Thursday, November 29, 2012

Clean Bin Motivation

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Weeks ago I cut out a page from the Willy Street Reader, the monthly paper of our local food co-op.  It featured the screening of a film, The Clean Bin Project, about a couple's effort to go one year without consumption.  The film sounded great, but the time did not work with my schedule. I held on to the clip in hopes that I'd find it on-line or something.  And tonight I had a chance to look and found their blog.  It ties in a lot with my efforts to live a frugal life.  Not only is it good for my pocket book, but for the earth as well as my health.

So tonight I renew a pledge to myself to not do a normal grocery shopping until I have put a severe dent in the bin at home.  This means the fridge freezer, the chest freezer and the pantry.  Oh sure, we'll need milk, eggs, apples, etc.  But I am done with my weekly trips here and there, replacing the staples and ignoring the items that are tucked into corners.  I've been doing this for about two weeks now, and feel even more motivated.

Skipping those trips means we are eating food we've already paid for.  My monthly expenses will be lower, and I'm ensuring that the food we froze will not be wasted.  I'm also reducing fuel consumption because shopping with two small children usually means the car....because we buy a lot when we go.  And because most of what is frozen was purchased at a local farmers' market, our veggie consumption should go up -- and we all know that is good for one's health.

As we march toward the end of the year I will avoid my typical shopping using the following methods:

  • walk with the kids to the store up the road -- walking means I only buy what fits in the stroller, and that is not much beyond a gallon of milk;
  • pick up items at the store next to my office -- I am already there and can easily get eggs or apples if needed;
  • ask our nanny to pick up items for us if we need a specific ingredient for the week -- I give her cash and now we have one car making a trip instead of two (have I mentioned that our nanny is amazing and I will cry in May when she graduates); and
  • when certain items are need to turn eggplant into a meal, I can ask my husband to stop at a grocery store.  However, when I do that he inevitably picks up his main food group, junk food.  This will be a last resort.
Thanks for reading.  If you have suggestions, tips or motivation please let me know.  I was so in the habit of shopping for groceries once a week it is very liberating.  I love the new found freedom with the kids.  Instead of bundling up, lugging them around, and dragging bags home we have a lot more time to simply relax.  That is priceless in our life these days.  And something I want more of.

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