10 Ways to Save Money on Rent – Saving on Apartments and Condos

There is no greater cost for most of us than our housing costs – either our monthly rent, or mortgage. In some large cities – I’m looking at you Toronto and Vancouver – monthly rental costs can easily swallow up half of our paycheques! (Or, sadly sometimes way more!!) With rent prices skyrocketing, we thought it would be helpful to discuss some ways you can save money on renting an apartment, house or condo. If you can lower your rent costs, then you’ll be able to live within a budget. So, here are our 10 favorite tips!

1. Look for apartments in the ‘off season’

Sometimes you just can’t control when you need to rent a new place. For instance, if you’re a student – well, you need to rent an apartment to be ready for the new school year! But, if you are in a situation when you can be flexible about when you look for your new digs, choose winter time to search. Fewer other people will be searching then, and you might secure a lower lease because of it.

2. Add up all the costs – rent plus utilities

Sure, that gorgeous little downtown condo sounds like an impressive bargain! But, make sure you include all costs in your total rent payment. If the rent is $1500, but then parking is $150 and utilities are $200 your total rent payment is actually $1850! If there’s another condo located in the same building for $1750, with all costs included then you’re better off choosing Condo B. Do your research to discover what your full monthly housing costs will be.

3. Negotiate a lower rent

If you’re a brand new tenant, you may be able to negotiate rent by being knowledgeable about the area and what typical rental costs are. You can even print out similar properties with the rent that is currently being charged. If the landlord is reasonable, they may be willing to lower the rent. Or, if you’re a long-term tenant, use your record of excellent payment and tenancy to negotiate to either stay at the same rent or even lower it. Or, sometimes landlords are willing to negotiate for other freebies such as free additional storage space, or free parking. (I’ve recently done exactly that – received free parking that would’ve otherwise cost $65/month, because we are long-term, excellent tenants.)

4. Offer to do repairs, maintenance or lawn work

Your landlord may really appreciate it if you’re willing to do some of their hard work for them! It never hurts to ask if you could do some repairs around the place for a lowered rent. Or, you could do regular maintenance or yard work – such as raking up leaves, mowing the lawn, or shoveling snow. Ask them if you could negotiate your rent based on offering these maintenance services. Then, if they agree – get your agreement in writing.

5. Manage an apartment building

Some people get free rent by managing an apartment building! Others will receive reduced rent for doing this job. But, make sure you know what you’re signing up for. Other tenants will come to you with complaints, and worries and even possibly to drop off rent cheques. Make sure you want to take on this responsibility before signing up to be a resident manager. If this kind of job sounds ideal, then you may snag some very cheap rent!

Home sweet home

6. Get a Roommate

Sure, getting a roommate may be an obvious choice to reducing your overall rental costs, but make sure to do your research. As in: know the person you’re going to share your home with! Ask around your friends to see if anyone needs a good roommate, or even at your workplace. Set up careful rules about how rent will be paid, how utilities will be divided, and even how food will be shared.

7. Sign a longer lease

Have you found your dream place? Are you worried that rent prices are just going to continue going up, up, UP? Well, then sign a longer lease. Ask your landlord or the management company of your building if a longer lease is an option. This could be 1 year, or even 2 years or longer. Then, you’ll have locked in your housing costs for that period of time and won’t have to worry about that dreaded letter being slipped under your door telling you about rent increases.

8. Rental Incentives

Especially in areas where there are a lot of rentals available, and too few qualified renters – there will be rental incentives. Take note of signs in the areas you’re looking to live in of these special offers. $500 off, Free Parking, 1 month free rent, and other offers may be used to entice new tenants to sign a lease at that apartment or condo complex. And, if there are incentives, you know too that the landlord may be willing to negotiate a bit more in other areas – such as free cable or internet. It’s always worth asking! (Just be polite about it, and don’t seem as if you’re trying to take advantage.)

