These days everyone is looking for as many ways as possible to cut household expenses. Even though couponing in general is not very green, there are a few ways to minimize the impact on the environment that every grocery shopper should consider.
1. Bring Your Own Bag
I’m not talking about the cheap bags they sell at the end of the checkout aisle. Consider making your own bag or purchasing one from http://www.chicobag.com. These can be washed and there are bags for everything in the store. You can even have your reusable produce bag weighed in advance so that you won’t have an extra charge when you check out.
2. Organization is the Key!
It takes extra time, but organizing your stock pile and creating meal plans will keep you from wasting expired foods. Any food you waste is the most expensive food in your house, so you should try to avoid this whether or not you are going green! Also, consider reusable storage items for leftovers.
3. Couponing for a Cause?
Just because you are donating items, does not mean they are going to good use. Know your cause to avoid this! For instance, I volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House and my husband is a veteran. When I can pick up extra cereal, toys, toothpaste, or socks I know that these items will be used. Don’t expect a local food bank to be able to utilized hundreds of nearly-expired boxes of Hamburger Helper without doing a little research.
4. Learn About Mobile Couponing
A new site, http://www.savingstar.com offers web coupons that link to your store accounts. After you reach a threshold, you can cash in for gift cards to online retailers. This site has some pretty good coupons already, and as it gets bigger you can expect even more.
5. Put Your Savings to Good Use!
If you’re regularly saving $50 or $100, you can easily reinvest that into making your house more green. Consider purchasing a concentrated cleaning kit, kitchen towels, reusable cloth diapers, or organic food. These things cost more upfront, but offer savings in the long run that can’t be matched!
6. Limit Your Driving
Try to group shopping trips on the same day. If you can shop in an area that allows you to park in one spot and hit several stores, that’s even better. Prep yourself for the weather and walk between the shops instead of driving to each one as long as there are sidewalks. If your coupon scenario requires two or more transactions, do them in the same day. A friendly smile to the sales associates is all you need to get away with this. Simply step out of line or walk your bag out to the car in between.