Abundant Frugal Life

Finding Deals, Spending Less, Being Content

Archive for the ‘GREEN LIVING’ Category

May
11

Alternatives to Plastic Trash Bags

Posted by Lisa

I love this post!  I’m especially jazzed about the trash can they made out of newspaper.  Way to recycle!  I need to get my kids on this one with all the Sunday paper leftovers.

Apr
09

Square Foot Gardening

Posted by Lisa

Frugal Dad has a great post that lays out the details and cost for a small garden plot.  If you’ve never gardened before, it is well worth it.  The taste of a fresh homegrown tomato, the therapy of putting your hands to work in the soil, the pride you and your children will take in your work, the many lessons of nature are all wrapped up for you in a little garden plot.

Feb
18

Almost Garden Time – In Texas Anyway

Posted by Lisa

In Texas we have two growing seasons.  If you’re planting soon (March 15th in my zone), you might want to join the Garden Club at Calloway’s/Cornelius Nursery.  They’ll email you a coupon for $10 off $20 purchase.  I’m not positive, but it looks like you’d be able to use it repeatedly, but you might want to ask first.  I just got my coupon today, though I joined a month ago.

They have other money saving programs as well.  Just walk in and ask them to explain them to you.

Jan
28

Growing Importance of Kitchen Gardens/4 Types of Apples in 1 Tree

Posted by Lisa

As more Americans feel the effects of the economy, kitchen gardens are becoming more popular.  Admittedly, I haven’t been the best gardener – yes, I feel the shame of calling myself frugal and not keeping a consistent garden, especially since we live in Texas and have two growing seasons.  Our family has completely gotten into the groove for this spring though.  We’ve even talked Grandma into a garden at her house and she’s gone above and beyond!

I have planted my seeds and am tending to them indoors until March 15th.  We are slowly readying the outdoor plot, worms are being pampered indoors (they’re being fed, they’re happy, growing and multiplying), and we’re composting!  It’s mine and Grandma’s latest obsession.

Grandma found the coolest thing for the garden.  She found an apple tree that produces four different types of apples, all of which will grow well in our climate!  We’re also into fruit bearing trees and bushes, but I really want to tell you about this incredible tree.  I never knew they existed.  I didn’t know one could graft to make these trees possible.  Our tree won’t be shipped until March and I’m very much looking foward to seeing what the branches and blossoms will look like.  In the meantime, if you’re interested in looking at/purchasing one of these funny conversation pieces, you can look at Miller’s Nursery.  The trees are only about $30.  Miller’s is a well-established nursery with a great reputation.

Dec
30

Recycling Christmas Cards for Charity

Posted by Lisa

Recycle holiday cards by sending the fronts to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.  The kids at St. Jude’s create new cards out of the old art to resell.  Cards should be sent to:

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children
Card Recycling Program
100 St. Jude’s St.
Boulder City, NV 89005

Look here for more details.

Jun
24

Organic Foods Coupons

Posted by Lisa

Denise at Centsible Sawyer, posted this incredible list. Hope you all find it useful.

Stonyfield Farm – Coupons for yogurt, milk, smoothies, ice cream
Horizon Organic – $1 off coupons for various dairy
Organic Valley – Coupons for milk, cheese, butter
Mambo Sprouts – Booklet with miscellaneous natural and organic product coupons
Earths Best – Coupons for baby food
Arrowhead Mills – if you send in 3-5 UPCs, they’ll send you either $15 or $25 of OXO kitchen tools
Rosetto - $1 coupon off pasta
Earthbound Farms – coupons for misc. products
8th Continent Soy - $1 off coupon for soymilk
Seventh Generation – coupons for diapers, wipes, laundry, cleaning, dishwashing products
Knudsen Juice - $1 off coupon for juice boxes
The Healing Garden – misc. coupons for moisturizer
Organic Prairie – coupons for steak, hotdogs, deli meat, other
Coleman Naturals – coupons for meat
Misc. products – dairy, skincare, gourmet, homeopathic coup

May
18

Curbside Recycling

Posted by Lisa

For you light green folks like me, curbside recycling is one of the easiest ways to better your stewardship of the land and natural resources God has given us.

I’m surprised at how many people don’t understand what you can/can’t recycle curbside.

While all curbside programs differ, the most commonly included materials are the Big Five:

1. Aluminum – The aluminum can is the most valuable beverage container to recycle and it is the most recycled consumer product in the U.S. today.

2. Glass – is one of the most popular materials to be recycled today, both because of the purity of the ingredients and the quick turnaround of recycling.

3. Paper – is one of the most versatile and important materials used in homes, schools and businesses.

4. Plastic – recycling plastic affects a range of products, from drink containers to shopping bags to pipes. Plastic is almost always the product of petroleum, a non-renewable resource. This makes recycling plastic even more important.

The number inside the recycling symbol indicates the type of resin made to produce the plastic. Because each resin is different, these numbers affect how and where you can recycle plastics. You don’t have to remember the name. Plastics are identified by numbers 1-7.

Here are some common products you’ll find of each type:

#1 PET (Polyethylene terephthalate)*: soda bottles, oven-ready meal trays and water bottles

#2 HDPE (High-density polyethylene)*: milk bottles, detergent bottles and grocery/trash/retail bags

#3 PVC (Polyvinyl chloride): plastic food wrap, loose-leaf binders and plastic pipes

#4 LDPE (Low-density polyethylene): dry cleaning bags, produce bags and squeezable bottles

#5 PP (Polypropylene): medicine bottles, aerosol caps and drinking straws

#6 PS (Polystyrene): compact disc jackets, packaging Styrofoam peanuts and plastic tableware

#7 Other: reusable water bottles, certain kinds of food containers and Tupperware

*PET and HDPE are the most common forms of plastic, so they are the easiest to recycle. In fact, if you’re ever looking for new carpet, check out PET (“Pop Bottle”) Carpet. It’s made of recycled plastic pop bottles. It has great durability, retains color (even with use of bleach), and costs less. We love ours.

