Tag Archives: eco-friendly

Save Money Going Green: Part Two

Go-Green-Save-Money environmentally friendlyI posted last week about saving money and being environmentally friendly. I really hope that at least half of you who read the blog took it to heart and started making some changes… After all, you’re going green and saving some green! I have some additional tips for those of you who have decided to go the green route…

 

  • CFLs– A CFL is a compact fluorescent light. I want to challenge you to buy at least two each time you get paid. You’ll be surprised to see how much your light bill goes down if you replaced all the lights in your house immediately. These bad boys will pay for themselves in a matter of a few months.
  • Wrap your water heater– Wrapping your water heater is a good way to keep heat from escaping it, keep it from working more than it has to, and to keep money in your checking account!
  • Low-flow shower heads– A low flow shower head keeps water waste to a minimum, and since you won’t be using as much, you won’t be paying for as much on your water bill (electric bill if you have a well instead of city water!).
  • Grow your own herbs- Depending on your use of herbs in cooking, this can be something that will save you a lot of money in the long run. An added bonus to growing your own herbs to me is the joy of growing pretty plants in the dining room or kitchen.
  • Grow native plants- Native plants are best adapted to the local climate and once established, seldom need watering, mulching, protection from frost or continuous mowing.
  • Carpool- Carpooling saves gas money, miles on the car, and on all upkeep… Plus, it gives you a chance to socialize. What could be better?
  • Keep an eye on tire pressure– Keeping your tires aired up helps your car run more efficiently, and believe it or not, your car pays you back with better gas mileage!
  • Go to the carwash- The boyfriend and I will always fight about this one, but it is much more eco-friendly to go to the carwash than to wash your car at home (especially if you waste all that water washing your car in the driveway!). Some carwashes even recycle their water, but they all use much less water than you use at home, so be lazy and go to the carwash! If you absolutely HAVE to wash your car at home (like my sweet boyfriend) then you should at least pull onto the grass and do double duty by washing the car and watering the lawn.
  • Eat locally grown food- Granted, locally grown and organic is ideal, but if you’re given the choice of one or the other, locally grown is better for the environment than organic if your organic food is from hundreds of miles away. Look online or talk to people around you and ask where your local Farmer’s Market is, this is your best bet for locally grown food.
  • Last but not least is to shop local- Granted, you can save a few bucks by shopping at Walmart and discount stores, but if you love your environment and your local economy, shop at your local, small town stores. Shop the antique stores, a local furniture maker, find someone local who designs and sews (one way to ensure that you’re never dressed just like everyone else!). Just take a look around, you’d be surprised what you can get local so that you don’t have to pay to have something shipped from across the country (or world!) and so that you can truly be unique!

Check back soon for more tips on going green!

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Do You REALLY Put Your Smartphone To Use?

ReallyUseYourSmartphoneIn this day of modern technology, even kids have smartphones. It’s not unusual to walk in somewhere and see 90% of the people around you with a smartphone in a holster, in their pockets, or in their hands being put to use. But what I want to ask you today is: Do you really use your smartphone? Yes, we all have them, but in reality, most of us that do have them don’t need them and certainly don’t use them for everything that they are capable of. So let’s put your smartphone to use!

Your typical smartphone user knows their basics: You can make calls, send text messages, send emails, play on Facebook, play games, use it as a flashlight (I probably couldn’t make it without the app that turns my phone’s flash into a camera if we’re being honest here!), and schedule appointments into your calendar. This is all great. I’m a Facebook addict and I love the fact that my phone keeps me connected to it at all times, but there is really so much more that you can use that expensive electronic brick for, and that’s why I’m writing this blog!

One of my favorite uses for my phone (yes, other than the flashlight and Facebook) is being able to stay connected to my online banking. I bank with a rather large credit union, and in the last year or so, they have made a lot of changes to their app. I can do much more than just look up my balances. I can transfer cash from my checking to my savings account, schedule payments for my credit card, set up alerts that go straight to my phone when my account balance gets low, and my all-time favorite thing is that when someone writes me a check, I can make the deposit from my phone just by taking pictures and uploading them through the app!

If you’re like me and you like to look up new and interesting things to eat, perhaps you would like to check out the AllRecipes.com app. When I get bored with my usual recipes, this is something that always spices up my dinners.

Now, I’ve said many times before that I am looking to save money, and I also try to do things that are environmentally friendly… As much as I love to read, I’ve been trying to curb the amount of books that I purchase. This has been fairly sad for me, but I’ve found a new love that’s really awesome: the Kindle app that comes automatically on most Android devices. Most eBooks that you find are actually much cheaper than you will find the printed versions for, and of course since they aren’t printed, it’s more environmentally friendly. An added bonus to this is if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can have the option to check out one free eBook each month (this is just one of MANY perks offered by Amazon Prime!).

Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies

This next thing isn’t something that everyone will take advantage of, but some of you will love it. If you area blogger, you can easily post, update, and maintain your blog from your smartphone. It all depends on your blogging platform, but Blogger and WordPress both have very user friendly apps that you may want to look into.

