Archive for Frugal Tip

Earth Day Giveaway – Free Reusable Shopping Bag

I love reusable shopping bags, especially when they are free!  I was very excited to see on Facebook that one store in Denver will be giving away a free reusable shopping bag, recycled from their own billboards, with a purchase today (Earth Day!).  See more about Billboard Ecology, a Denver company that creates these bags here.

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Recycle beauty

Ever wonder how to recycle used beauty products?  Want to find more green beauty products?  The June issue of O Magazine mentions a promotion called Look Gorgeous, Love Green by EcoTools; simply mail your used beauty products to EcoTools and, not only will they recycle the containers or beauty applicators, but EcoTools will also send you a coupon to try one of their products in exchange.  What a win-win opportunity!

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Avoid The Dreaded Zucchini Bread

Colorado has had a more rainy and overcast summer so far than what we have become accustomed to over the past few years.  Because of this most of the plants in the garden outside my window are just now starting to produce tasty vegetables.  I expect that I should have to wait for the zucchini and then I will be overwhelmed with them.  This year instead I’m going find a way to enjoy my zucchini plants now, before they produce squash, while simultaneously reducing their yield: eat the squash blossoms!

Not only are you reducing the amount of zucchini you will need to foist off on your neighbors, but you are getting a delicacy that you would pay big bucks for at a restaurant or even your local farmers’ market.  Here is a recipe for their most common method of preparation: fried squash blossoms.  Bon appetit!

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Got Fruit?

This time of year gardeners may be overwhelmed with the fruits of their labor.  Ever since I read that it was possible to grow blueberries in Colorado, I’ve had fruit plants on my mind too. 

Normally when the garden yields too many fruits, I think of making jam or pies with the berries.  I might just plan to freeze the remainder whole – saving them for the winter, when prices for berries at the grocery store are sky high!  But I had a brainstorm this week – why not use them to make a green summer cocktail?  Either muddle your berries or cook them into a sweet syrup, then add your favorite liquor and you are ready to enjoy the weekend!

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HP Printer Cartridge Recycling

Today, while I was slaving over a hot copy machine, the copier demanded a new ink cartridge.  When I reached in to pull the new cartridge from the drawer, I felt guilty at the sight of the other spent cartridges that were waiting there for me to recycle them.  I followed the link given in the cartidge installation instructions and was very impressed with what I found.

HP provides free recycling for ink jet and laser jet cartidges, as well as some hardware items.  HP surprised me by also offering free recycing of rechargable batteries and large format banners and media. 

To recycle my spent ink cartidges, I had a choice whether to drop them off at any area Staples location or print a postage-paid UPS label to ship them back at HP’s expense.  I originally thought I would ship them – an easy task when you print their postage-paid label – but when I followed the Staples link, I discovered that I could receive $3  for each cartridge I recycled as a Staples Rewards member.  Definitely a win-win proposition!  As an added bonus, they will take cartridges from almost any manufacturer, so I don’t have to make separate arrangements for my lonely Canon cartridge.

For comparison, I visited the Canon ink cartidge recycling page as well.  Canon does not offer an advertised partnership with any retail outlets and requires you to register with your email address and a password before printing a cartridge return label.  One important point the Canon site does make is:

If possible, please return more than one cartridge per shipping label (two or more) to help conserve resources, and reduce energy use and shipping costs. This can be done by retaining several cartridges with boxes, then [shipping all cartidges in one box].

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Green Floor Choices

There are a lot of floor coverings that are sold as green these days.  A few of your choices might include bamboo hardwood floors, carpet made from recycled plastic or wool carpet.  The bamboo hardwood floors and wool carpets are considered green choices because they are made from rapidly renewable materials. 

I was encouraged today to see that Heather Armstrong aka Dooce, an internet style maven and one of the web’s most famous bloggers, chose 100% wool carpet when decorating her nursery.  She also offered a frugal tip: they bought their carpet from Costco.

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Free Eco-Totes From Oroweat

Hurry – this promotion ends May 30!

Receive a free “eco-tote” from Oroweat (bread) when you redeem codes from three specially-marked packages.  The packages that have the code will have a banner for the free eco-tote above the label on the front, as well as a Healthy People, Healthy Planet seal on the end of the package.  The alpha-numeric codes are located on the inside of the outer bag.  You must enter the codes from all three bags when you make the request – at Oroweat or through this site.

And a bonus frugal tip: Check to see if you have an Oroweat outlet in your neighborhood.   I can get up to 4 loaves for $6 at the outlet versus 2 for $5 on sale at the grocery store.  The outlet near my office is advertised as an Entenmann’s outlet and is operated by Bimbo Bakeries, their parent company.

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