Frugal Tips, Green Consumer

I’ll Say It Again: You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Be Green

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It’s summer and I’m busy, so here’s a post I wrote back in March that’s even truer today.)

Most of us are feeling the economic pinch of higher prices these days. Rising fuel and heating costs are contributing to higher prices for just about everything. So how can the average family combine cutting back on luxuries with going greener? True, many organic, natural and eco-mindful products cost more than the cheapest alternatives, but that just doesn’t mean that we have to give up and buy generic detergent at the dollar store. It means that we have to be ever more creative, innovative and clever. It also means that we might have to trade time and/or convenience for cost.

For instance, I love 7th Generation products. I’ve used them for years and I know that they work as well or better than their polluting, less ecologically sound counterparts. At my supermarket, they’re usually priced higher than the generic brands, but sometimes only a few cents higher than the big national brands like that detergent that comes in the orange package, for instance. What really helps is their newsletter and the coupons they almost always have on their site.

I signed up for their newsletter a while ago and have enjoyed several of their coupons since then. Here’s the link if you’d like to sign up to get the Seventh Generation newsletter. And here’s the link for their coupon page. Last time I looked, they had coupons for cleaning products, diapers and detergent. I really like their new 2X concentrated detergents.

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Here are some other sources for green coupons: Pristine Planet always has a good selection. My favorite coupon site for everything RetailMeNot has a long list of coupons for green goods. However, be sure that you check the expiration date on the coupon you want to use. Some of them are out of date. OrganicCoupon.org also has a very good selection of online, offline and printable coupons.

If you can’t find a coupon, maybe you can use something else. A couple of pieces of aluminum foil for dryer sheets. White vinegar in the fabric softener ball instead of that blue softener that has formaldehyde in it. Hey, you want to soften your clothes, not embalm them, right? Ditch the paper towels and say what we do when we dust. Holey socks, Batman! (Since my only method of darning socks involves dropping them into a trash can while muttering, “Darn these socks!”, dusting with them works better than darning them.)

Use your ingenuity and figure out how to do things without all the gadgets and plastic junk they sell at Wally World. You can do it. You might even find that it’s fun to think outside the box. (And after you’re done, give the box to your kid to play with instead of buying them a lead paint covered cute little toy from the discount store. Kids love boxes.)

If you think of anything that can help save money and the earth at the same time, share it in a comment. I’m always up for new green info – and saving green too.

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