5. Steel - is an extremely valuable metal that is present in many of the containers and devices we use on a daily basis. While steel is the dominant material in the cars we drive and beams of the buildings we work in, for the average person recycling steel will involve the proper disposal of steel cans and scrap metal.

Care to Try?

General

  • You don’t need to remove labels from cans and bottles, but you do need to remove plastic caps (and throw them away).
  • Your recyclables don’t need to be spotless – just not moldy or full of food. Save water – don’t rinse ’til clean.

Glass

  • Unbroken bottles are easier for workers to sort than broken ones.

Metal

  • Most containers, such as tins and cans, and aluminum foil.

Paper

  • Newspapers, magazines, photocopies, shoe boxes, envelopes (including ones with glassine windows).

Plastic

  • Plastics #1-#2 – recyclable in most areas. Usually found in 2-liter and detergent bottles, milk jugs and food containers.
  • Plastics #3-#7 – more difficult to recycle, they are found in Styrofoam, pipes, shrink wrap, padded envelopes, trash liners and more. Check with your local facility to see if it recycles these plastics.
  • Yogurt Cups – recyclable in most areas, especially the #2 plastic kind.
  • Grocery bags – reuse them first! You usually can’t recycle them curbside, but some supermarkets have recycling bins in-store. Try to avoid them altogether by bringing your own canvas bags to the store.
May
05

Save Money by In-Home Recycling of Your Sunday Papers

Posted by Lisa

I stack and clip coupons out of ten newspapers every Sunday. I’m tired of the papers overflowing my too-small-already recycling bin. I’m recycling them in our home and saving money.

I cut off the folds and cut right up the middle of the paper. This makes the pieces perfect size for disposing feminine hygiene products and I’m saving toilet paper doing this.

I pile the cut papers in a basket and store them under the sink. I have a master bath so guests will never see this. However, I’m not the only woman in the home. My daughter is using this method as well, so together we’re saving double the toilet paper, money and countless trees! :)

Please email me if you have any other great ideas about what we can do with all these papers.

May
05

Make Your Own Cleaning Wipes

Posted by Lisa

Aren’t we all hooked on this extremely convenient, non-messy, high priced product? I certainly am. Even with coupon shopping, you can’t beat the price of making your own.

Needed:

cylindrical plastic food storage container, 10-cup capacity
extra-large roll of paper towels
cleaning agents of your choice (recipes follow)
electric drill with 1/2-inch drill bit
electric knife
liquid measuring cups

Instructions:

Use electric drill to drill a 1/2-inch diameter hole in the center of the container lid.

Use an extra-large roll of quality paper towels for this project. Less expensive towels fray or shred when pulled through the holder; thicker quilted towels have greater cleaning strength and withstand more scrubbing.

Without removing the paper towel wrapper, use the electric knife to cut the paper towel roll into two shorter rolls. Save the second roll for a refill later. Be patient. It may take up to two minutes to cut through the towel roll and cardboard tube inside.
Remove the wrapper, and place one short paper towel roll inside plastic food storage container (still on the roll). Using a liquid measuring cup, gently pour one of the following cleaning solution recipes over the top of the paper towel roll.

You will need between 2 and 4 cups of cleaning solution, depending on the size and absorbency of the paper towels selected. These recipes make about three cups of solution; increase or decrease amounts if needed.

General Surface Cleaning:

1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 cups water

Disinfectant Cleaning:

1/4 to 1/2 cup pine cleaning solution such as Pine-Sol brand
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cup water

Window and Glass Cleaning:

1/2 cup rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol
2 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Place the lid on the plastic food storage container, and allow paper towels to absorb cleaning solution for 4 hours to overnight.

Open the food storage container. Gently pull the wet cardboard tube from the center of the paper towel roll and discard. Carefully pull the end of the paper towels from the inside, where the cardboard roll had been. Thread the end of the towels through the hole in the lid, and replace the lid.

Pull gently on the exposed end to separate the cleaning wipe.

Tips:

As you use the wipes, they will begin to dry out, so add more water/cleaning solution as necessary. Allow wipes to stand overnight before use.

You may vary the strength of the cleaning solutions as necessary for your household, using more cleaning agents for a stronger wipe, less solution and more water for a milder product.

Mar
06

Going Green?

Posted by Lisa

Now there’s a hot topic.

My daughter is currently working on a speech for next year’s NCFCA competition. It isn’t exactly about going green, but it is all about how recycling is every Christian’s responsibility. She sites scriptural mandates of man being given dominion over the whole earth and talks about how we want the privileges without the responsibility of being good stewards. Her speech addresses the Green movement as a form of idolatry if people are putting the creation ahead of the Creator.

Her speech also addresses the argument, “The earth is not perishing, souls are!” While souls are perishing, and while we have the Great Commission of telling others about the love of Jesus Christ, we still have our normal daily responsibilities to tend to. We’re not to make “green” a god, but a daily responsibility.

I believe her speech is a very balanced view. In spite of it all, I still don’t recycle and use my canvas shopping totes nearly as much as I should. She’s a little voice in my ear that challenges me to better living as her final question is, “Is your disposal of garbage done in a God-honoring or selfish way?” Ouch.