

Baking Powder             0.84    !                          1.46                           X       

Dry Active Yeast           1.80    !                          3.52                           X      

Popcorn Seeds              0.40   X                         0.33  recyclable     !       

Corn Starch                    0.46   !                          0.55                           X      

Gumballs                         0.18    !                          0.98 Wal-Mart    X     

Ground Coffee.              2.64                            8.32 K-cups(12)  X

House-hold changes

I switched to dryer balls instead of bounce sheets for the dryer. Though, once these balls wear out, they go to the garbage. Oops. Lesson learned. Meanwhile, I will find another solution! Another thought, I really want a proper clothes line! Sometime in the future!

 

 

 

Cotton rags for the kitchen and bathrooms. We always turn to use paper towels for any messes and cleaning. Not anymore. Once they are used and dirty, they go in a pillow case and once my stash is almost used up, into the washer they go with bleach.

I turned a Tide detergent cap into a holder for small hair accessories.  These little cups could be used for all sorts of storage in the bathroom, kitchen, garage, you name it!

 

 

 

 

Baking Day With the Kiddos

Alaina has been asking to make double chocolate chip cookies for about a week. I finally found some time today, in the 38 degree humidex to make some. Hahaha. They turned out pretty good! My husband found an amazing chocolate chip recipe. Bakery style!

This day, since Alaina wanted double chocolate chip cookies, I decided to add in a package of instant chocolate pudding mix (a secret ingredient from another cookie recipe) and take out 3/4 cup of flour (same amount of dry pudding mixture). I did not want to have the batch too dry. Though I am sure I could have taken some sugar out instead. Another thought for another time.

Next on this 🔥 HOT 🔥 day I needed some bread and sub buns made for tomorrow. I told Julia she could help since she was left out with the cookies. Jack wanted to help out too. 

My bread recipe I use makes two loaves, but I make 1 loaf and 5 sub buns instead. I usually use 5-5.5 cups flour instead of 6. It really depends on the humidity and the moisture in the dough referring to how much flour is needed.

Chris sent me some links a while back for tips on making bread. Kneading and windowpane testRounding the dough.     Finger poke test. They are really good to follow, especially if you are just starting or have issues.

Julia and Jack helping to make the bread

 

I did not take pictures of the finished product, but I will get one up soon.

Carpet freshener

Once in a while I will buy the Arm an Hammer carpet deodorizer to freshen up the carpet areas in the home, though I know baking soda does the same thing and that is the basic ingredient in the store bought product. Why waste my money on that?  Its not too often I think about using baking soda as I have not had an easy way of putting it down on the carpets without getting it in clumps. I also did not put much thought into it, until today. Now I got lots of ideas besides the one I put into action today.

First, I soaked the bottle upside down in a bowl of hot water just passed the cover to expand the plastic. After about 3 minutes, I pried the cap off with a flat end screwdriver. Though, a narrow edged spoon did the trick later when I tried a second time.

 

Next was to rinse and remove any leftover baby powder and let it dry. To speed up the process I took a clean face cloth and a wooden spoon. I used the wooden spoon to insert the cloth into the bottle and stirred it around to absorb moisture. Did the job just fine! I used 1/2 a tsp to put in the baking soda, though a funnel would have been good too. I recommend filling the bottle 1/2 way or 2/3rd’s.  The baking soda does not just pour out like the baby powder. I good shake up and down gets the baking soda flowing out easily.

 

The cover pops back on nice and tight like before. It sprinkled out nicely over the carpet and was easy to vacuum up unlike the clumpy mess I used to make.

 

 

 

I wet a cloth with nail polish remover (accetone) and laid it on the container for 5 minutes to wash the label off.  Here is my finished project.

Summerside boardwalk

Lots of fun with these guys on the boardwalk biking, scootering and strolling. Overcast with a nice breeze. Perfect!

Thomas just strolling around for the time being, getting ready to run!
Alaina, Jack and Julia.
Refreshments and a break.
Thomas looks so tall/big in this picture!
Its me!
And they are off!
Alaina keeping Jack company