Today’s thrifty living tip is to hang your laundry using a clothesline or a laundry line. I have two metal posts outside that I use for my clothesline. Inside the house, I have a thick long chain on hooks which runs the length of my wash room. I do have a long wash room.
I can use the inside line when the weather is too rainy or cold to hang laundry outside. Hanging laundry helps to save electricity or natural gas, and I also find it puts less wear on my dryer. I have had the same dryer since 1997! I do use my dryer, but I hang laundry as much as I can.
Worried about wrinkles or clothes are too stiff, then just throw them in the dryer for a few minutes to help soften them. I prefer my towels to be stiff as I find they absorb the water more after I bathe. I just love how my sheets smell in the fresh air.
I’m not sure what rock I had been living under, but I never heard of Earth Hour until last year during my speech class. An exchange student from China gave a wonderful speech on Earth Hour. I try to live a “greener” life by conserving more of our resources, planting more of my own food, and recycling. I plan on participating in Earth Hour by turning off my lights for one hour. It seems inconvenient in our super busy lives to not be on the computer or to watch television, but maybe Earth Hour can help us to slow down a little and spend more time together as a family.
Earth Hour originated in Sydney Australia in 2007 by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) by asking everyone to turn off their lights for one hour. The date is March 31, 2012 (Saturday night) at 8:30 PM until 9:30PM. The initiative is to help offset the climate change, but it also conserves energy. From the Earth Hour website: “It’s scheduled on the last Saturday of every March – closely coinciding with the equinox to ensure most cities are in darkness as it rolled out around the Earth.” Last year more than 135 countries and millions of people participated in Earth Hour.
What else can we do to help preserve our planet?
Earth Hour asks everyone to go beyond the 60 minutes of one year by doing more to help conserve and preserve our world. The things we do to conserve are usually what helps to save you money. No matter what your views are, we do need to help preserve our planet for our generation and future generations. What we do now impacts us all now and in the future.
Get involved . It is also a great way to slow down and spend time with your loved ones. There are lots of great ideas by making a nice dinner by candlelight, play games with your flashlights, go outside and pretend to camp or look at the stars, talk, tell stories, or spend time with the neighbors and play cards. The possibilities are endless, and some communities have big events for the whole town or city to participate together.
I dare you to participate in Earth Hour on March 31, 2012 from 8:30-9:30. Will you join Earth Hour?
Today’s thrifty living tip is to use sports bottles or commuter mugs. I do have some plastic Tupperware mugs and big sports bottles to bring when I’m traveling and to use at school. It’s an environmental friendly way to cut down on trash and of course it does save you money.
It saves you money by making your own coffee to bring with you instead of buying it on the road. This can easily save you $20+ per month or even more depending on the size of coffee you purchase. It might not seem like much, but that is $240 per year! You can also save money by not spending $1.25-1.50 for a 20 oz bottle of water. Now if you bought a case of water (16 oz) you still spend $4-5 per case. You won’t save as much money unless you buy a bottle daily at the vending machine. But you can refill your bottles or mugs, and it cuts down a big amount of trash. Even if you recycle the bottles, it still isn’t as environmentally friendly.
There is a big debate of plastic bottles vs stainless steel. Many of the plastic sports bottles and mugs were made with BPA which we found out was harmful since it leached into acidic (orange juice) or hot liquids (coffee and hot tea). Now you must make sure that your stainless steel bottle doesn’t have a liner as it will contain BPA. I’m not going to have that debate and will leave it up to each individual.
