Be sure to visit the dry goods, canned goods, cereal and snack aisles for cereal, dry fruits and nuts, granola bars, etc. They do have some all natural versions. When you open the large bags, repackage in airtight, reusable containers so they'll stay fresh. Large bags of crackers, nuts, etc. go stale so easily that it can be a huge waste when one bag goes bad. That blows all the saving you earned with this shopping trip.
Here's a time saving storage tip. For those items that will be used primarily for school lunches and on-the-go snacks, go ahead and package them in small, reusable containers or waxed paper bags. Most organic food stores carry Natural Value waxed paper bags, pictured above. These are a much greener choice than Zipper bags or plastic wrap. Roll the opening shut and either tape or rubber band them shut to stay fresh. Then, for added shelf life, place all the bags in a large reusable container (dare I say Tupperware?).
I am pleased to see all the organic fruits and vegetables that are trickling in to my Costco. The only problem is the large quantities you have to buy. Can your friend split some of these with you? Especially the vegetables that you will only eat fresh, that can't be frozen or cooked (like Romaine, for instance).
There is one really great solution for those items you can't share--juicing. I bought a juicer and found that this is a great way to use up over-ripe vegetables and fruits. More on this in a later post.
I know that all of you out there probably have more ideas on making the big-volume purchases work at the warehouse clubs. Share with us, please! I'd love to hear your tips, so please drop me a comment. Maybe you'll be lucky and win the free reusable Chicobag that I'm giving away in a drawing for comments.
Thursday's tips will focus on organic and all-natural choices for packing those back-to-school lunches. Labor Day is just around the corner, so Friday I'll be planning an organic Labor Day cookout. Entertaining my way has one very important criteria. I have to be able to prepare almost everything in advance so I can enjoy the party too. If you're with me on that, check in on Friday and see what I have in store for you--recipes and all.