9. Refer a Friend

Often, larger condos or apartment buildings may have a referral system in place to reward you if a friend moves in. At one point, where we live, both we and our friend received $150 off rent, and all because we referred her! It’s worth checking it out, and seeing if there are any perks for referring people to live in the same complex you do. And hey, then you’ll know the neighbors, too!

10. Rent an unfurnished apartment

If this is the first time out on your own, you may be very tempted by gorgeous, glossy looking, fully furnished apartments or condos. But, the price for these can be outrageously high! Instead, choose a small first apartment and then furnish it very cheaply. You can do so by letting your family and friends know (it seems like everyone’s Auntie or Grandma has some extra, old furniture lying around unused in the attic) or also by finding freebies or very inexpensive furniture on Craigslist or Kijiji. It’ll take a little time to furnish your place, but this way you’ll also make it more your own, unique space.

Mega PC Optimum points this week at Superstore

pc optimun card to highlight this week deals

Hi bargaineers! If you’re loading up on PC Optimum points – perhaps saving up for a large freebie like a tablet or a TV – then this is a week to add HUGE points to your account.

Here are the best and biggest point purchases to rack up points at Superstore this week:

3000 points when you spend $15 on Mars pet food brand cat and dog food! (Includes Pedigree, Whiskas, Cesar, Iams, Temptations treats, Crave, Greenies and Nutro)

1000 points on a 6 pack of Royale facial tissues

2500 points on a club pack size of Astro original yogurt (mini cups)

1000 points on 1 kg Jif peanut butter

3000 points on Made Good healthy granola bars (288 grams to 396 grams size)

3000 points on Folgers coffee pods (12 pack)

2000 points on Hellman’s mayo (club pack size – 1.42 L)

1000 points on Hungry Buddha coconut chips snack ($4.00 sale price)

1000 points on Thirsty Buddha coconut water (sale price $2.98)

2000 points when you spend $10 on Yves veggie products (vegan/vegetarian meat replacements)

3000 points on every $15 spent on Oxo kitchen gadgets. (Seriously, some of my favourite gadgets around!!)

6000 points on every $60 spent on Netflix gift cards

1000 points on small bottles of Vaseline lotions

2000 points on Eevlon Photoready foundation, concealer or powder

And there are even more! Check out the Superstore flyer on the flipp app (https://flipp.com – not an affiliate link, I just love recommending this flyer app!) I hope you collect a massive amount of PC Optimum points this week!

At Real Canadian Superstore this week – Bonus PC Optimum points on select gift cards

5000 bonus PC Optimum points on Uber & H & M Gift cards

I love a great gift card deal! Superstore often has bonus PC Optimum points on selected gift cards. The reason why I love PC points so much is simple – they equal free groceries!

This week’s deal is valid from September 20 – 26. Get 5000 bonus points when you purchase a $25 Uber or H & M gift card. (The bonus points apply on every $25 you spend. So a $50 gift card equals 10000 points!)

Remember…every 5000 points is $5 worth to spend at Superstore or Shoppers. So, if you’re looking for a gift, this might be an awesome option! (And I didn’t even know that you could buy Uber gift cards, let alone at Superstore.)

10 Best Baby Shower Gifts Canada – Baby Baskets and more

Is there anything more wonderful or more adorable than a new baby? Since here in Bargainblog land we are currently waiting for one of our dearest friends to have her second bouncing baby boy, we have also been doing a lot of shopping for baby gifts! In particular, we’ve been searching for gifts that are perfect to present to the new Mom at a baby shower. All of these links and resources are available to Canadian Moms, so shop away!

1. Diaper Bags

A fantastic diaper bag. As new Moms will become aware all too quickly, they need to carry a LOT of stuff around them to keep the little human cared for and happy! A good diaper bag allows storage of diapers (sorry for being painfully obvious), baby bottles, baby wipes and much more. This cool backpack variety means your hands will be free to carry the baby! And I love that it has an insulated front pocket to safely store bottles of breast milk or baby formula.

