Thursday, April 9, 2009

More eco change

I know, these eco changes are tiny... and done mostly out of a desire to save us money! But, a change is a change, right?

Anyway, when I was a kid my mom always bought blocks of cheese and grated it as needed. There were five of us so she would grate mounds of it for macaroni and cheese (we never had the boxed kind), tacos or pizza. I remember trying to sneak a handful because it was so good.

When I was on my own, I just bought the bags of preshedded cheese. It was just me and it was so much easier. I'm pretty sure I didn't even own a grater. This habit of buying bagged cheese continued after I got married. I bought two or three bags of it every week for tacos, lasagna, or toppings for pasta.

Well, then I started comparing prices. Good grief! I couldn't believe how much I was spending on grated cheese compared to buying it in a block. So, I switched to block cheese recently. Of course, the grater I had broke the first day I used it. So I sent the husband to Ross and he bought me a heavy duty stainless steel box grater with the no slip rubber on the bottom. I had put that thing to good use since I got it.

When I have some spare time in the kitchen now, I just grate half a block of cheese and we keep it in a plastic container. This way, it's readily available when I just need a little bit as a garnish or if I'm trying to make a quick dinner of tacos and the grater is dirty in the sink.

I didn't really think of this as being eco friendly- more saving us money. But, really, all those plastic bags the cheese came in with the ziploc top were being thrown away! And, I'm sure that there were extra preservatives and chemicals to keep the cheese from getting clumpy. I've even noticed that I've gone back to snitching some grated cheese. I never just snacked on the grated cheese out of the bag because it looked so dry and unappetizing.

So, even if it wasn't a concious eco change, I figure I'll rack it up as one anyway.

Next up, getting rid of our Coffee Mate creamer. I found several recipes using evaporated milk and flavor. That'll save us a ton too!

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