Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Green, thrifty, and other thoughts...

...for a Wednesday morning. Weeks ago L recommended that we post money saving tips on "Thrifty Thursdays", and since I've yet to do that I figured I'd catch up now. First and foremost for any of you locals...CHBS Thrift Store currently has children's clothes for 25 cents each. This morning, I was headed to Walmart ( I don't enjoy Walmart) to look for pants for Jonathan for Guys and Dolls, and decided to stop there first. I thought the sign in the window said 25% off, was I thrilled when I realized it actually said 25 cents each!! I was able to find two pairs of black pants that will hopefully fit Jonathan, a shirt for Jake, and pants for Madi. If I had the patience to look longer, I'm sure I could've found more. I love thrift store shopping because it is both green and thrifty!

One of Memere's most popular phrases was "waste not, want not". We generally joked about this because she often took it to the extreme, once packing a green pepper in a box when my parents were moving from CT to FL. As I have gotten older though, I've become a big fan of the "waste not, want not" mentality. I hate seeing food go to waste! Mike and I are both big on this, finding creative ways to use food before it goes bad. Deli Turkey that has seen better days can be heated up with gravy and mashed potatoes (kind of a senior citizen type of a meal, but still pretty good). We often joke about the fine line between food and garbage at our house (food usually winning out). Then of course even if it does become garbage, it goes in the compost pile so even then it isn't wasted. It really bothered me on vacation to be throwing away perfectly good banana peels that could've been used for compost.

We have really perfected to art of taking our ecobags with us to the grocery store, but inevitably we still get a fair amount of plastic bags in our house. Not only do they line all of our small garbage cans, but in our kitchen garbage can, we first put a regular white kitchen trash bag, but then a smaller store bag where we hope to get most of the garbage (Target bags are the best because they are slightly bigger and fit over the whole can). This way we take the small bag out when it is full and haven't used up the big one. We generally only throw a kitchen bag away about once a week. Saving the environment and money (again green and thrifty).

We also use cloth napkins and often reuse them if they aren't yucky. This does not make more laundry because we just throw the few napkins in with regular laundry we are doing anyway, then hang them on the clothes-line. We reuse plastic water bottles and even sometimes reuse ziploc bags if they've had dry things in them. We also try to use more reusable containers and less disposables, and we do a pretty good job of it.

We find ourselves going out to eat and in hotels more than a lot of people, but often the hotels are paid for by Mike's work as it is a lot of times a business trip, also we have hotel points on our credit card (which we use for most things and pay off every month), so we often have free hotel rooms from that. We almost never buy soap (and shampoo) because we take home all of the samples from the hotels. At restaurants we are good at splitting meals, taking home leftovers, and drinking water.

We do a lot of other odd, frugal things, but this has at least gotten me caught up from the last few weeks, and I better save some for "Thrifty Thursday". Tell me how you and your family are green and thrifty!


Leisa said...

It let me On, I am so excited that I don't have to switch browsers.

cindy said...

I definitely agree about checking the thrift stores first...I usually stop there or the consignment store (for Tucker's clothes, which is usually who I'm buying for anyway!) At the consignment stores I usually have credit for stuff that has sold (in fact I stopped this week and got 2 pair of shorts and a books, it came to $8 and I got change BACK!) Books, games, and toys are usually bought at tag sales, thrift stores, or consignment. I also do my share of donating to thrift stores; it seems I always have a bag "going" for Goodwill! I'm getting ready to bring the fall things to consignment now!

chewhi said...

I buy generic, I reuse fabrics, buttons, beads, and such (or take still decent things to the thrift store) and a lot of similar things you mentioned already. But I'll have to step forward and say we could do a lot better.

crispy said...

I love your comment about the senior citizen meal. That just cracked me up.

As for thrifty, our new favorite is to take our plastic cup into a place (yesterday was Panera Bread) when we need to use the rest room and fill it up with ice and water.