2. Baby Toiletries Sets

Baby lotion, baby powder, baby shampoo. Other essentials for the new parents to care for their gorgeous little one are all of these baby toiletries! This mini set by Live Clean (baby) is perfect for toting all the time in the baby bag. (Or if the parents are travelling – all of the toiletries are trial size and perfect to store in carry-on luggage on a plane.) If you’d prefer a full-size set, it’s available here. It comes complete with baby lotion, diaper cream, non-petroleum ointment, baby shampoo and baby wash. Live Clean Baby is healthier for baby and the environment, and uses organic botanicals in its formulas.

3. Baby Sleep Soothing Devices – Baby Shusher

This is a new product to me! It rates very highly on Amazon, as being a soothing sleep miracle product for babies. I’d imagine that anything that allows exhausted, coffee-fueled parents a bit more sleep would be greatly appreciated! It creates a rhythmic, soothing shushing noise that eases the baby back to sleep. You can check it out for yourself (and read the reviews) here.

4. Baby Gift Baskets for Boys, Girls or Unisex

Baby gift baskets – These make a fantastic baby shower gift, because there are so many useful goodies inside! You can create a baby basket yourself, or select one that is pre-made. This cute one for a baby boy has amazing gifts in it like a Shampoo rinser (who knew!?), an embossed fleece blanket, a fluffy teddy bear, baby onesies, and baby socks. And this baby girl basket is overflowing with a soft blankie, baby toothbrush, baby nail clippers, a teddy bear and more – all sorted in a handy tote. (Unisex baby baskets are also available.)

5. Baby Food Blenders

Baby food maker/blender – If you know that the new parents are planning to make homemade baby food, then a baby food maker is a great gift! The top rated one I could find is called the Baby Bullet and it comes with everything you need to make baby food – except the fresh ingredients! (This 20 piece set also comes with some storage pieces.)

6. Diaper Cakes – Make it Yourself or Buy it

Diaper Cake – If you can’t be bothered creating one of these popular baby shower centerpieces yourself, this 3-tier diaper cake is already made for you! You can customize it with decorations that go with your baby shower theme, or leave it just as it is. A cute and and practical decoration that the new parents can take home and use! (If you would like to make your own diaper cake, the instructions are here, and they claim to be very simple.)

7. Baby Handprint Keepsake Kit

Handprint and Footprint Keepsake Kit – This adorable idea includes a frame that holds two photos of your baby, plus a clay mold that allows you to make imprints of your baby’s hand and foot! This will be one beautiful gift that will stay out on the wall. Very, very sweet.

8. Baby Books

Soft cloth baby books – To say I like reading is sort of like saying I like coffee. Ahem. And that love of reading, according to my Mom, began right when I was a baby, as they took reading to me very seriously. Sets of baby-safe books means you can read to baby, and then leave the book with them to gnaw on if they so choose. Hey, babies will learn to love books in an entirely different way once they get a wee bit older!

9. Baby Grooming and Health Sets

Baby grooming and healthcare setsThis organized little kit from Glee Baby (A Mom-preneur company!) comes with: digital thermometer, medicine dispenser, nasal aspirator, infant comb and brush, gum massaging brush, cotton swabs, rattle, nail clipper, nail filer and pacifier. Phew! That is quite a complete set, and it also has a handy storage case to keep it all convenient for Mom or Dad to grab when needed. I am seriously thinking about this one as a gift for my best friend at her baby shower!

10. Baby Shower Guest Books

Baby shower guest book – I love a good guest book. What could be better than to look back and see who was at your special event? And read their words of love! Win, win! There are a variety of styles, like this gold-tone ‘Oh Baby!’ book, which I am quite partial to.

Baby showers are a joyful event, and we all love to crowd around and watch the new parents open up gift after gift! We are, after all showering the parents, and their family with love with each present they open. I hope our list has given you inspiration to find a unique gift to give to your favourite new Mom, and her baby.

PC Optimum Points Offers this Week – Shoppers and Superstore

pc optimun card to highlight this week deals

Hello fellow bargaineers! Today is the first in what we hope will be an ongoing series of finding you the very best offers to maximize the PC Optimum points you collect.

