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grocery shopping

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8 ways to save money on your Thanksgiving meal budget

For all the attention the stress and craziness of cooking on Thanksgiving receives, we often fail to acknowledge the other downside of being the designated host: the cost. If you’re on a tight budget it can seem nearly impossible to pull of a feast with all of the fixin’s guests have come to expect. This Thanksgiving, you’ll be thankful you followed these 10 tips for saving money on your Turkey Day grocery bill. 1.  Set a budget — and don’t budge from it! It’s easy to go overboard on extras when planning a holiday meal, after all, you want to show your loved ones you appreciate them. But don’t feel pressure to recreate the lavish spread you saw in Martha Stewart magazine. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, the average American Thanksgiving meal for 10 costs $48.90 — that’s less than $5 per person!  If you’re about to blow…

Should you skip individual plastic produce bags at the grocery store?

You may have noticed that many stores and restaurants are becoming more environmentally conscious by moving away from single-use plastics. Straws are no longer a guarantee with your smoothie and plastic bags might cost you a few cents each at the supermarket. So what about those plastic produce bags available above the apples? Should you pass on those, too? Well, no. Not exactly. If you want to do your part at the grocery store, make sure you bring reusable bags for your larger groceries, but also bring some smaller bags for your individual produce items, as well. You see, not putting your produce in bags and putting it directly in your cart can be a very unsanitary practice. It might seem like the more sustainable choice, but when you put your broccoli or Romaine directly in the cart or on the conveyor belt, your food isn’t just touching that surface…

How to recycle plastic grocery bags

If you recycle, you probably already know that most communities don’t accept plastic bags in their weekly curbside pick-up bins. This creates a problems for just about every household. After all, even the most diligent of us wind up with a few plastic bags when an impromptu grocery shopping trip breaks out. Throwing bags in the garbage may seem like a solution, but plastic bags aren’t biodegradable, meaning they can take hundreds of years to decompose. The best thing you can do is recycle them. So if curbside recycling won’t accept them, how do you recycle plastic bags? It’s as easy and taking them to a nearby store. National retailers like Walmart, Whole Foods, Target, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Home Depot, Lowe’s, and many regional retailers like Giant Eagle, all offer onsite plastic bag collection bins and boxes. No need to separate where your bags came from, as these retailers will accept…

Save money and buy produce in season in March

March marks the beginning of the end of winter (yay!). It might not feel very warm when you walk outside your door, but spring is coming. March is also an interesting month for produce as many winter fruits and veggies fall out of favor and we see the start of sweet fruits we associate with summer (hello, pineapple!). Come April, you’ll be planting your own seedlings and start to see more local variety, but for now, you’ll have to purchase ripe produce from the southernmost states. Get more bang for your buck by buying fruits and vegetables that are in season. They cost less because they are more plentiful — and they’re tastier, too! A big win, win. Here are 10 fruits and veggies ready for your plate right now: Artichokes Artichoke season runs from March through June (and then again in the fall), and most artichokes in the United States…

Survey finds America’s favorite grocery store

Where you choose to grocery shop is pretty much a regional decision, but there is also a lot of personal preference involved. You may prefer one chain over another because of layout or prices, item availability or bakery goods. All of these factors were considered when participants took a recent survey on their favorite grocery store in America. And the winner? Wegman’s. The East Coast chain comes out on top in the Market Force Information poll which asked more than 12,000 their likes and dislikes. The New York-based Wegman’s has just 97 locations, but it managed to come out on top. Florida-based Publix came in second, and Trader Joe’s in third. Aldi and San Antonio-based H-E-B rounded out the top five. This is the third consecutive year Wegman’s has won the honor. It ranked high for specialty department service, store cleanliness and item availability. Publix polled top of the list for…