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Take Action: Shopping on a Budget

Meat is expensive, and purchasing ethically-sourced meat is even more pricey, but shopping for meat at places like Whole Foods and Sprouts is worth the extra cash if you want to shop sustainably. REDUCING the total amount of meat you eat, however, will save you money so that when you do purchase meat you don’t compromise quality for quantity. Mix up your culinary routine by exploring vegetarian protein sources like beans, grains, and vegetables--who knows, you might enjoy the challenge!

By now most of us use reusable bags for our groceries, but we still use plastic bags when picking out produce. Save these bags to reuse when you go to the store, or better yet, get some REUSABLE produce bags to go with your reusable grocery bags! The Forge has customized produce bags available at the Friday Farmstand (11:30 AM- 1:30 PM on the corner of Benton & Sherman) for $3, or you can buy your own. Keep your eyes peeled in Benson because sometimes you can find Forge produce in the salad bar! See the chart and graphic below for your Splurge-Save Money Guide to ethical grocery shopping.

You can also reuse empty food containers by using them as food storage before RECYCLING them!  It’s easy and inexpensive to clean out that empty peanut-butter jar and recycle it into a snack container for those days when you need snacks on the go. You can also use them at grocery stores like Whole Foods & Sprouts to stock up on your favorite bulk bin goodies. It’s super easy! Follow these steps to effectively buy in bulk to save money, decrease food waste, and use less packaging:

  1. Gather reusable bags and containers from home and ensure that they are stored in places where they can be utilized for grocery runs.
  2. Weigh reusable containers and note the weight so that it can be subtracted from the total weight at checkout. You don’t want to pay for more than you have to!
  3. Select goods and fill containers with only as much as you need. Don’t forget to note or remember the corresponding code for the product!
  4. Proceed to checkout and tell the cashier the weight of the container so you only have to pay for the goods.
  5. Enjoy your zero-waste goods and repeat process as necessary. Make sure to recycle the containers once they’re too old to use!

RESPECT the planet, your body, and your wallet! Knowing when to splurge and when to save will help you to find the balance between eating ethically and your budget constraints. Ethical eating doesn’t look the same for everyone so make sure to reflect on your values and make the right decisions for you; the key is mindfulness. Consult the splurge-save chart and graphic below for guiding your ethical grocery shopping.

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