What’s the value of PC Optimum points?

Collecting PC Optimum points are very valuable, because the more points you earn, the more free stuff you can get! Every 1000 points equals $1 worth of free merchandise for you at either Shopper’s Drug Mart or Real Canadian Superstore. There is a minimum point requirement of 10,000 points before you can redeem – so once you hit 10,000 points, you get $10 of free food or goodies!

The two major places to collect PC Optimum points are at either Superstore or Shopper’s. So, that’s where we’re going to focus our efforts, too. Now, let’s go find some points, bargaineers!

The Best PC Optimum offers at Superstore This Week

Get your shopping gear on, your loonie ready to pop into a shopping cart, and off we go! This week you can add MEGA points to your PC Optimum account! Here are the best deals at Real Canadian Superstore this week (August 16 to August 22, 2019):

  • 5000 points on every $15 spent on Nestle Favourites snack size treats, assorted count sizes (Hmmm…chocolate!)
  • 200 points on a 12 pack of Pepsi soft drinks
  • 500 points on U by Kotex pads, liners or tampons (sale price $6.98; limit of 4)
  • 3000 points on a Club Size (72 pack) of Sunrype fruit to go (sale price $18.98; limit of 4)
  • 2000 points on an 8-pack of Aylmer 796 ml cans of tomatoes (sale price $8.88; limit of 4)
  • 2000 points on an 8-pack of Chef Boyardee mini ravioli OR Heinz baked beans or pasta (sale price $8.68)
  • 1000 points on an 18 pack of Original Wagon Wheels (sale price $3.98; limit of 4) *I miss these so much since going gluten free! Craving some gluten free snacks that will satisfy? Head over to my 25 Best Gluten Free Snacks on Amazon.ca.
  • 2000 points on Mott’s Fruitsations variety pack (24 x 111 grams or 12 x 104 ml) $9.48 each
  • 1000 points on Always pads (36-62 size) or liners (116 or 136 pack size) $10.78
  • 500 points on Litehouse dressings, 591 ml (sale price $4.98; limit of 4)
  • 5000 points on every $20 spent on stationery. (This is a great deal for all of you shopping for Back to School! $5 back in PC Optimum points for every $20 spent.)
  • 3000 points when you buy 2 Joe Fresh children’s mix and match clothing styles (either for baby, toddler, or kids sizes)
  • 1000 points on One a Day or Flintstones multivitamins or gummies (50-90 size bottles) (Sale price $8.98; limit of 4)
  • 1000 points on Dr. Scholl’s insoles, selected varieties (Sale price $16.98; limit of 2)
  • 12000 points on every $40 spent on participating Claritin, Aerius or Restoralax products

This Week’s Best PC Optimum Offers at Shoppers

Valid August 17 to 23, 2019.

  • 8000 points on 2 Vichy Mineral 89 or Liftactiv Skin care products
  • 8000 points on 2 Avene sun care products
  • 10000 points on Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones
  • 10000 points on a Spotify gift card (minimum value $60)
  • 2000 points on HUGGIES Super boxed diapers or training pants
  • 3000 points on 2 Dove Hair care products (selected types and sizes; excludes large sizes)
  • 8000 points on 2 Olay Total Effects or Olay Whip Facial moisturizers (selected types and sizes)
  • 3000 points when you spend $20 on Life Brand hair, sun, acne or skin care products
  • 5000 points when you buy 2 Natural Instincts, Nice ‘n Easy or Root Touch-up hair colour kits
  • 3000 points when you buy 2 Quo full or individual lashes fake eyelashes, selected types
  • 5000 points when you spend $25 on Quo sleep accessory sets, sponges, or cosmetic bags
  • 2000 points when you buy 2 Joe Fresh socks (1-4 pair packs) or Secret Collection tights

Whew! You could have a very impressive points haul this week if you can take advantage of some of these deals. Superstore especially had some amazing bargains on back to school promotions. Hope you can grab a bunch of points, bargaineers! And please post a comment if you got an especially good deal you’d like to brag about.

