Tag Archive | free

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

I started writing this post weeks ago, I guess since today is Earth Day it would be a good day to wrap it up and post it, no?!

I am borderline obsessed with recycling.  To the point that I hate going to my parent’s house because they don’t have a recycling bin.  I literally want to leave with everything I can, just to recycle stuff at home. Every cardboard cereal box, soda can, and newspaper ends up in the trash.  I witnessed this again this weekend at my friends house.  How do people live like this?!  ::shudder::

I love Post-it notes.  I use them for everything.  I got this habit from my father.  The joke is, if it’s not written on a Post-it, the conversation never happened. So in an effort to “reduce” I cut my Post-it to size of the message.  This way I can use one standard note for 2-4 notes!

I hate single serving size of pretty much anything.  Yes, it can be convenient, but I’d rather buy one giant bag of salad, and split it up into smaller portions with Tupperware to take to work. My downfall lies in my Keurig coffee maker.  I am addicted to Starbucks iced tea and have perfected making it at home since they introduced the Tazo tea in K-cups.  Of course I run each K-cup through twice, but that is more because I am cheap, not to reduce waste.  So my wasteful serving-size splurge would be K-cups…

waterBoth at home and work we have filters on our drinking water/ ice makers, rather than consume wasteful plastic bottles of water.  I use a BPA free insulated cup to sip on my fresh filtered water all day long.  Tap water isn’t just better for the environment, its FREE!  For the price of a insulated cup and filter replacement every 6 months not only are we saving money, we are reducing waste.

Sick of junk mail? Sign up here to help eliminate the direct mail sent to you!

I also reuse some of those cut up Post-its. Especially notes that I have to give my employees regularly.  They’ll return their paperwork with the Post-it still attached knowing I want to use it again.

Canvas bags are the most awesome invention in shopping.  I use canvas bags everywhere, not just for groceries.  I bring my lunches in for the week, Target trips, parties, pretty much any need for a plastic or paper bag I substitute the canvas bag.  There are times where I have forgotten to grab them (I try to always put them RIGHT back into the trunk of my car after unloading purchases) or if I am out and about with friends and don’t plan on buying anything.  When I am forced to use a plastic shopping bag, I use these to clean the cat box. Easy to tie-off and toss in the garbage paperprinterbin.

My goofiest habit is probably that I reuse printer paper.  Most people don’t think about using the blank side of a piece of paper that has already been printed on.  Here in our office, we have to print out papers to send out to job sites but they come back the next day.  So I started using the backs of the pages to run back through the printer!  I do the same with junk mail that is in letter form with a blank back, as well as junk faxes we get on our fax machine.  I also use these backs of these papers to print out coupons (yes, some retailers and restaurants still require you to produce a printed coupon, they won’t accept viewing it on your phone- I’m looking at you, Round Table Pizza). So I never use a brand new piece of paper for these – I always use the second side of a printed paper!

I am proud to say that my kitchen garbage bin can take up to two weeks to fill up.  All food remnants go in the green waste and I recycle everything I possibly can.  Sadly, the county garbage services don’t incentivize citizens to do this.  I only save $5 by having the smallest garbage can available, a 30 gallon, half the size of the next step up.  And at that I still only need it taken every other week.  Why not give bigger incentives to those of us in the community using our free recycle and green waste bins more than our landfill waste bin?

Yes, I am that girl that even recycles the cardboard toilet paper tubes.  At work I’ll trot out of the Ladies room and over to the recycle bin if I am the lucky one that finishes off the TP or paper towels.  Heck, I’ve even been known to fish them out of the garbage (only if they are on top of course).

If you are like me, and are cheap, one of the best ways to find things to reuse in another fashion than it was originally intended is through Pinterest and Freecycle.  Most everyone blogging knows about Pinterest, but Freecycle is one of the most amazing communities ever.  You can post things you have that are worth more than throwing in the garbage, that someone else in the community may need.  You can also post things you are looking for, that someone else may just have lying around collecting dust.  Everything is FREE.  Here in our town its a email group style.  Others may have websites, message boards, etc.  Go here to see about joining near you!

What’s the niftiest Reuse or Repurpose you’ve tried?  Suggestions for better Reducing and Recycling?  Happy Earth Day and Happy Recycling!

The perfect pair

Cooking and saving money are two of my favorite things.

I enjoy cooking because it relaxes me.  I can listen to my iPod or Pandora and have a glass of wine while being creative in the kitchen after a frustrating day at work.

I have to save money because I have no choice.  If I don’t, I would have to pick up a second job (herk) or risk losing my house.  Neither are options, so I choose to pinch pennies and do everything I can to save money wherever I can, without skimping on taste, of course!

extra somethingThis is where Raley’s Something Extra Try-It program kicks in.  It is the best of both worlds.  I get to try new food products and I get them for free or at deep discounts (seriously, awesome!) And all they ask in return (because there is no such thing as a free lunch, right?!) is that I review the new products on their website, Twitter, Facebook, here, etc. And since I also love giving my opinions, I jumped at the opportunity! I have waited a few months to review the program because I wanted to see how it would all work out.  It’s been great!  I been able to try their new Top It! Pizza at 50% off as well as their Quick Grains, Infused Broths, and Salad blends, and Nob Hill All-Natural soup for free! In addition to food, I’ve also gotten some free swag too including a pizza cutter, pasta strainer, and cute soup tureen!

So far my most favorite program was the Nu-Val program where I got to try the Infused Broth (think boring old chicken broth, with a kick of chipotle) and Quick Grains together.  There was a recipe right on the box using both together, and it made an amazing Mexican stew (blog post with recipe to come of course).

If you are fortunate enough to live in Northern California with the awesome weather, culture and activities, you now have another reason to be thankful, join the Try-It program and try-it yourself!

Happy Birthday to Me!

Over the years I have signed up for many a websites, email list, etc that offer birthday surprises.  You don’t know me all that well yet, but I *love* coupons.  I am not as savvy as those soccer moms that can find double coupon days, and stock up on 100 boxes of Cheerios, but I do fairly well.

With my birthday just over two weeks away, I decided to scour the interwebs for the possibility to add to my birthday bounty.  I *love* the birthday freebies that so many restaurants and retailers provide.  In order to plump up my booty (literally, since so many are food related) I enlisted the help of my Facebook friends to see what other places I may have missed.

In the conversation, one friend of mine said she would like to see someone actually blog about all of the offers they received, how many they actually claimed, and what was involved.  I have decided to accept this challenge!  So please, raise a fork, and follow me on my journey over the next few weeks*!


* DISCLAIMER:  I am not a big sweet tooth.  Like at all.  I’d rather drink my dessert in the form of alcohol 😉  So any offers I get for “free dessert with purchase” I usually either don’t even bother signing up for, or won’t redeem.  Now if it is a free dessert just on it’s own merit, then we’ll talk 😉