Friday, May 10, 2019

Frugal Friday-Helping the Planet Edition.

So, as part of my Lenten commitment to do, rather than to give up, I purchased a re-usable coffee cup to use when I get hot chocolate or tea from Starbucks, as well as a metal water bottle with a reusable straw. This was part of my trying to eliminate plastics commitment, and I'm not sure the coffee cup will save money as such but the water bottle will stop me from getting drinks at the drive through when I am out and about! Buying these two things was mainly about re-use, but it turns out that I will definitely save money in the long run as well (as long as I don't buy fruit tea at Panera to fill up said water bottle!).

Sometimes saving money is good for the planet, not always, but much of the time. I am very imperfect when it comes to either, (saving money or being sustainable), but I am trying to be better in both. And as I tighten up a bit on the frugality side in preparation for some longer trips and vacations and other expenses, as well as continuing my retirement downsizing journey, I'm finding alot of my work and plans in this area are  also "sustainable" even though that's not my primary goal as such. And sometimes they cross into other areas, like meatless meals being more healthy as well as cheaper and better for the planet..........

1. My son has gone from a size 40 to a size 34 waist in less than a year, with the shirt size not going down as much but still less. Today I looked at all the bags of clothes that were to go out. The good condition jeans and pants I donated to a homeless shelter. All the "not good enough to be donated" stuff I cut apart and saved as much as I could-jeans, cotton shirts and fleece or sweats, mainly. The fleece and sweat stuff I cut into rags and paper towel substitutes, and the cotton and denim went into my sewing basket. Since my son is six foot six, the shirts are large pieces and I look forward to sewing with all the plaids and prints. I mean, the old shirts are big enough to cut twelve inch napkins from! 

2.  A friend had casually mentioned that she was grabbing up unmatched dishes and silverware and even some glasses for pennies at the thrift store because she hated paper plates for get togethers and every time she took food to events it was either on paper or a dish that could be lost or broken.  I had an immediately light bulb moment, having the same issue. One of my problems back when I was cooking that meal a week at the church was all the trash-from foil pans on down.  So I've started doing the same thing, and keeping them in a big box.

3. With a couple exceptions, I've decided that all giftables for the next year will not be stuff. They'll be some form of consumable (food, soaps or body products, chemical free cleaners with oils for daughter), wearables that have been requested, or cash/gift cards.  Saving money because most will be made with stuff I have on hand or will add to my inventory on sale and saving the planet because, well...no stuff. And in many cases no bad chemicals as in the stuff I make with natural oils and such. I'm going to be having a series on the gifts I make beginning soon. They may in some cases (rare) buy stuff with their gift cards, but I wont be creating to the  situation (most of our gift cards are experiences, movies or eating out).

4. Sister has a goal of a meatless meal I week, and I will try, try, mind you to follow through on this. I am a carnivore at heart, and have already drastically cut back on beef. We shall see, we shall see. I mean, I am the kind of girl who even puts smoked sausage or meatballs into her minestrone. About as far as I generally go in the meatless area is tomato basil soup and grilled cheese. But it's a goal.

5. While I still have to figure out how to get rid of all the junk mail, I have finally come to the table when it comes to getting and paying all my regular bills electronically, and paying all those one time bills through bill pay. I don't think I'd bought stamps in forever until my son sent out his graduation announcements. No more postage for me as a rule!

6. I'm researching getting a bunch of those Corelle style glass freezer to oven containers with the lids-I have a big enough freezer that I don't need to put stuff in bags or vacuum pack them as such-and I am really terrible at re-using the darned things or washing them.Not there yet, but again, this is a goal.

Of course, after listing all of that, I would be remiss if I didn't say that my house is normally set at a heat of 72 degrees and that while one doesn't need a shower every day as such in such a dry climate, the showers I do take are, well, not navy showers. Not even close.

But I'm working on it!

19 comments:

  1. No ideas on getting rid of the junk mail. I just throw it in the recycling as I come into the house.

    Most of the things you are doing I have done for awhile. You are going to love sewing with those "reclaimed" fabrics.

    God bless.

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  2. I did cut 12" napkins from some very large, rarely worn shirts. Long sleeves yielded 2 and short sleeves yielded one. Plus, the fronts made 4 napkins as did the back. Then, I made some of those long bags to store plastic bags.

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    1. I love sewing the napkins and I also need some tote bags! Good to have you back.

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  3. I'm with you in trying to reduce single use stuff, but it is hard. The water bottle is a biggie along with more vegetarian meals for money and earth savings.

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    1. I have happily gotten rid of the water bottle if I can remember to take mine. Well see about the vegetarian meals.

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  4. Here, if you bring your won cup container to Starbucks they knock ten cents off the price of the drink, so you are saving money along with saving the earth.

    Congratulation your son on the weight loss. He needs something special made out of his old shirts to remind him how far he's come.

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    1. That's a great idea. I'll check with my Starbucks and see what they do.

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  5. Great actions and good goals! Since you do like meat could you add in more meals that are heavily non-meat with a little meat added such as stir frys, soups, large salads, etc.? We don't have a goal in this area but eat meatless chili with peppers, squash and or sweet potato added, omelets, etc.

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    1. Juhli, I will try, but I really, really like meat. Chop . Breast, ect are my staples.

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  6. I've become more aware of the amount of plastic in my life since I retired. Although I still use plastic bags, I've begun to wash them out and reuse them several times. It's not much but it is a little bit. I'm not sure what I would use in place of plastic bags for produce and the like at the grocery store.

    Have fun with the sewing project, and congrats to your son on his weight loss!

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    1. You can make or buy reusable produce bags. I'm just not ready to take that step quite yet.

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    2. I've just started using the reusable produce bags---my second week. I think it will be like getting used to bringing the clothe grocery bags. Once we get into the pattern it will be second nature. My goal is to bring home no more than two plastic bags a week with my groceries...need those to for meat that could drip and to put my garage in at home.

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  7. Because of shopping at Aldi, I always have cloth bags in the car to use when I shop there. I TRY to remember to bring the bags into other stores like Target or Walmart but I'm not always successful with that:)

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  8. I have been trying to cut back on plastics too. Here we can buy stickers to put on our letterboxes that say No Junk Mail so the postman doesn't deliver it. Works well for me and I can get most of it on the internet.

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  9. First of all, congrats to your son! And then congrats to you for getting the reusables.

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  10. I really do enjoy reading your posts! Glad you are keeping them coming.

    CONGRATS to you son on losing that weight! I'm walking on purpose most days, working up to 5,000 steps outside. I get between 1,000 - 2,000 just inside!

    I did buy net reusable produce bags ... get everything weighed separately, then they all go mixed together in a bag. And I am remembering to bring totes everywhere. See? We can learn new tricks!

    I'm going to try putting a NO JUNK MAIL on my mailbox to see if that works!

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  11. You have some good goals and tips. I have about 10 reusable grocery bags and I take one or two into each store I shop in, whether a shoe store or a department store. Some of the bags are cloth and washable which is nice.

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  12. This is my first visit here and I will enjoy following along, I use many of the same ideas you do to live a more frugal life and I can see I will learn many more from your blog!

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