Friday, January 11, 2008

A trip to the store

Well, today was the first time I have left the house in a week and a half, due to recovering from my thyroidectomy. I drove the one mile to the store to get a few groceries, and to go to the bank. Yes, I could have walked but I am not supposed to carry anything heavy for another week, and that would be a long way to lug groceries for my poor mutilated neck!

I had picked up a huge canvas bag from LL Bean last month which was on clearance because someone ordered it monogrammed then changed their mind, and this is what I brought with me. For the first time in my life I brought my own bag to the store. Yes, it is very silly but it felt like a new start, like I was embarking on this grand adventure and this was my first step. As I shopped, I followed my list and also made some different decisions. I usually buy romaine lettuce in bags, because it is a tiny store and that is all they have. Last month I would have bought them anyways, thinking that it is a basic food need. This time I left them on the shelf. I can cook with spinach to fill the leafy greens until next week when I will be driving right by the Wegmans, where I can get all the naked veggies I want. I can do without in order to reduce my use. I picked up instead an eggplant, green peppers, pears and apples-that was all the produce to be had not wrapped in plastic. I normally would have picked up some meat and cheese, but they are all plastic wrapped, so I walked on by those as well.

I got out of the store with only a jug of milk (no paper cartons), a bottle of Ivory dish soap, and the lid of the oatmeal can in plastic. Everything else was plastic free! For me, that is pretty darn good. I have been researching dish soap alternatives, and next week will pick up some soap flakes in a cardboard box to give it a go. I can start getting the oatmeal bulk when I go to Wegmans. I realized after I left the store that the gas station kitty-corner from the store sells cardboard cartons of milk, and it is usually pretty cheap.

I didn't go to Wegmans because it is 30 minutes away, and that seems like a lot of gas to use when I don't have to. When school starts again, I drive right by there several times a week, so shopping there costs no additional polution.

I am still hoping to start getting milk from Byrne Dairy in jars, and raw milk from an organic dairy, but they are near school and I won't be heading that way for another week.

All in all, I was frugal and brought home far less plastic than I ever had before on a comparable shopping trip. I am pleased.

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