How to Lower Your Grocery Bill by Recycling

February 2, 2008


Recycling is a royal pain but I do it to help conserve resources for my son and future generations. 

As you can see from the picture, we have lots of stuff to recycle.  Where did most of that stuff come from?  The grocery store!

Cereal boxes, milk containers, beer bottles, diaper boxes, tin cans, glass jars, etc.  They all come to us courtesy of our local Hy-Vee or Price Chopper.  The more stuff we buy and eat, the more I have to recycle!

I’ll tell you what, loading it all into the car and making the trek to the recycling center is not exactly my idea of a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  I store it all up in bins to try and minimize the number of trips but eventually they get to be overflowing and my wife reminds me its time to clear it out of the garage.

So the next time I’m at the grocery store and thinking about buying a box of snacks or extra carton of ice cream, my answer will be no way!  Not only will I spend less money on groceries, I’ll accumulate recycling less quickly and reduce my trips to recycle!


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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8 Responses to How to Lower Your Grocery Bill by Recycling

  • Brandy

    We recycle everything we even did away with the need for garbage service. It’s a pain but it has been a savings.

  • Jenn @ Frugal Upstate

    We are so lucky where we live now-there is curbside recycling 2X a month. Boy, does that make life easier. We’ve lived places in the past where we had to bring it in ourselves though, so I feel your pain. . .

  • Smelly Feet

    I think grocery companies are working one run now on better packings for customers, so they would not loose them due to recycling.

  • Jeremy

    I do live in the boonies. Our village, if you can call it that, has a population of around 400.

  • Ben

    Nivek, I agree Boulevard is pretty tasty and it’s not cheap either. I’m pretty thrifty usually but sometimes you have to live a little 🙂

    Wow Jeremy, you must live in the boonies!

    Lisa, I think it’s great your town has mandatory recycling. Like I said, it’s a real pain but it’s the least we can do for future generations. The US is so far behind many other developed countries in recycling that it’s disgraceful.

  • Lisa

    Our town currently has mandatory recycling. They’re not patroling or anything. I think they just want to emphasize the importance of it.

    The other thing I do (when I remember them!) is use cloth grocery bags in lieu of the plastic ones. That still hasn’t caught on in my area yet, so I get a few looks. But it actually is catching on elsewhere around the USA and the world.

    Have a nice Sunday. Go Patriots!

  • Jeremy

    Depends on where you live, but in my case, most of the cardboard boxes and stuff we accumulate goes towards starting kindling for the burn bin, or they go in with the leaves that have to get burned twice a year.

    While maybe not as good as recycling, it is better than driving 20+ miles just to get it to the recycler, and at least it isn’t taking up valuable space in the landfill.

    Of course if you live in a subdivision or more populated city, this may not be an option.

  • Nivek

    If that’s your recyclables, you have good taste in beer. Boulevard Wheat- frugal,no. Delicious, yes.

    Have you seen the recycling episode of Penn and Teller’s BullSh*t? If not, you should check it out. Its available on Youtube. Very enlightening.