Simplicity by Choice

Off-Grid Living & Self-Reliance

Recycled Convenience March 26, 2013

Filed under: family,green living,pantry building,simplicity — ourprairiehome @ 9:11 pm
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I have been taking note of the prices of the serving size packages of yogurt and other foods that we enjoy. It is ridiculous to see how pricey most of these can be.

About 2 weeks ago, I stopped at a KFC to get some lunch for the kids and I. They have the small reuseable plastic containers for their individual orders of side dishes. We saved the containers to reuse when we got home.

I bought a quart size container of yogurt at the store for about $2.50. Using the containers from KFC, I filled up 4 of them to make the kids their own individual servings of yogurt. A 4-pack of yogurt, in the same measurement, costs $1.88 if you buy the Great Value brand from Walmart. The quart size yogurt container is still 3/4 full. This means that I should easily get 12 of those KFC containers worth of yogurt from that quart. If I bought 12 of the individual yogurts at a rate of $1.88 per 4-pack, that comes out to $5.64. By making up my own using recycled containers and buying a quart of the same brand of yogurt, I can get those 12 individual serving for $2.50 or a savings of $3.14. In other words, I can get double the amount (24 individual servings) and still be 64ยข under the price of buying 3 of the 4-packs of yogurt. If you make your own yogurts the savings are even better of course.

I do this same type of thing with jello and puddings. Instead of buying the snack containers, make a box of jello or pudding but divide it into individual serving containers before refrigerating. The convenience is still the same in that you have grab & go containers, but you are spending far less.

I look back at all the snack size packaging that we used to purchase and I cringe. We wasted so much money back then. Now, we are doing it a lot cheaper. The kids still have their snacks available, but we are smarter about the costs. Filling the containers takes only a couple of minutes of my time. Well worth the savings!

You can take this idea to other areas. One is to buy (or make your own) trail mix in large quantity. Using small containers, repackage the trail mix into serving size portions. This again will cut down the expense.

If you have access to a health food store that sells unflavored gelatin in bulk bins, buy it that way instead of buying boxes of jello or packets of knox gelatin. To make your own jello, mix 1 Tablespoon of unflavored gelatin to 2 cups of fruit juice. No sugar is used as the juice is already naturally sweet.

There are many homemade granola recipes available online. Add dried fruits and nuts of your choice to make your own healthy snacks or cereals. As with everything else, you can use recycled containers to make your own individual snack packets.

As you look around your kitchen or pantry, take note of the containers that you can reuse for other purposes. By contrast really noet how much trash you will be tossing out once the single use containers are emptied. It can be quite an education! I now look at most containers at the store. If I can get the same or similar product in a package that can be reused or better yet, composed or burned, then I will buy those before buying a container that is single use. This alone can save you money as well.

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3 Responses to “Recycled Convenience”

  1. Dorena Says:

    It amazes me how a box of pudding is .69 and the 4 pack of pudding is 1.00 something and people buy it! Just for that little convenience. I want to write a book about all the DIY mixes, snacks, spices, etc you can make and save money, but then again, people like buying it already prepared. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Not this girl!

    • Dorena – I totally agree! I found a recipe online for homemade chocolate pudding and we love it! After having that one, the store bought just tastes way too sweet. If someone wanted to make the homemade and it still be a mix, just mix the dry ingredients into a container and label with instructions for adding wet ingredients and cooking.

      I have found over the years that the homemade is much more healthier and flavorful than store bought mixes and prepared foods. Besides, I really have to wonder what they put in the prepared foods to make them have such a long shelf life. Then again, maybe I don’t want to know!

  2. Oh, now that is a great idea! I keep all of those reusable containers also, to pack up snacks for my little ones to tote with us places and my husband’s meals for his 24 hour shifts at the fire department. I hadn’t thought of making things up like pudding or jello into the individual containers like that. I make big bowls and they take up too much space in my fridge, which is annoying. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great tip!


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