Thursday, January 1, 2009

Welcome to the New Year!

Hi Everyone,

My apologies in taking much longer than expected to write a new post, I have been busy organizing a preparing for the new semester, ready and refreshed to update you on my recent findings in the world of green and frugal living.

Have you made any new resolutions for 2009? Among my few, is to keep up my blog here with you as well as continue using products, services, and ideas I have advocated for on this blog previously. With that in mind, I'd like to take this time to tell you about what I have chosen to keep up with over the past 6 months since the birth of this blog. Some ideas have worked out really well, while others, seemed like a good idea at first but may have not fit me personally. These ideas go in order of blog entries by date, with the first one being the first blog entry on money saving and green ideas. So if you are looking for more information on one of these topics, go to "older posts" at the bottom.
  1. I still type in Coca-Cola rewards points to save up for products, but have only gotten the magazine I told you about in the post, Ready-Made. I haven't considered getting anything else with the points yet, with how much soda we consume I was thinking of getting something big after saving a while.
  2. Selling on has been at a halt for me, since it seems all of my good stuff is bought and I am left with stuff people aren't really interested in, however, its still up there waiting to be sold.
  3. Unfortunately, at this point I do not bring food with me to ball games anymore, as when I tried I forgot the essence and addiction of hot dogs at baseball games. Without them, it feels strange, plus you are surrounded by them with other fans. I think this would be a better option to consider with children.
  4. I have stopped making jewelry at this point, and have had little time to crochet (But look forward to getting back to it in the summer hopefully). Recently, a new door in cake-decorating has opened for me and has given me the chance to make money there. My crafty side always finds a way!
  5. I have not taken advantage of PetCo's pet food program, but it looks like due to my recent vet visit I will be soon due to my dog's change in diet. He will be changing to an all-natural (organic) food diet, which is only available at places like PetCo or your Veterinarian. Remember, its buy 10 bags, get the 11th free!
  6. I have not tried out Couch Surfing yet, but I know it will come up soon in the future :)
  7. I still use my reusable grocery bags religiously. When I do forget them, I am immediately filled with ecological guilt.
  8. All of my water bottles are BPA-free, and I will be reviewing a stainless steel BPA-free bottle soon :)
  9. I do not have a wish list at this point, which might be something to add to my Resolution to-do list.
  10. I have a holiday account, which is programmed to do reoccurring withdrawals every week in small amounts. That way, you hardly notice when its gone!
  11. I do shop certain used stores, particularly Half-Price Books and Hastings. I have yet to go to consignments shops.
  12. I watch Planet Green occasionally, but to be frank, I don't have much time to watch TV at this point, which I regard as a good thing.
  13. I do subscribe to emails to some of my favorite stores, however, the constant emails from stores like Kohl's are starting to get obnoxious. Better emails have been from Michael's (craft store) and Best Buy.
  14. I have gone paperless for my cell phone bills, and appreciate the option very much, since I can save or access my bills at any point (I'm with AT&T).
  15. As for the whole issue with coupons, I have pretty much given up at this point. To me, you are either a coupon person or not, and at this point, coupons just don't work well with my lifestyle. I can see these being more useful with a larger family that buying 2 or more of a particular item makes sense.
  16. I do go to my local Co-op, but not for major groceries, usually just for small things I cannot find anywhere else. Co-ops are difficult for me since they can be particularly expensive. Many items in a Co-op you can find in regular groceries stores due to the growing need and awareness of organic and natural options, and they bring cheaper prices with them.
  17. I just recently purchased a AAA membership before my long 600 mile car ride home for Christmas, just in case something were to happen on the way. The security and peace of mind go a long way.
  18. I still shop religiously at ALDI, and have brought friends there who may be looking for ways to save money.
  19. Me and cooking is still a very foreign idea here, but I have been making attempts recently. I have been going through Cooking for Two magazine to find suitable recipes, however I am cursed with a picky eater. I wish there were just basic cooking classes around, it would help me a lot.
  20. I have not taken AMTRAK or use, but next Christmas might be a possibility.
  21. I have tried drying clothes outside in the summer, but I have been having trouble with clothes getting very stiff and rough feeling. Does anyone have a good solution? I am guessing a clothes line would work better than a clothes rack at this point.
  22. I have not created any cleaning products from natural ingredients, but I hope to do so soon. I think the problem is I don't really run out of cleaning supplies quickly and then will forget to do it when the time comes.
  23. I do not keep a price journal...I know I should, but I think this will fall under the "should, but never will category".
  24. For a couple of months, I did keep a journal keeping track of every cent that went in and out of the bank account, and I found this was useful to keep track of for a few months to see where everything is going, and to evaluate where you can cutback. I ended up purchasing Quicken, a home accounting software program, but no longer use either method after seeing where cuts in spending needed to be made. Plus, I know my husband felt like he was being watched after every time he spent money, and no one should have to feel like that all the time.
  25. I am currently on the freecycle email digest, but have not contributed or taken anything in a very long time.
  26. I have decreased the amount of hair products I use, and use the generic brands as well.
  27. I still use the Diva Cup, and I have changed my birth control method to every 3 months, which has not changed anything about my periods besides the time in between each.
  28. I have a pile of pants to bring to a tailor to get them fit better, most are slightly to big for me, and one pair I would like the zipper changed to a button fly. One thing I still want to do soon is to go through my dresser and throw out clothes I know I wont be wearing anymore.
  29. was an unbelievable lifesaver this Christmas. I left home with awesome stuff that I actually wanted and could use, and no repeats and dissatisfied family members. I plan to continue using this website for years to come.
  30. I have finally kept on a regular daily vitamin supplement and calcium supplement, which I am happy I have been able to keep up with and motivated to continue taking.
  31. I have joined to save for my endless college loans, and have been using them frequently at my grocery store trips. there you have it, what I have been keeping up with, what I have left to try, and what has most likely left me for at least a while. Have you tried any of these ideas? I would love to hear your thoughts on what has been working for you or if you have discovered a new idea. Here's to a new year!

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