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Lean N Green

There are so many things that we can do to help the environment and our wallet simultaneously.  Here are some easy things you can do:

1.  RECYCLE – If you are not recycling, please do!  Find your several nearest recycling centers, compare rates, and start saving your recyclables.  Earth911.com can help find a recycling near you (this includes everything from cans to computers).  We recycle and we bring in about $10 every two months or so.  It’s a great way to help the Earth and keep ourselves financially lean.

2. Canvas/Reusable Bags – When you are shopping, bring in your reusable bags for the bagger to use.  Not only will you not be bringing home tons of plastic bags, but you can also save a little money.  At my Safeway, for each bag I provide, I save $0.03 off my total.  At Raley’s, it’s $0.05.  Check your local stores and see if they participate.

3. Cutting down on consumption of products – the less we buy the more financially lean we can become and we can help our environment at the same time.  I do make a conscious effort to buy more items that are concentrated or come in large quantities so that I create less plastic waste.  For example, I buy a lot of applesauce for my two children.  Now I do occassionally buy it in the single serving containers but those are reserved for when we are away from home.  When we are home, I use a large container of applesauce.  Not only is this environmentally-friendly, it’s pocketbook friendly because these larger containers are usually a better value.  As always, check what you are paying per unit ( Divide dollar amount by the number of ounces, pounds, etc.).  Wal-Mart has this number posted on the shelf label.

4. Conserve Energy – A no brainer -yes!  Turn off all lights and appliances when not in use.  Unplug electronics, turn down your water heater, take a shorter shower, etc.  In the summer, keep your thermostat at 78 degrees – use ceiling fans!  This all brings your energy bill down and your savings account up.

5. Conserve Gas – As moms, we are constantly on the go.  As much as possible, try to plan trips so that you are hitting multiple errands in one outing.  Cars are more efficient when they are already warmed up and you will be driving less miles when you do more shopping in a single trip.  Besides – gas sure isn’t cheap these days!

6. Waste Not, Want Not – We are all looking for ways to cut back on expenses.  Have you ever opened your refrigerator door, and practically had to empty it by throwing away old food?  I have, and it makes me sick to think of the waste.  To help yourself waste less, every time you throw something away, assign a dollar amount to it.  Mentally add up what you throw away over the course of one month, or even one week.  Once you realize how much money you are literally throwing away, it will be easier to be more conscientious about what you are buying and you will end up spending less.

  • Make it your personal goal to use everything – especially produce and meat.
  • Try to use leftovers (often the culprit in my fridge) for lunches.
  • Plan your meals for the week in advance and shop accordingly.
  • Resist picking up extras at the store.
  • Plan one day a week where you eat leftovers such as a Friday Free For All, or a Wednesday Waste Not, Want Not.

We can all save more money just by making sure we use what we have and not wasting it.  Let’s do it together.

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