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Archive for April, 2012

I recently read an article on how to cut your grocery bill. Here, I will share some tips from that article and some of my own that will help you save money and save the environment. Let’s get started:

1) Don’t buy a product (especially a food product) for the “cool” factor. Products made to be more convenient or to look “cool” will cost you unnecessarily more. Additionally, many of these products use extra packaging. So, you’re mostly paying for the appearance of the product and its packaging. Extra packaging means more waste in our landfills.

Here are a couple of examples of what I think is the “cool” factor:

          

2) Don’t shop when you’re hungry! My husband and I have fallen prey to this one before, and it’s true: you buy more when you’re hungry. Not only that, but you buy extra processed, junk foods that are not good for you when you’re hungry. And more than that, when you buy more (especially perishables) than  you can eat, it typically goes to waste.

3) Don’t go to the grocery store every time you need something. Throughout the week, make a list of what you’ll need for the next week. Plan out your meals and include all of the ingredients you don’t already have on next week’s list. Then, hit the store ONCE. This will save you time, stress, gas and probably money since you’ll be tempted to buy extra less often since you’ll be in the store less often.

I have an app on my iPad called Grocery IQ that allows me to make a really convenient grocery list. The app is FREE and is also available for iPhone. Check it out!

I’m sure this is not a comprehensive list. How have you changed your shopping habits to save money and to be “greener”? Add your thoughts here!

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Summer is coming and if you live in Wisconsin like me, you’ve already experienced some summer heat this spring. Here are several tips for how to stay cool this summer while staying green and without going broke.

1) Keep your shades closed. Thermal curtains or light-blocking curtains are relatively inexpensive and can be bought at Shopko. These curtains will keep the light and/or heat out in the summer, reducing your need to artificially cool your home.

A storm took out one of our trees last summer and unfortunately, it was the tree on the west side of the house that produced nice shade for our home. So, now on warmer days, the sun beats in through our living room windows in the evening, heating up the whole lower level of the house. To make up for the loss of shade and natural cooling feature of our tree, I recently bought some curtains to block out the light:

2) Use fans. Fans still use electricity, but they use less energy than air conditioners. When possible, use fans rather than central air or an air conditioning unit to cool your home. On the especially hot and humid days when you do need to artificially cool your home, keep your thermostat set higher (in the mid-70s) and turn on some fans to cool you down.

3) Keep the cool air in! Caulk around windows and use weather-stripping on doors to keep the cool air in and the heat out. Also, add insulation with a high “R” rating to your attic. This is initially an expensive purchase, but will pay off in energy savings all year every year.

For more tips on how to keep your home cool without breaking the bank this summer, visit the All You blog.

How do you cool your home in green ways? Has much money have you saved?

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