Category Archives: Frugal Living

Going Green to Save Money

Going green to help protect the environment doesn’t have to mean spending more.  There are plenty of ways that greening your life can help keep more green in your wallet.  In fact, in many cases, living green can save you money. Here are three simple ways you can help protect the environment and save money.

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Eat Smart

Livestock production accounts for about 18 percent of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and accounts for about 23 percent of all global water used in agriculture. Meat costs a lot at the store, it’s even more expensive when you consider the related environmental and health costs.

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Reduce Your Packaging Waste In 5 Easy Steps

We cannot all afford to buy organic produce and environmentally friendly detergents when we go shopping every week, but we can make a difference to the environment by reducing the amount of packaging that we waste every day. Cardboard and plastic make up the bulk of our weekly garbage so by being mindful about what we buy and use, we can make huge improvements on both they type and amount of trash we throw away.

There are 5 easy steps you can take to reduce your packaging waste:

1. Always take your own bags when you go to the grocery store to do your weekly shop.

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7 Eco-Friendly Tips to Redecorate Your Living Room

Does your living room need some help? Guest contributor Joanna shares some eco-friendly tips on redecorating your living room.

Change of slipcovers and pillow covers

Easy touches like changing your sofa and pillow covers makes a big difference in your living room. The best thing is you can have multiple options throughout the year to change the look and wash the old covers in the mean time. Slip covers are one of the few accessories that doesn’t cost a fortune to give your room a complete face lift. The best options are always organic cotton covers as they are softer and contains no chemicals in the making of the material – perfect to be around small children in the home.

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Travel Green to BlogHer ’10

In less than two weeks more than one-thousand bloggers of all ages, races and yes, sexes will descend on New York City. Ushered in on a cloud of anticipation, excitement and social media they will spend two days learning, connecting and yes, partying.

This year, as in years past, BlogHer is working to implement important green initiatives conference wide — an exciting development in and of itself — and paired with the cooperation of individual attendees and the coordinated efforts of every blogger who travels to the conference we can have an even greater impact on the environment for the better!

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Staying on the Green Bandwagon

You know how the easiest way to stick to a diet is to not bring ‘problem’ foods into the house in the first place? Well, I’ve found I do the same thing with keeping to a ‘green’ diet. There are certain (decidedly un-environmental) conveniences I simply can’t resist if they’re easily accessable, so instead I don’t purchase them at all.

Maybe I have the will power of a knat, but I find this works for me. Out of sight, out of mind! The following are non-green items I try to avoid like the plague (because if they’re in my house, I’ll gladly use them!):

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Paper towels and napkins.

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Second-Hand Shopping

Lovely teacup
Thrift store teacup

There was a time in my life when I never darkened the door of a thrift store. I had a variety of reasons – I thought it took too much work to find something really good, I thought second hand stores smelled bad (they sometimes do), and I didn’t really like the idea that some stranger had worn that shirt or eaten off this plate.

Things have changed. These days I love second hand shopping. When I had kids I discovered that children’s clothing can get really expensive, really fast. This is especially true when they’re super-tiny and they grow through clothes at an alarming rate.

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Going Shampoo-Free

Day 2 shampoo free

Last month I decided to try no poo. It’s short for ‘no shampoo’, and it means that I’ve ditched my traditional hair cleaning products. And I am not alone. No poo’s following is growing, and people choose it for a variety of reasons.

Why did I choose to give up shampoo? Modern shampoos typically contain artificial colors and fragrances, and a variety of ingredients that haven’t been specifically tested for safety. Shampoo and conditioner come in plastic bottles, and there are problems with recycling plastic. Also, as compared to the more environmentally-friendly organic shampoos and conditioners I was using, this solution is super-cheap.

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What We’re Doing Wrong – Oh, The Plastic!

A couple of weeks ago I explained the events that led to my decision to 1) reassess my life and 2) write this series about it. If you haven’t read that, I highly recommend it. (Of course I do, right? Right!) When you’re done just don’t forget to come back and visit me here.

I’m more than a little ashamed to admit that, despite my best efforts, there is a lot of packaging that runs through this house. Especially of the plastic variety. Over the years we’ve instituted all the simple, every day waste reduction methods we could think of.

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After-School Snacks that Tread Lightly on the Planet (and your Grocery Budget)

If you’ve been following my posts here at 5 Minutes for Going Green, you know I’m all about taking baby steps toward eco-living. In other words, I tend to take two steps forward, followed by at least one squarely on my cushy bottom.
One step forward I’ve taken recently is to bake and cook healthy, whole-food after-school snacks for my kids. I’m tired of buying over-processed, heavily-packaged snack foods that destroyed my grocery budget.

Three winning recipes my (picky) kids happily eat:

Egg and cheese sandwiches:

2 packages English muffins (I buy wheat)

2 dozen eggs (I go with free range)

24 slices cheese (cheddar for our family)

Optional: ham slices or the veggie equivalent (we like Yves brand)

Fry the eggs individually (we cracked them right into circular cookie cutters on the griddle to keep their shape).

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Why My Kids Ride the Bus

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Because I make them.

It’s as simple as that. Just like I make them turn off lights when the leave a room and make them turn off the tap water while brushing their teeth and make them place empty cereal boxes in the recycling bin.

They don’t like it much. They say the bus smells (it does!) and sometimes, kids are rowdy. Often, they tell me, the bus driver is grouchy. If I drove them to school, they argue, they could sleep in a bit later (not that they would!) and would get home a bit earlier in the afternoons.

It’s true.

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