How to Save Money on Food in 3 Easy Steps!

Putting money into a piggy bank as a result of your savings on food.

Do you love food? I know I do! We need food to live but the variety we have makes it a delight. As a result, food costs end up being one of the largest household expenses for families. So, how do you save money on food? The key lies with the type of expense food is.

Saving Money on Food, a Variable Cost

Most of our expenses are fixed and there is little we can do to change them. Expenses like mortgages, rent, car payment, insurance are examples of such. The only variable expense is food. So, to save money, we must focus on cutting food costs. How? Here are 3 easy steps.

Track Your Food Costs

This means you track the amount you spend on food including groceries and eating out. You can track either weekly or monthly but have enough of a sample size to give you a good idea of your spending habits. Once you have done that, find your average food spending costs.

Reduce and Save

Once you have your average food costs, take 10 percent of that amount and immediately put into savings. You will do this every time you need to spend on food(either weekly or monthly). The other 90 is what you will spend on food. So, is that it? Not quite!

Use Cash, Save More Money

The next thing you need to do is take that food budget as cash. Why? Because once your cash is gone, there is nothing else to spend. If you use a debit or credit card, there is always the temptation to spend beyond your budget. Cash takes this away. Also, you will be more mindful of what you spend on and might have cash leftover. If you do, put that into savings too!

Conclusion

It seems pretty easy and it is! Most times the simple solution is the best solution. So try it out, you might be surprised on how much you save! Saving money is important; eating food is very important. But you can have the best of both worlds. So eat, drink and save!

$20 off a bagless Bissell Zing vacuum cleaner on Amazon

If you have messy pets, or messy kids – or a chaotic combination of both – then you know how important a good vacuum cleaner is. There is always something that needs to be cleaned up!


Click on photo to go directly to product page

Today on Amazon you can snag yourself a great deal on a Bissell! This reliable vacuum is on for $59.99 for today only. (Regular price is $79.99) I’m a big fan of bagless vacuums, because who can be bothered mucking out a dusty, musty vacuum bag? Less waste too.

10 Ways to Save Money on Groceries and Food in Canada

There is no denying it – what we spend on food can cost us a huge portion of our income. And, with prices of food seemingly going up continuously, we all are looking for ways to save on our weekly grocery bills. Here are our top 10 ways to save on groceries. Have more ideas to share? Please leave a comment!