Today’s frugal living tip is to reuse those coffee grounds, tea bags, eggshells, and vegetable/fruit peelings. Yep I drink coffee and tea on a daily basis so I take the grounds, and work them directly into the soil around my plants. Of course you can also throw them in a compost pile. I take rinsed eggshells and crush them before mixing into the soil. I also compost. You can either compost vegetable/fruit peelings or just dig small holes into your garden. I dig them in a few inches and let them rot until it’s time to till the soil. I love just digging small piles directly into the garden as I don’t have to deal with a compost pile this way. My soil still benefits and it gets worked into the whole garden plot twice a year. Not everyone is keen on the idea of having a compost pile so here is another alternative way to reduce waste, but it still helps your soil and plants thrive. The best part is that worms love the coffee grounds and seem to attract them. This is actually a positive as worms help to aerate the soil.
Today’s thrifty living tip is to bring your own bags to the store. We know all it cuts down on plastic being used to make bags which is great for the environment. It also cuts down on the amount of trash in landfills. But did you know that you can stuff a lot of groceries in them? Not only that, but the majority of them have a reinforced bottom which is great for canned goods plus heavier items. Most people say they have a hard time remembering to bring them to the store. So what I’ve done is to keep them stored in my car side door. This way I always see them before I get out of my car. I have heard that some stores will give a discount for bringing your own. None around me do this, but you might be one of those lucky people. CVS has a key chain one that you can buy for 99 cents, and you will get a $1 ECB for every 4th purchase when you have it scanned. I’m even starting to bring bigger tote bag ones when I go to yard sales. I usually get the bigger ones for free at some stores I have shopped. Another great thing about them is you could make your own customized ones if you wanted to have more stylish bags. I feel that these bags are a great and inexpensive investment.
Today’s thrifty living tip is use cloth napkins and dish towels over paper napkins and paper towels. This will save you lots of money over your life. I still use paper towels from time to time, but a super sized pack will last me for months. I usually buy one or two of those 8 roll packs on sale at CVS yearly. I have the same pack of napkins I got on sale over two years ago. I just rarely use them. I would much rather use my cloth napkins and towels.
I buy the dish towels on clearance and stock up. I make my own napkins by cutting out the size I need and serge the edges so it doesn’t ravel in the wash. These napkins will last for years. If it’s a big spill then I find the dish towel will clean up the spill quicker, and I don’t have to waste several paper towels. When they get to a point that I can’t use them in the kitchen, then they become cleaning towels. I really try to use them up as much as I can before discarding. We all know it’s better for the environment, but it’s also much better for my pocket book.
Each year I say I’m going to get my house more energy efficient for winter, but I end up procrastinating and do nothing. Then when I open my heating bills I want to cry. This year I am going to make my house more efficient so I can stop dreading the heating bill. I have a 55 year old house that comes with the original windows and doors which can get drafty. I did take down my doors to re-stain them, and filled in all the tiny hairline cracks. We had a nice cold front but I couldn’t feel any wind coming through like usual. Here is what I’m doing this weekend.
1) I am hanging thermal lined curtains in my living room. I eventually want them in the bedrooms we sleep in.
2) Installing door sweeps for all three doors.
3) Installing foam weather stripping for the windows. I also will caulk around the outside window casings and door frames.
4) I made a door draft guard for all three doors. We only use one of them on a regular basis. I will only put it in front of the door at night.
I spent under $200 for everything including the curtains. That was my biggest expense since I needed 8 panels for my living room. I didn’t want to use caulk on the window sills since we live in a warmer climate. Our winters aren’t very harsh so there are days I want to be able to open the windows to let in any nice air. That’s another reason why we didn’t want to put plastic wrap on the windows. I should be able to save at least 20% off my heating bill just doing these simple steps.
There are lots of ways to winterize your house. I don’t have to wrap or insulate pipes since we don’t get hard freezes and most of the time it’s only a day or two at a time. I don’t have a furnace or boiler so I don’t need to clean it out or make sure it’s in good working condition. I have a forced air natural gas heater so it’s minimal maintenance. Our attic is already well insulated, and we don’t have basements in Louisiana. You need to consider your winterizing needs which will depend on how cold your area gets. There is a lot of great information on the internet. I hope I gave you a few tips to consider so you don’t cry when you open your heating bills this winter.