Go Green For Green

save some cash and help planet earth…at the same time!

GGFG is becoming more green- in the garden that is May 26, 2009

I LOVE veggies, but it was killing me to spend so much money for them in the grocery store.  Just two days ago I paid $1.99 for three cucumbers.  Yikes!

Since we moved into the house three years ago, I knew I wanted to have a veggie garden.  We’re very close to the beach,  so we have sandy soil that doesn’t give us the best growing conditions.  We would have had to put a lot of time and money into getting our soil up to par.  That’s when some nice ladies on a gardening messageboard I frequent pointed out the Square Foot Gardening method my Mel Bartholomew.  I quickly decided to buy the book from Amazon (I usually get from the library, but ours didn’t have this book in stock.)  I mapped out my future garden, bought the seeds, and started them inside.  Except the seeds didn’t grow very well *sigh*

Two weeks ago I decided to suck it up and buy plants for the garden.  First I hit Wal-mart, since I heard they have the best deals on veggie plants.  Not so!  I really didn’t want to spend $3 for each plant!  Then I decided to hit up my local garden center The Farm at Lloyd Road in Matawan, NJ.  I am SO glad I did.  Not only did they answer my ridiculous questions with kindness, their prices were amazing. $1.99 gets you a 6 pack of perennials (veggies included) or $13.99 for a flat of 8 packs.  I ended up getting a flat of flowers and a flat of veggies.  I highly recommend Lloyd Rd if you’re looking for garden supplies in Central NJ!

OK, so here is what we have planted:
Box 1:
2 Squares of Peas (grown from seed)
2 Squares of Cucumbers
1 Square of Jalepenos (grown from seed)
6 Squares of Bell Peppers
3 Squares of Red Beets (grown from seed)
2 Squares of Arugula

2009 - 168

2009 - 172

Box #2:
4 Squares Tomato
4 Squares Zuchinni
4 Squares Italian Eggplant
3 Squares mixed Parsley and Basil
1 Square Cilantro (grown from seed)

2009 - 169

Here is an allium plant that went in way too late in the season.  I wasn’t sure it would even bloom this year, but it seems to be coming along nicely.

Allium Bud

 

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Save $460 a year by making your own coffee…. April 20, 2009

Filed under: Costco,Food/Drink,Money Saver — Allison @ 2:50 pm
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I’ll admit.  I’m a Starbucks junkie.  Always will be.  When I worked in the city, I couldn’t resist my Venti bold drip EVERY SINGLE DAY.  Do you have any idea how much that cost me?  With tax, $2.25 a day, $11.25 a week, $45.00 a month, or $540 A YEAR!

A little over a year ago, I took a job closer to home.  Lucky for me, and my wallet, the route to work doesn’t take me past a Starbucks.  For pure convenience, I decided to start brewing my own coffee at home.  I drink Kirkland brand (from Costco) Columbian whole-bean coffee.  I put 4 scoops (I like it strong!) into my Melitta Mill & Brew Coffee Maker to brew half a pot and away I go.  I drink a cup at home to get me out the door, I use a coffee tumbler that looks like a Starbucks Grande cup to take the rest to work with me:

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Here’s what it costs me to brew coffee from home for a whole year:

$59.95  3 lb bag of Columbian Roast from Costco $11.99 each * 5 used per year

$11.95  5 Gallons of milk used over the course of the year $2.39 each

Grand Total: $71.90

Total Saved: $468.10

# of Paper Cups Saved: 260

*This cost includes supplies to make coffee 365 days a year, when I was buying Starbucks 260 days a year and still brewing at home on the weekends, so the savings are actually higher than what is posted here*

I could save more money by buying coffee on sale at the grocery store with a coupon.  However, I REALLY enjoy this particular coffee blend and refuse to settle for a cheaper brand!  I think Kirkland Columbian tastes BETTER than the Starbucks I used to drink.

 

Earth-friendly (and cheap!) cleaning supplies April 19, 2009

Filed under: Green Cleaning,Money Saver — Allison @ 11:52 pm
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We originally decided to go green with our cleaning supplies a number of years ago after realizing exactly what is in those strong-smelling bathroom and kitchen cleaners.  We haven’t turned back since.  I think the earth friendly cleaners actually work BETTER than their chemical-ridden counter parts.  BUT, have you seen how expensive some of those cleaners are?  Method cleaners are $4 a bottle, and I could easily use 6 of them a year.  That’s about $26 a year with tax.

Here’s how you can make 32 YEARS worth of cleaners for less than a year’s worth of name-brand products…

Your Shopping List:

Free- Spray Bottle (recycle an old one you already have)

$13.99- 32oz bottle of Dr. Bronners Peppermint Castile Soap (or pick a scent of your choice)

$4.49- 76oz box of 20 Mule Team Borax

$2.50- Lemon Juice (This is an item I always have in my Pantry)

Total: $21.16 (w/ tax)


All Purpose Cleaner- Mix Together in the Spray Bottle:

1 tsp. Dr. Bronner’s Soap

1 tsp. Borax

Spritz of Lemon Juice

Fill to the top with warm water & shake to mix.

Easy as pie!  And I actually really love the peppermint smell of this- it’s a very fresh scent.  You can feel free to add some essential oils like Lavendar if you’d like.

Check out EcoCycle for more green cleaner recipes.