Have you thought about using your phone to get in shape? Seems crazy, right? Well, one of my new favorite apps is Noom. With Noom you can count calories, log your weight, exercises, and with Noom Pro you can even track your waist size. It even comes with an awesome step counter that gives you a goal for your target number of steps each day. This app gives you useful information to read daily to help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals, along with much, much more. An added bonus to it is a forum to keep in touch with others who are also working to lose weight and get in shape. While there are many other apps made to help with this, this particular one is my favorite.

Now, I’m not a great couponer, although I have tried… My boyfriend’s sister on the other hand is one of those people who can get most of her groceries for free. There are several couponing and deal apps out there that can help you do that. I haven’t started utilizing one yet, but my goal is to start soon and I will let you all know which ones I find useful and how much they have actually helped me.

Being a single mom, I still haven’t found the cash in my budget to get cable… However, I do have a Netflix account (rather my boyfriend does, and he was nice enough to give me the login info for it!) and although I mostly watch movies and shows on my computer, when the kiddos take over it to watch movies or play games, I’m left with my phone and I love watching movies on it!

Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies

As a woman, it is a rule of nature that we are supposed to shop, and shop I do! As you may have guessed, I do most of my shopping from my phone. What shopping I don’t do from my phone, I plan from it. My favorite shopping apps are eBay, Amazon, and occasionally Walmart. I HATE shopping at Walmart, but sometimes it is a necessary evil… That’s another blog for another time though. Preparing to shop though, my favorite app is from Publix. I make my list, pick the store I’m shopping at, and it tells me where every item on my list is at in the store. Another great thing about shopping at Publix is that you can pick out your coupons from their website and enter your phone number. No clipping coupons, and you save money, what could be better?

I do, of course, use my phone for many, many, many other things, but these were all things that I thought that you might find useful as well. Please comment below and let me know if I left out something that you couldn’t live without, or if I gave you some new ideas!

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Save Money Going Green!

Go-Green-Save-Money Save Money Going GreenToday we’re going to discuss one of my favorite subjects… Actually TWO! We’re first going to discuss how to save some money, but we’re going to save it by doing things that are good for the environment; also known as going green. Now, there may be some things that are a little outside of your comfort zone, and there may even be things that are flat out “NOs” for you eventually, but today we are simply going to talk about easy things that just make sense to do and you will see your savings almost immediately. Now sit back and relax as we save money going green!

  •  Clean your refrigerator coils – I don’t know about you, but this is something that I never really thought of, but it makes sense. If those coils are clean, the refrigerator doesn’t have to work so hard and it saves you money on your electric bill.
  • Shut things off that aren’t in use – How many times have you walked out of a room and left the lights or tv on? I know I have been guilty of this in the past, and we still do this every now and then at the boyfriend’s house, but we’re getting better and better about it.
  • Unplug appliances and chargers that aren’t in use – Did you know that your cell phone charger still uses electricity when you leave it plugged into the wall? So does your laptop charger, and many other things. Pretty much, if it has a light or a clock on it, it is sucking down your electricity and cash all day long.
  • In the winter, keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees or lower – I take this a step further… We keep the thermostat set at 60 degrees when we’re not home, and between 62 and 65 degrees overnight.
  • In the summer, keep your AC set at 78 degrees or higher – I’ll tell you the truth, I don’t like being too hot or too cold, and I generally keep it around 80 degrees in the summer time.
  • Air dry your clothes – If you don’t have a clothes line outside (which is ideal) you can still get resourceful and air dry them inside.
  • Stop irrigating your lawn – I know it’s tempting to want that perfectly green lawn, and if you can’t bring yourself to stop watering it completely, at least challenge yourself to stop doing it so often… Maybe half the time.
  • Don’t hose off the driveway – Really, just don’t. I used to be one of those people who did this, but quickly realized that it was a waste of water and money. Just grab a broom and sweep your driveway off. It’s easy, cheaper, and a heck of a workout.
  • Reuse your mug – If you make a regular trip to the coffee shop, consider buying a mug. Starbucks, as well as other coffee shops, offers discounts to customers that bring their own coffee mugs. And honestly, if you’re using Styrofoam cups at work or home, think of how much money would be saved for them (or yourself, if it’s at home) if you started using a mug of your own. That savings could go towards something awesome, like some really yummy coffee!
  • Bike or walk – Yes, if you live way out in the country, this may not be feasible, but if you live in town or in a city, it could be ideal. Do you know how much gas it takes to crank up your car to go less than a mile? And by the time you’ve waited in traffic, you could have made it there walking. My personal challenge is to walk anywhere that’s within a mile and a half… I’m saving money, doing something better for my health, and it’s better for the environment. In the next few months, I plan to purchase a bike, and that distance will be 3 to 5 miles instead.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these tips, and I really hope you put them to use. I will be sharing more tips that are both eco and budget friendly in weeks to come, so stay tuned!

If you’d like to read more before then, check out Green Made Easy: The Everyday Guide for Transitioning to a Green Lifestyle. There are many other resources that you might find interesting, but that is one of my favorites.

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