  1. Change supermarkets – I know, you’ve shopped at your favourite store forever and so did your Mama and your grandmother. Maybe the store you shop at is very comfortable for you – you know where everything is located, and you even know the names of your favourite cashiers! I get it. But, changing to a lower-cost supermarket can save you immense amounts of money. Stores like Walmart and No-Frills are much lower cost than high-end grocery stores.
  2. Shop at multiple stores – Instead of hitting up only one store every week, make a detailed list of the best sales (or loss leaders) at every store, and stock up on those.
  3. Search grocery flyers or flyer apps before you head out – Apps like Flipp have made browsing through grocery flyers a way easier task! You can even create a shopping list of all the specials at each store, and then access that list easily on your smartphone. Or, of course there are still paper flyers that you can peruse. This way you are armed with the information on what each store has on sale this week, allowing you to get the best deals. And therefore – save your money!
  4. Make a price book – This has been an frugal living tip for a long time, as any longtime frugalites will know! What is a price book? Basically, a notebook (or digital file on your phone or tablet) where you keep track of the best prices in your area for the food you buy. This is helpful because it is such a personal document – you will know what is truly a good deal when organic strawberries are on sale, for instance. You only need to keep track of the things you regularly purchase. It’ll help you understand when something is actually a very good deal.
  5. Farmer’s Markets – Ahhh, I love an afternoon at the Farmer’s Market! But, some of these markets are quite pricey along with their charm and quaintness. Ask around to find the best markets with the lowest prices. Sometimes shopping nearer the end of the day means you can snag a deal on produce that the grower doesn’t want to drag back home with them.
  6. Outlet food stores – I was recently told a tip about an Italian outlet market here in Calgary! It’s called Scarpone’s, and is located in the North of Calgary. There you can get amazing deals on their own canned tomatoes, and items like olives, olive oils, capers and pasta sauces. Ask around in your area, or head to trusty Google and type in ‘outlet food stores’ + ‘your city’ to find some hidden treasures you may never have known existed. (Another good resource to know about is McGavin’s Bread Basket. This store sells bread that is still a number of days out from being past its Best Before date. You can stock up, and freeze the bread, rolls, bagels or English muffins. It is a huge savings on the cost of a regular loaf of bread!)
  7. Coupons – Coupons are one of those things you either love, or you roll your eyes in disgust at the very thought of! I think I’m somewhere in the middle. I usually have a few clipped coupons in my wallet, but only on items that I would normally buy. And apps like Checkout 51 make clipping coupons as easy as tapping your smartphone screen. (In fact, you get credited a cash amount – say, $1.00 – after you purchase a certain product and prove that you purchased it by scanning the receipt and sometimes also the UPC. Once you reach a $20.00 threshold, you are sent a cheque! I have indeed received such a cheque, and can verify that this is a worthwhile app to have.)
  8. Check clearance sections – The clearance sections of your grocery store can provide all sorts of goodies! Sometimes you can even match a clearance price with a coupon, or a digital coupon on Checkout 51. Score! Double savings, folks. You can find a regular merchandise clearance, a produce clearance, and often a fresh foods clearance. You’ll have to keep your eyes open to find where your store has all the different reduced food sections. Usually these food items have a short best before date, so use up this good food and know that you’re preventing it from being dumped in the landfill!
  9. Try a generic version – Generic or no name products are often just as good as their more highly-advertised, brand name counterparts. Store brands are a good compromise of a product that is just as good as a brand name, but usually quite a bit cheaper.
  10. Shop for groceries online – Many of my friends swear by online grocery shopping. You choose all the food items you want, and then simply go to the store to pick your order up. Some stores have a fee for this service, but it might be worthwhile if it prevents you from impulse buying.

We hope that our list of grocery shopping savings tips will help you save some of your hard earned money. With a little pre-planning, a bit of browsing through flyers or flyer apps, and a little effort you can both save money AND eat like a king or queen!

No Frills Flyer Deals this Week – Grocery savings in Canada

Does No Frills have the cheapest grocery prices in Canada? We’re going out on a limb and declaring that YES, they do! And, even if you can’t get to a No Frills to do your shopping this week, you can download their latest flyer on your Flipp app, and shop somewhere like Walmart or Superstore – where they price match. A post on price matching is coming up soon! Watch for it.

(Oh, and before you head out to No Frills to stock up on bargains check out our article on our favourite eco-friendly produce bags. These are environmentally friendly ways to tote your stash of fresh fruits and veggies.)

Best No Frills Deals this Week – Starting July 5, 2019 – Includes amazing 50 Cent deals

Please note that these prices are for Western Canada:

  • Baby carrots, 2 lb bag $2.97
  • Chicken drumsticks $1.77/lb
  • Cherries (!!!) only $1.97/lb this week. Ahh, does anything taste more like summer than fresh, delicious cherries? (Okay peaches, I see you. Hopefully you’ll be on sale soon, too.)
  • Clover Leaf light tuna or Brunswick sardines – $1.00 each
  • Country Harvest bread $2.00 – STOCK UP PRICE! Pop a few of these in the freezer.
  • Dove – 8×90 gram bar soap; or 650 ml body wash $5.97 (Compare the price on Amazon HERE.)
  • Lindt Excellence chocolate bars 100 grams $2.97 (Lots of varieties of dark chocolate available. Mmmmm chocolate.)
  • Maxwell House coffee – large tin of 631 gram to 925 gram size – $6.97 (Compare the price on Amazon HERE.)
  • Navel oranges $1.00/lb
  • Organic bananas $0.87/lb
  • Organic strawberries, 1 lb – perfect for slicing and dishing up with fresh whipped cream – $2.97
  • Palmolive HUGE 3 liter liquid dish soap/detergent $5.97
  • Peace Tea iced tea – 695 ml cans – $0.87
  • Piller’s Turkey Bites or Pepperoni pepperettes $4.97
  • Robin Hood All purpose flour – large 10 kg size – $8.77
  • Stouffer’s or Lean Cuisine frozen entrees $1.97
  • Ziggy’s salads 1.25 kg – includes potato salad and macaroni salad and other varieties – $5.00

