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Spend a little extra time at the grocery store

For years we've dashed into the grocery store, grabbed what was on our list, and off we went. We put very little thought into many of the items we were purchasing; if we had bought an item for many years, we continued buying it. If we heard about a new product, we might give it a try, but for the most part grocery store shopping just maintained the status quo. But now things are different: we're trying to read more labels, become more informed, and make wiser decisions about how we put our consumer dollar to use.

When we started questioning the products we buy, we were surprised how many ways we could be doing a better job!

Home cleaners

Do you really have to buy all of those cleaners? Look at the ingredients in your cleaning supplies; could you make some of them at home with some simple and eco-friendly ingredients? If you don’t want to make your own cleaning products, how about trying a more environmentally friendly brand?

Toilet paper

Is it time to switch to a new brand that uses recycled paper? How about buying toilet paper that's wrapped in paper and not plastic?

Pre-made food

Do you have time to make some delicious and fresh hummus and guacamole instead of buying the already made and prepackaged varieties? What about salad dressing? That too is an item that is so easy to make at home, you'll know what all the ingredients are, and you won’t have a bottle to throw away.

Made in Texas

Our grocery store has "local" stickers for the items that are made in Texas. The section with the most local items was the area with the salsas; it's interesting to see where they're made around the state of Texas. Not only do we like to select a salsa made in Texas, we also look for the ones without added sugar or corn syrup and a few simple ingredients that we recognize (we make sure the label doesn’t sound like a science experiment).

It was interesting that our store puts "local" signs on many products but doesn't tell us where the fruits and vegetables are grown. This grocery shopping exercise is all about making informed decisions, so we don't love this lack of information. The good news is that the other grocery store down the road states the origin of all their produce! Why buy a peach that has been trucked halfway across the United States when you can buy a locally grown one?

Produce in plastic? No thanks!

Potatoes individually wrapped in plastic... WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT? Are they going to start wrapping each orange, banana, and onion in plastic also? And why buy corn, asparagus, and broccolini wrapped in plastic, when you can buy it in bulk at the same store? Just say no to this one. It may take a while for retailers to get the message, but consumer preferences definitely make a difference and generate change!

So, next time you're at the grocery store, don't rush and give yourself a few extra minutes to pause and think about what you're buying. Put those well-worn purchasing habits to the test and be intentional about choosing the products you really want in your life!


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