More ways to Minimize/Save/Live Sustainably

Posted: October 20, 2011 in GREEN, Helping Hands Events, Secrets, Table Of Contents, TRUTH / Occupy
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Save on Home Expenses
From free TV shows to recycled fish tank water, use these tips to save on costs at home
from: AARP Bulletin | June 29, 2011

Down the drain. Don’t brush your hair over a sink. Discard cooking grease into cans, not into the drain. Pour a kettle of boiling water down each sink monthly to dislodge grease and soap scum before it hardens into clogs.

Use every bubble. Don’t discard slivers of soap. Melt them in a double boiler and pour the liquid into a pan to make new bars. Or put the soap slivers into a leg from old pantyhose and use until the suds are gone.

Tomorrow’s soup. When you prepare a chicken, turkey or ham for dinner, freeze the bones to use later for soup stock. And make more than you need for one dinner — the leftovers can be frozen as take-to-work lunch.

Natural pest control. Cockroaches hate catnip-simmered water sprayed near baseboards. To repel mosquitoes, dab lavender oil on your skin or drink two teaspoons of cider vinegar in a glass of water for a pore-emitted repellent. If this repels you, check out the many commercial products on the market.

End postage hikes. Buying “forever” stamps means you won’t have to worry about higher postage costs when mailing a 1-ounce first-class letter, regardless of future hikes. And some stamp dealers will sell you bulk quantities of old regular stamps at a discount from face value.

Cheap textbooks. Cut the average $1,000 annual book bill for your college offspring by guiding them toBartelby.com or Gutenberg.org for free downloads of selected textbooks. To rent books, there’sChegg.comBookRenter.com and CampusBookRentals.com.

Return to sender. Reply envelopes in junk mail can be slit, turned inside out, and closed up with a dab of glue. Voila! A perfectly good envelope for mailing.

Pet meds. Lower-cost generic versions of Frontline flea and tick protection are available at Walmart, PetSmart and Petco. Ask local pet shops and animal shelters about low-cost vaccine and spay/neutering clinics.

A little off the top. At barber and salon training programs, students provide free or low-cost haircuts, stylings and sometimes manicures, usually under the supervision of experts.

View for less. Netflix streams movies to your home for $8 a month. See free TV shows at Hulu.com,TVClassicShows.com and TVLand.com. Or pick up a film at Redbox kiosks for $1. Network websites also offer some free viewing.
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Repurpose pantyhose. Use the legs to scrub dishes, shine shoes, train shrubs or store onions, flower bulbs and paintbrushes. The seat can protect squash and melons from garden critters or be stretched over a wire hanger to make a pond or pool skimmer.

Soft touch. Cut dryer sheets into two. Each half has enough active ingredient for a large load of laundry.

Hang up. Ditch your cell plan if you use the phone only for emergencies. You can call 911 from any working cell phone, even if you don’t have a service plan or assigned number. A mobile phone costs as little as $10. Check out freebies at American Cell Phone Drive.

Penny-wise superfoods. What foods give you the most vitamins and minerals for the least money? In descending order, the best vegetables are cabbage, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens and carrots. Top fruits are watermelon, plums, oranges, apples and strawberries.

Free music online. Internet radio stations such as Pandora, nuTsie, StereoMood and Jango offer music to fit your taste and mood. Radio Tuna searches for online stations currently streaming the artist or genre you’ve requested.

Try homesteading. To boost their populations, some rural communities in Minnesota, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa provide free land to build a home, often with tax incentives. Do a Web search for “free land” or contact the Center for Rural Affairs for details. [These opportunities usually have some restrictions and requirements so be sure you understand what “free” means.]

Use up to 60 percent less energy by boiling water in a microwave rather than on an electric stovetop. When you do use the stovetop, make sure pots and pans fully cover the heating element. A 6-inch pan on an 8-inch element translates to an energy waste of more than 40 percent.

Improve freezer efficiency by keeping the thing as full as possible—with bags of ice, for instance. But keep a 1-inch open space on each side of the interior for better air exchange.

Mix your own garden dirt. Those “enriched” bags of soil boost flower and vegetable growth—at about $8 a bag. Instead, for each one part of dirt or topsoil mix in about two parts of compost—shredded from leaves and branches and available for free at many municipal recycling centers.

Stop that dripping faucet. Sixty drips a minute will waste about 6,428 gallons of water per year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Shower quickly and save. A 15-minute shower a day costs about $310 a year, even with a low-flow shower head. Cutting the time by a third will save about $100 annually.

Buy torn bags of mulch. Home centers usually set these torn bags aside, then sell the day’s mishaps at a big discount. Your best chance to get these deals is at the end of a weekend shopping day. Bring duct tape to close them, and a tarp to keep your car trunk clean.

Do it yourself or hire someone? You can get estimates of the difference in cost for a home improvement project at diyornot.com, as well as advice on whether you should go it alone.

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