(photo compliments of laundry.co.uk)
Saving money on energy and home bills and conserving energy and the environment are the same thing. You want lower bills, everyone needs greener air. Win-win!
Check out a few tips for how to save your wallet and the planet:
- Cuddle up at night. Lower your heat at night to save. Pile on the blankets, cuddle up, and remember to wear socks. Keeping your feet warm at night helps you fall asleep faster. Continue reading
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Everyone knows the cost of gas. Everyone complains about the cost of gas. Chances are, if you are drawing a blank on small-talk topics, gas prices will be popular.
So how do you take care of your car and drive to maximize your miles-per-gallon (mpg)?
- Get the lead out–of your trunk. Your car’s trunk is a handy place to store all sorts of things–car stuff, sports stuff, that return-bound bag of cement you never used for that fencepost project. Whatever it is, it adds up, and every one hundred pounds removed can improve fuel economy by 2 percent, according to a Federal Trade Commission report.
- Walk! Park your car and get some exercise. The best way to stretch your gas money is to leave your car parked and walk instead. It is rumored that short trips of 1 mile or less are the number-one reason for most American car trips. And, according to the Web site www.walkscore.com, a study in Washington State found that the average resident of a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood weighs seven pounds less than someone who lives in a sprawling neighborhood. | So next time you think about climbing in your car to drive somewhere nearby, stop and think–can I walk there? Can I ride my bike? The life (and the money) you save may be your own. Continue reading
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Need a hobby? Need to revisit an old craft or skill? The following tips are ways crafts or hobbies can save you and your family money.
- Paint for a new look. Jennifer gets tired of furniture easily, but instead of rushing out to buy new, she reaches for a paint can. A fresh color, and the world looks bright and shiny again. But old wooden chairs at garage sales, give them a quick coat of new color, and change the way your dining room looks. You’ll spend far less than if you headed for the mall furniture store.
- Decorate with blooming plants. Instead of treating yourself to cut flowers on your dinner table (unless you can cut them for free in your own garden) buy a flowering indoor plant. It is less expensive to buy one pretty plant than a series of bouquets. Continue reading
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If you have a yard, start a garden. The financial benefits of gardening are extensive, the health benefits are obvious, and the environmental benefits are substantial. You don’t need a huge garden, and your family can help out and bond through the care of it.
Here’s a list of ways to maximize the benefits of gardening in your life:
- Make your own fertilizer. Get in the habit of composting your vegetable and garden scraps. You will do something nice for the planet, put less into the waste stream, and get free fertilizer for your garden in the process! You can find information on building your own compost bin at www.bluegrassgardens.com.
- Plant a money garden. With an eye towards increased interest in vegetable gardening, the Burpee Seed Company has developed a “Money Garden” seed packet. Six different kinds of vegetables are included for $10. The company says the plants will produce $650 dollars worth of produce. Continue reading
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Alright, while reading 573 Ways to Save Money by Peter Sander and Jennifer Sander, I found a few super simple recipes I really liked. They use a few real ingredients, and are cheaper than their pre-made or packaged counterparts at the supermarket with mystery chemicals and preservatives. Save money, cook with healthier ingredients and get creative in the kitchen? This is great.
- Make your own smoothies. Get out of the habit of expensive fruit juice smoothies and get into the habit of making them yourself at home. Bananas, berries, ice, yogurt, juice, and a blender are all you need. Visit www.smoothieweb.com for a great selection of smoothie recipes.
- Stuff baked potatoes. An inexpensive and filling way to feed a family is with stuffed baked potatoes. Bake them, scoop out the insides, and mash with a bit of milk, butter, and sour cream, then add in chopped and spiced meat or cheese or vegetables.
- Simple pasta is the best. This inexpensive pasta meal is perfect–plain pasta, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese. Add salad or a loaf of bread you’ve made yourself, and you have a budget gourmet meal. Continue reading