With many states implementing a plastic bag ban by the end of this year, shoppers throughout the Northeast region will need to choose an alternative way to bring home their groceries. There are many options to choose from, making it easy to give up the plastic!  

 A plastic bag is only used for an average of 12 minutes, but it can take over 500 years for it to breakdown in a landfill. Reusable alternatives can be used hundreds of times.

Here are 5 substitutes for plastic bags at the grocery store:

Reusable Bags

Reusable bags can carry more groceries per bag, which means less trips from your car to your house! Although there is an upfront investment for these bags, they will save you money, and the environment, in the long run. Over its lifespan, one reusable bag is equivalent to using 1,000 plastic bags.

Reusable Mesh Bags

Reusable mesh bags are just as easy to use as plastic bags. They are breathable too, which helps keep produce fresh. Some produce, such as potatoes and onions already come in mesh bags, so why not use it for all your produce? You can reuse mesh bags from previous produce purchases or buy reusable ones.

T-Shirt Bags

Everyone has a few t-shirts laying around that could use a new purpose. This method is personable, washable, and even requires no sewing. Just cut off the sleeves, which will become the handles, and make the neckline larger. Turn the shirt inside out, and at the bottom of the shirt, cut fringe and tie into knots. Then flip the shirt inside out again to hide the knots, and your t-shirt bag is complete!

 Milk Crates

Milk crates can carry up to 50 pounds, that’s a lot of groceries! They are sturdy, durable, and sustainable. Milk crates typically have a life span of up to 20 years, so you will be able to transport your groceries for many years to come.

 

Cardboard Boxes

You may already have these laying around your house, from online shopping or moving. Cardboard boxes are not only durable and strong, but recyclable too. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can choose the best one for your next grocery shopping trip.

 

Eliminating single use plastic bags will greatly help in reducing our carbon footprint. Whichever plastic bag substitution you choose, remember to bring it with you next time you’re grocery shopping. Store them in your car or add a note to your grocery list so you don’t forget them!

Sources:

https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/sustainability/plastic_bag_facts.html

https://www.businessinsider.com/eco-friendly-sustainable-plastic-bag-alternatives#bahreco-produce-bags-2

https://www.familyhandyman.com/storage-organization/eco-friendly-alternatives-to-plastic-bags/

https://mommypotamus.com/no-sew-t-shirt-tote-bag-tutorial/

It’s almost time to transition to your back-to-school routine! Back-to-school lunches are essential for ensuring the kids are fueled to function at their best throughout the school day. However, packing lunches is a ritual that can become tedious. Start the school year stress-free with our lunch-packing tips and make the kids smile by transforming boring brown-bag lunches into meals that are fun and exciting!

Lunch-Packing Tips

Make the morning rush a little easier by incorporating these lunch-packing tips into your daily routine:

  • Write a Master Lunch List

Create a go-to list of your kids’ favorite lunch components. Organize it with categories such as protein, fruits and veggies, fiber and whole grains. This will make it easy to mix and match items from different sections to ensure the little ones are eating a balanced meal.

Leverage Your Leftovers

When choosing what to make for dinner, consider what meals may work well for lunches. A hot pasta dinner entrée can become a cold pasta salad for lunch. And leftover rice or veggies can be combined for a nourishing bowl topped with chicken, nuts and cheeses.

  • Pack the Night Before

If you’re able, try to prep lunch components earlier in the week and store them in the freezer or refrigerator. Then, pop these ready-made items into the lunchbox the night before, and you’ll have one less task to worry about in the morning.

Inventive Lunch Ideas

Skewers

Increase the appeal of proteins, fruits and veggies by serving them up on a stick! Skewers are perfect for lunches as they’re easy to prepare and make eating fun for kids. Pair them with dipping sauces or dressings to make them even more interactive.

Sandwiches

Add variety to this lunchbox staple by updating the classics with mash-ups of two kid favorites like a pizza grilled cheese. If the kids insist on eating their beloved PB&J, change things up by flattening the bread and rolling it up for a whole new sandwich experience. You can also cut traditional sandwiches with cookie cutters using various shapes that speak to the kids’ personalities and hobbies such as butterflies, trains, hearts or dogs.

Bento Boxes

Kids are more likely to eat their lunch when they only have to open one container. Experiment with bento boxes (properly portioned, home-packed meals originating in Japan) that allow you to separate proteins, fruits, veggies and sauces into organized, kid-friendly compartments.

