Posts Tagged ‘grocery

Cost of Washing Reusable Bags

Posted in Insightson Aug 20, 2014

According to this USA Today article, you should wash your reusable grocery bags once per week to avoid getting sick.  How much does it cost to wash your bags?

Suppose you wash all your bags in a separate load of laundry, once per week.  That load of laundry requires:

  • About 1.1 kWh of electricity to wash in a front-loader and 1.4 kWh to dry for just 20 minutes.
  • About 15 gallons of water for your front-loader washer
  • Laundry detergent.

In Fort Collins, water rates are $2.53 per 1000 gallons, sewage rates are $3.34 per 1000 gallons, and about $0.09 per kWh of electricity.  Member’s Mark liquid detergent from Sam’s Club costs $0.11 per load.

For an entire year of washing reusable bags every week, you would use:

  • 130 kWh of electricity
  • 780 gallons of water (and sewage)
  • 80 ounces of laundry detergent.

For a total cost of: about $22 to wash your reusable bags once per week.

Fort Collins recently passed an ordinance requiring stores to charge $0.05 per disposable bag.  For the $22 cost of washing bags, a person could instead “buy” 440 plastic bags.

Environmental Cost: The main motive for charging for disposable bags in Fort Collins was the environmental impact of those bags.  What is the environmental impact of washing the reusable bags?  What is the environmental impact of producing the reusable bags?  What is the environmental impact of reusable bags that are worn out and thrown away?

Couponing

Posted in Adventureson Nov 3, 2009

Recently, Sandy and I have been doing a little bit of couponing.  We’re not aiming at taking 80% off our monthly grocery bill, or to get all sorts of random products for free.  It is more like a game that we like winning.  It is kind of a thrill to get products for free or to see “You Saved 85% Off Your Order Today!” printed on the bottom of the receipt.  We are getting kind of good at finding coupons on the Internet to print or combining coupons we find with sales we find in stores.

One of our favorite stores to shop at is King Soopers, which is a Kroger store.  King Soopers generally has reasonable prices on products, and they will often have some good sales.  Additionally, they will double coupons up to 50 cents, and coupons between 50 cents  and a dollar they will increase to a dollar.  They also accept eCoupons from shortcuts.com or CellFire, which are loaded onto the King Sooper loyalty card and applied automatically when checking out.

One of my favorite King Soopers promotions is $5 off 10 qualifying items.  I think they choose a couple of items on each aisle of the store that quality, causing you to walk up and down all the aisles searching out 10 items which qualify.  This promotion is currently underway at our King Soopers, and when you combine the promotion with coupons, we’ve found some good deals.  For example, our 10 items might be:
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I almost feel like I’m cheating

Posted in Lifeon Nov 8, 2008

I’ve been doing some very careful shopping recently, and I almost feel like its cheating.

For example, did you know that a string of 50 mini- Christmas lights costs more than a string of 100 at Walmart?  So if you want just a small string of 50, buy it at Target instead.

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