Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Frugal Thoughts

Thanks to everyone for putting my blog over the 100 visitors mark! :) What an accomplishment for about a month of being online!

A few random frugal thoughts for the day, including some conservation tips:

1. Use less water by using foaming hand soap (remember to make your own). Since it's about 75% water, you can get some soap, lather, and then rinse, saving the water you'd need to get the initial lather with traditional soaps.

2. Set a kitchen timer or alarm clock to keep your showers short. If you're in the habit of taking long showers, start with baby steps by decreasing your time by a minute each week. If you use a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, you'll save time also. (They also make timers that you can install in your shower, but I just can't see going there if I have a kitchen timer that will do the job.) You might also try cutting the water off while you lather up (I can only stand to do this in the summer... it's a little too chilly in the winter.)

3. Use rechargable batteries as much as possible to keep the standard ones out of the landfill. Many cities are now implementing recycling efforts for household batteries, so check our your local waste management center to see if they're doing so. (Sometimes you have to take them to the central collection site, not a convenience center, so we just stockpile ours and take them once or twice a year. I've started collecting spent ones at school to save them from going into the landfill.)

4. Switch to LED outdoor string lights or solar path lights, so that you're using less energy. Many places will exchange standard incandescent Christmas lights around the holidays for a discount on LED sets. (Home Depot did this last year.)

5. If you're planting a garden this spring or summer, tap into friends who are splitting perennials for flowers. For veggies, check out the local 4-H club or FFA clubs at the high schools. Usually they offer plants at a decent cost, and it's nice to know that what you're paying for them will go to support the efforts of these youth in future years. I got an email today (thanks Jamie!) with dates that our FFA will be selling plants and what they've started from seed this year so I know what to expect when I get there. If you find you check it out this year and find you like working with these groups, ask if they have an email contact list so that you can receive updates about their future events.

6. When looking for coupons, don't be afraid to send an email or letter requesting some from a favorite company and thanking them for providing a product you like. This post at Frugal Coupon Living has a great list of various companies who will respond to email or written requests (scroll about halfway down the page). There's a nice list of organic and natural companies there, too.

That's all for today... what about you? Do you have any fabulous frugal thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!

Sharin' the green love and savings!

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