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Choices That Can Make a Difference

Every day we have choices that can impact our world.  Some of these are simple adjustments in the way we do things.  By spending less on ourselves, we have more to share so please consider some of these ideas for your home.  Please also write and let us know how this page has impacted you, and provide any additional tips by writing to

  1. Consider having a meal of rice and beans once per week and donating what you would have regularly spent on that dinner to a food program. 

  2. Plant your own food.  Even if you don't have a plot to plant, with a few small plants in pots you could be eating your own tomatoes or strawberries and saving at the grocery store. Click here for an article by Reader's Digest on basic gardening tips that can save you time and money

  3. Even if you are living in a city you can grow some food.  Click here for Urban Gardening tips from Reader's DigestPlanter Box Garden

  4. If you like coffee, consider the cost savings of making your own using organic fair-trade fresh coffee beans, a grinder and a French press.  A grinder in one ERDO staffer's house has lasted 27 years so it was a good investment.  With many cups of specialty coffee priced well over $3, the savings can quickly add up.

  5. Reduce your dependence on take-out food.  In some cities a couple of large pizzas and a few chicken wings can cost about $50.  For a great home-made pizza in a jiffy, purchase pre-made pizza dough then add your usual fixings focussing on healthy fibrous in-season foods like peppers, tomatoes or whatever you fancy.  Kids can enjoy making their own pizza section with their favorite toppings. You can use the preparation of the pizza as an opportunity to talk about how many choices you have of toppings and how many people in the world exist on very few food choices that lack the same nutritional value.

  6. If you have to use bleach, keep this in mind and save money; according to a fungi researcher at Ohio University, straight bleach is less effective at killing mold spores and many bacteria than bleach diluted 1:10 with water.

  7. Instead of expensive air fresheners, consider boiling a pot of water with slices of orange and a cinnamon stick. Never leave this unattended on your stove.ERDO grow your own food

  8. In Pakistan where the Canadian Foodgrains Bank supported food distributions following the massive flooding in 2010, many people used part of their ration that included wheat flour to make a simple flat bread.  They ate this in the late morning for breakfast. 

  9. If you want to save money on groceries and have some interesting inexpensive meal ideas, you'll want to check out this link to see 100 Cheap and Easy Recipes Under $1 per Serving

  10. If there is a big sale, and you are able, stock up on the items you know are regularly on your shopping list. Big savings can be had on meat and toiletries by checking out local flyers and knowing what's on sale.  Many stores will match prices offered by their competitors so scan your sales flyers and shop where you can get the largest savings.  Also, when items are on sale that will benefit your local food bank, please remember to purchase extra for people in your own area who need nutritional assistance.  For a list of what foodbanks typically request, click here.

  11. Preparing your own weekly meal plan, and then shopping for that plan will reduce the chance of those "extra" items jumping into your cart.

  12. If you want to start planning meals with what is already in your cupboard, and need some creative inspiration, check out the Supercook website by clicking this link

  13. Think local, and in season.  It's going to be Farmer's Market season soon and there will be lots of fresh produce available that you can purchase directly from the farms.  By eliminating the overhead costs of a grocery store, you'll have more money in your pocket.  Just don't over-purchase, but if you find that you have, then share it with a friend.  In fact if you go to the Farmer's market with a friend you can buy a bigger quantity at greater savings and then split the purchase.Make your own cupcake

  14. Better yet, pick your own.  If you have berry, cherry and apple farms close by, consider an outing to purchase fresh items and then freeze, make jam, etc. to enjoy those flavours all winter. 

  15. Make your own cakes, cookies and cupcakes if you can't resist sweets.  A box of cake mix (if you're in a hurry) usually costs the same as one retail cupcake so if you want a sweet treat at a lower cost, bake your own.

  16. Find out more about hunger in Canada by reading the 2015 Comprehensive Report on Hunger and Food Bank Use in Canada.

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