Volume 1: Issue 1

Sage Parenting

Green/Frugal Living Tips and Ideas

by AZMom2Boys

For me, there are two reasons to live in a more simple manner:(A) Easier on the environment (B) In most cases, easier on the pocket book (with the exception of buying organic, which I believes pays for itself in the long run). There are many things a person can do to be more green and more frugal. Below I have compiled a list of ideas.

  • Eat only whole foods. Packaged processed foods are not only less healthy, but also more expensive. The packaging junks up the landfills and the processed aspects are obviously less healthy.
  • Use herbs instead of over the counter medicines for simple ailments like colds, stomache aches, and coughs. Cheaper and your body can use it's own defenses instead of a "magic bullet".
  • Buying in bulk from various sources
  • Buying local...we can get some fantastic corn and melons here from the local farmer. They are way cheaper than the stores.
  • Get it free when you can. A couple of times a year my grandfather stocks us up with venison, wild pig, homemade sausage from the venison and pig, Alaskan salmon and halibut(he is an avid hunter and fisherman), cherries, melons, apples, apricots, nectarines, oranges, tomatoes, onions, raisins, dried apricots, raw and roasted pistachios, and almonds. It's all free and we LOVE it! The veggies, fruits, and nuts, average about 100-150 lbs and year and are seasonal. The fish and game is about 40-50 lbs a year. We share it with my parents though. Obviously the meat/fish part only works if you aren't veg but you get the idea. If you know someone who gardens, hunts, forages, etc...let them know you are interested in any of their "extras".
  • Using low energy/low water appliances. We recently bought a front loader washer and it uses 70% less water than our old one AND 63% less electricity(and our clothes are cleaner)
  • Reuse water if possible. For an example run a hose from your washing machine out to a tree or flower bed(as long as you aren't using some sort of strong detergent to wash your clothing)
  • Checking out second hand before we buy a necessity...if we can't get it second hand, we get it on sale.
  • Use cloth diapers
  • Breastfeed
  • Use cloth towels and napkins instead of paper towels and paper napkins
  • Make as much as you can from scratch. It is healthier because of less processing. Less packaging to crap up the landfills. It is cheaper too(usually)!
  • Don't smoke. That's a no brainer.
  • Try growing some of your own food and herbs. You may like it and even get hooked on it.
  • If you have the space and eat the eggs, try raising some laying hens. They are an easy animal to raise, your eggs will not have the mystery of "where they came from", and you will also have some great compost(chicken poop) to add to your compost heap.
  • Compost. It takes a lot longer for food scraps to break down in a landfill. When they are bunched together with other organic material, they break down fast and make great(and cheap) soil additives. Don't put meat or fat scraps in the compost heap
  • Drink more water and less packaged drinks.
  • Use natural household cleaners. Baking soda and vinegar are safe and effective cleaners(Plus dirt cheap). I also use Dr Bronners Tea Tree Liquid Castille Soap to clean the floors and bathrooms. It is non toxic and fights germs naturally. By using such things, you won't be sending chemicals back into the ground water and your children won't be inhaling toxic fumes either. I use essential oils, incense, and natural candles to fragrance my house. Here is a great laundry soap recipe courtesty of Discovermoma:

    1 cup grated soap(Dr. Bronner's)
    1/2 cup washing soda
    1/2 cup Borax (20 Mule Team on the detergent aisle)

    Grate soap and melt in boiling water. Add soap, washing soda and borax together with 3-4 gallons of cold water. Allow to sit overnight. It ends up a gel like consistency.

  • For a regular load use 1 tbl., for heavier, use double.
    I also couple this with a dash of baking soda.
    There are different variations of this recipe. Some use baking soda in the recipe

  • Join a Food Co-op. I belong to one and myself and the members save big $$$. Just an example is spices and herbs. I can get ONE POUND of good, organic, ground cinnamom for just over $4 through the co-op. It costs about $3.50 to $4.50 at the grocery store for 4 or 5 OUNCES of the same thing that isn't even half as good of quality. I also feel good supporting more "ethical" businesses buying this way.
  • Try the library before you purchase a book. If you still want the book, try used like Half.com or Amazons used section.
  • Line dry your clothes. I have seen a NOTICABLE difference in our electric bill since doing this. The dryer is a big user of electricity. I am even considering selling our dryer now so I can have the extra space in the laundry room
  • Take a look around you and see what you can make more efficient, do without, use less of, do differently, etc. Try making a homemade solar cooker for example.
  • The ever famous, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Easy to remember but putting it into practice can take some work.

Come check out this month's Green Spotlight!!!