Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thinking Green on St. Patty's Day

I just had a blast talking with Chicks Who Chat.
The topic: going green.

Originally published in 2007, I'm sharing this again because it really offers ways of cutting back & going green:
1. We only have one car. (cheaper insurance, repairs, gas-HUGE savings!) It's not nearly as inconvenient as people assume. I know. We've been using only one car for about 2 years now.
2. Breastfeeding. (Not for all moms, I know.) I've exclusively nursed my almost 7 month old, and that alone has saved us over $2,000 in formula/feeding costs.
3. Frugal shopping! I'm a bargain hunter. We find great deals for the boys at Once Upon a Child. We actually bought both of their winter coats there-totaling $16! And Brennan's is Columbia brand!
4. When we have the heat on, it's set low. Usually around 63.
5. Along with #4: we layer up! Slippers on the feet. Sweatshirt over the shirt.
6. If we're not in a room, that room is dark. No lights on unless we're in there. (unless I'm home alone)
7. Buy generics. Even with clipping coupons, usually the store/generic brand is still cheaper than national brand with coupon.
8. Take advantage of library used book sales! Great for your own collection, and gifts, too. Our library lets you buy a bag & stuff it. We've bought nearly 20 books before for a few bucks.
9. Menu planning. Plan meals out in advance, stick to the list. No eating out last minute because you already know what to prepare for dinner.
10. Going off #9: incorporate meatless meals. Plenty healthy options, using vegetarian meals, beans, etc. Good for the waist, good for the budget. Win-win.
11. We don't use sandwich bags on a regular basis. For a sandwich on-the-go, we bought one sandwich-sized container (similar to these) at Ikea for 99 cents. We've used it many times, for far less than the cost of Ziplocs.
12. Date nights are at home. Though this one isn't 100% by choice, it does save $ and we've found many enjoyable dates at home. :)
13. Invest in a Health Savings Account. This depends on your employer, but if it's an option, look into it! We saved some nice chunks of (pre-taxed) change with our HSA.

*Bonus* This post wouldn't be complete without mentioning Dave Ramsey. Dave's the man. He knows his [financial] stuff. We're trying to follow his suggestions, with "gazelle intensity". We're learning to cut costs even more thanks to Dave Ramsey. (Check out the Baby Steps here)

-------------Published November 2007----------------

We never set out to figure out how we could "go green". In truth, we were trying to be more resourceful and frugal. Isn't it great how they seem to go hand-in-hand? :)

Thanks for stopping by and I wish you a Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Mandy said...

Great ideas. We are doing some of them, but need to work on others....

Andrea said...

How do you do it with one car? My husband car pools as much as possible, but how do you go places with just the kids while your hubby is at work and school? I love to read your ideas, we do a lot of them ourselves. My sister and bil love dave ramsey.

Thrifty and Chic Mom said...

Great tips we have been faced with 1 car on countless occasions and it may be in our future here. Thanks for the reminder that there is a difference between convenience and need.

Tami said...

Great post. I always try to keep the heat at home on low. Unfortunately I'm not the only one with access to the thermostat. Meatless meals are definitely a win-win too. They're less expensive and can really improve your family's health. Just one meatless day a week cuts your saturated fat intake by 15% which significantly reduces your risk of stroke, cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

I actually just started working with a non-profit called Meatless Monday which encourages Americans to cut meat from their diets one day a week. I've learned so much already from the tips and nutrition information they have on their website, www.MeatlessMonday.com. We've "gone green" for St. Patty's Day too and have some good featured articles right now.