After-School Snacks

These tasty lunches may keep the kids full until they get home, but then they’re hungry for after-school snacks! When the kids get home, have some snacks handy or whip up some simple, satisfying bites that will hold them over until dinnertime. Be ready with a chocolaty-orange smoothie or a combination of fresh fruit, cheese and crackers. Or, whip up quick, easy and nutritious super guacamole that can be enjoyed with veggies, pretzels or pita chips.

Keep these back-to-school tips in mind to start the school year out right and keep the kids nourished and focused. Happy packing!

Check out your local Price Chopper/Market32 for back to school food ideas https://stores.pricechopper.com

Your Bite-Sized Frozen Pizza Snack with Big Italian Flavors

Introducing NEW Contadina® Pizzettas- tasty, bite-size frozen pizza snacks with big Italian flavors. Contadina Pizzettas™ are made with a blend of real cheese and rich Roma tomato sauce baked in a crust made with cauliflower.

Five tasty bites give you a full serving of vegetables*, 8-11g of protein, and has no artificial preservatives or flavors. These delicious bites can be warmed up in the microwave or oven for a delicious and wholesome snack. Find them in the frozen aisle at your local Price Chopper | Market 32 and try all flavors.

 *5 bites equals 1/2 cup of vegetables per USDA Database

 

A Delicious New Way to Eat Veggies

Introducing NEW Del Monte® Veggieful™ Veggie Bites- a delicious new way to eat veggies. Veggieful™ Veggie Bites are a tasty blend of veggies and cheese baked in a crust made with cauliflower. Five tasty pieces give you a full serving of vegetables*, 9-10g of protein, and are made with real cheese, and have no artificial preservatives or artificial flavors.

These delicious bites can be warmed up in the microwave or oven and are a delicious and wholesome snack or a great appetizer to share. Find them in the frozen aisle at your local Price Chopper and try all flavors.

 *5 bites equals 1/2 cup of vegetables per USDA Database

A Frontier Staple Crafted for Modern Tastes and Needs—Kodiak Cakes Oatmeal Unleashed Packets are now available at Price Chopper!

Nourishing and convenient, oatmeal was a favorite of frontier folk for good reason. Kodiak Cakes Oatmeal Unleashed Packets are crafted in the frontier tradition with 100% whole rolled oats, non-GMO ingredients, and packed with 12 grams of protein per serving to help fuel your busiest days.

 

Whether you’re rushing to get to work in the morning or hurrying to get the kids to school on time, you have places to go and things to do and limited time to get it all done. That’s when a quick and nourishing breakfast you can actually feel good about eating can be the difference between a productive morning and one spent thinking about lunch. Oatmeal Unleashed packets take less than one minute to make for those mornings you are in a rush—all you have to do is add water (or milk), stir, and microwave. For those mornings when you do have a bit more time, you can even prepare this protein-packed oatmeal on the stovetop by simply bringing water to a boil then letting the oatmeal steep in the hot water for 2-3 minutes.

 

Kodiak Cakes began its journey with food by bringing whole grain flapjacks from the American frontier back to the breakfast table. Through that journey, they learned that foods made with 100% whole grains and non-GMO ingredients don’t just taste better, they’re also better for you. Kodiak Cakes has since expanded their offerings to include everything from baking mixes and graham crackers to convenient microwaveable muffin cups, toaster waffles, and now Oatmeal Unleashed packets—find them in the cereal aisle at your local Price Chopper today!

 

 

Kodiak Cakes Bear Bites are now available at Price Chopper!

Did you know there was a time when graham crackers were made with only whole grains? Well, Kodiak Cakes is bringing 100% whole grains back to this family favorite snack as part of its mission to restore the real food tradition. Crafted with 100% whole grains, non-GMO ingredients, and packed with 5 grams of protein per serving.  Bear Bites Frontier Graham Crackers are a snack you can feel good about eating whether you’re out on the trail or just feeling hungry between meals. They even come in three great-tasting flavors including: honey, cinnamon, and chocolate, making them a great addition to your kids’ lunchboxes or after-school snack spread!

 

Based near the mountains of Park City, Utah, Kodiak Cakes began its journey with food by bringing whole grain flapjacks from the American frontier back to the breakfast table. Through that journey, they learned that foods made with 100% whole grains and non-GMO ingredients don’t just taste better, they’re also better for you! Kodiak Cakes has since expanded their offerings to include everything from baking mixes and oatmeal to convenient microwaveable muffin cups, toaster waffles, and now graham crackers!