Crazy 50 Cent Deals at No Frills

These are mega deals! These are all of the fifty cent deals on at No Frills, starting tomorrow – July 5, 2019. Stock up on those your family loves!

  • Aylmer soup, No name sauce (such as poutine sauce) or soup cups $0.50
  • Beatrice or Dairyland 237 ml chocolate milk $0.50
  • Britannia Nutro wafers or Good Day biscuits $0.50
  • Carl Buddig sliced deli meats, 55 grams $0.50 (great bargain on this one!)
  • Foremost dairies peach or strawberry yogurt 175 gram $0.50
  • Friskies or Fancy Feast small tins cat food $0.50 (this seems like an especially good deal on the Fancy Feast!)
  • Kiwis $0.50 each
  • Lemons $0.50 each
  • Mr Noodles instant noodles 2 for $0.50
  • Nestle Pure life 1.5 L water $0.50 (Wow, this is an awesome deal!!)
  • No Name tomato paste, 156 ml $0.50

Wow, it’s a great week to stock up on some deals at your local No Frills! Happy shopping, bargaineers. If you find a bargain we missed, or just have a great shopping tip to share, then please leave a comment.

Reusable produce bags – grocery bags for your green life

Shopping for our daily groceries is just one of those tasks that you can’t avoid. Want to feed the family? Then you just have to go to a local farmers’ market, grocery store, or supermarket. After years of using flimsy (and often non-recyclable) plastic produce bags to stock up on onions, potatoes, apples and more – many of us are discovering that there are much better options.

Today, we want to share with you some of our picks for the best reusable produce bags. With care, these bags should last you years – and you won’t add even a smidge of waste to your local landfill! Making these small choices over time really add up to huge results. Okay, onward to our favourite shopping bags!

Cotton Mesh Shopping Bags

This 10 pack of Reusable Cotton Produce/Veggie Bags is a great starter pack for the home shopper! Say goodbye forever to plastic bags with this set of 10 produce bags. The tare weight is included on a tag, so you won’t pay extra for the weight of the bag at the grocery till. Set includes 3 small, 4 medium, and 3 large mesh shopping bags. To wash these cotton mesh bags: simply hand or machine wash in cold water, then lay out flat to air dry. Easy! Simple Ecology Organic Cotton Mesh Produce Bags are a wonderful set of 6 bags. These natural, organic cotton bags are very breathable – much better for your fresh fruit and vegetables than plastic bags. This set of 6 comes with 2 each of the small, medium and large sizes. Simple Ecology is a wonderful, ethical company with high standards.

Farmer’s Market Shopping Set – Jute bag plus Cotton produce bags

This Set of 6 Simple Ecology Reusable Shopping Bag Gift Set would make a perfect gift for an environmentally conscious friend! This starter set is perfect for heading out to the local farmer’s market – it comes with a well constructed jute shopping bag, a beachy mesh shopping bag, plus 4 produce bags in both muslin and mesh. An awesome set – and at time of writing, it was $15 off! Hooray bargaineers!

Shopping should be fun! Yes, that even includes grocery shopping. But, for those of us trying to reduce our footprint on the planet, it also means making wise choices of how to carry our food purchases. Instead of automatically relying on plastic bags, choose to carry jute, cotton, mesh or muslin bags instead. When stocking up on produce, our choices for eco-friendly produce bags make it a breeze to shop! Your health and the planet will both thank you.