 

So, when there’s no telling what sort of adventure you’ll embark on next, keep Kodiak Cakes Bear Bites by your side. Crafted for adventurous spirits that require the nourishment of 100% whole grains and protein, these Frontier Graham Crackers are grizzly-sized snacks that will keep you and your cubs roaming till the sun sets—discover these great-tasting graham crackers in the cookie and cracker aisle at your local Price Chopper today!

It's not over yet....

The summer months flash by incredibly fast. As cooler days and busier schedules are on the horizon, be sure to take some time to soak up the last of the summer sun. Here are some ideas for seizing the last days of summer and making the moments count.

1. Set Goals

At the start of summer, many have ambitious plans and expectations. If you haven’t done what you set out to do at the beginning of summer, be intentional about how you want to make the most of those last days. Create a list of ways to enjoy summer’s simplest pleasures like eating dinner on the patio, taking a 10-minute walk or going fishing. It can even be as simple as sleeping in a few days each week, as the chances you’ll have to do so in the fall may be limited!

2. Play Tourist for the Day

Have you experienced everything there is to do in your town? If you haven’t, take a day to see things you’ve never seen and do things you’ve never done right in your local area. Whether it’s going to a petting zoo, museum, historical site, bookstore or waterpark, embark on a new adventure.

3. Spontaneous Road Trip

Is it even summer if you haven’t taken a road trip? Some great road trip ideas include amusement parks, lakes, hiking trails, national monuments, or cities you’ve always wanted to visit. Be sure to take your time and smell the flowers on the way! The best part of any road trip is the journey, not the destination.

4. No Obligations

From back-to-school routines and sports activities to holiday festivities, autumn months are filled with numerous obligations. During the last few weeks of summer, clear your schedule and enjoy doing the things that make your soul happy. Whether it’s relaxing at the beach, shopping solo at your favorite stores or journaling at the park, flexibility is critical to experience that sweet summer bliss.

5. Plan a Special Activity

If you want to finish off summer with a bang, plan a special event that friends and family won’t forget. From camping in the backyard, gathering for an outdoor game night (with plenty of fresh appetizers!) to hosting a backyard BBQ, one last hurrah will help you create and savor wonderful summer memories.

No matter how you decide to enjoy the end of the season, be sure to pause and take in these last few weeks of summer; they’ll be gone before you know it!

 

Price Chopper and Market 32 are Produce Proud, and kicking off July with beautiful options, and  AdvantEdge points for produce purchases. https://www.pricechopper.com/rewards/  Make half of your plate fruits and veggies at snacks and meals, and you will reap the benefits of eating well. Check out some of these easy and exciting ways to fire up your produce intake and power up delicious, nutritious meals!

Great grilling!

Check out the seasonal section of our stores for grill pans, metal and wooden skewers you can use to short cut grilling vegetables and fruit! If using wooden skewers, soak in water for at least 30 minutes to prevent burning. Choose your favorite cut fruit, like fresh mango or pineapple, oil the grill pan or the grill itself with some olive oil, then get going with some fun serving ideas. Thin vegetables like green beans, asparagus or scallions cook up in 4 minutes or less. Thicker cuts of vegetables may take a few more minutes to reach that warm but still crunchy-tender texture that goes so well with everything. Fruits should be watched carefully so the natural sugars don’t burn – marinate in a balsamic vinaigrette or add in something spicy for a wonderful topping, side or salsa!

Serving Savvy

Sassy Salsa – Grill sliced mango or fresh pineapple spears, (available already cut in the Produce fresh cut case), until warm and slightly softened. Dust with cayenne, top with sliced scallions and serve with grilled chicken or seafood.

Brussels Kabobs – Carefully rinse and trim the ends off of bagged, fresh Brussels sprouts, keeping the ends intact. If feeding a crowd, rinse a net bag of Market 32 Baby Red or Yellow Potatoes, too. Microwave the sprouts and potatoes for 4-5 minutes, until slightly soft. Allow vegetables to cool slightly, then thread with sweet onion quarters onto kabobs and cook on an oiled grill on medium heat until slightly charred and tender, 8-10 minutes, turning to brown evenly. Toss with lemon vinaigrette and serve with your favorite protein, like grilled flank steak.

Caesar Asparagus – Wash and trim fresh asparagus. Oil grill and cook on medium until tender, approximately 4-6 minutes, turning frequently. Top with a squeeze of fresh lemon and some shredded Parmesan cheese. Enjoy hot or cold!

Grilling greats know this food safety tip – wash all fresh produce, even if it will be peeled or cut up, before prepping.