PinchingPennies

Saving money to pay off student loans and consumer debt

Seattle Rejects the Grocery Bag Tax

Being frugal doesn’t necessarily mean being anti-environment. In fact, in a lot of ways they can be complimentary. Whether it is saving money on diapers by using cloth or hanging your clothes outside to dry, it is good for the wallet and the planet.

Seattle recently voted on whether or not to tax disposable grocery bags and in the end, the plastic bag lobby won out with a ‘no’ vote.

My family has been using cloth bags for years to reduce the amount of paper or plastic we are adding to the landfill but it also saves us some money. And it should. Grocery stores don’t offer up disposable bags from the bottom of their heart, they add a charge for them onto the cost of the groceries. The stores we shop at generally offer a $.05 to $.10 credit for each reusable bag that we bring. At the end of the transaction, the clerk reduces our end bill by the number of bags we bring multiplied by the amount of the credit.

Now most stores offer reusable bags for $1 a bag. Those things are generally tough but I found canvas bags to be the most durable. One canvas bag that I’ve had since high school is now starting to fray on the handle. Not bad for 15 years of use. Search Craigslist or Freecycle for free ones and you can start saving and slow the growth of landfill trash today.

Love me some reusable bags. w00t!

August 19, 2009 Posted by | savings | , | Leave a comment

Don’t Forget Your Raincheck

This morning I headed to my local grocery store for a few items, including bulk raw almonds. They were on sale for $3.99 a pound, which is an incredible price so of course they were out. I asked the checker if there were any more in the back and she said no, but I can give you a raincheck. I was all, whaaaa? I didn’t know stores gave rainchecks anymore on out of stock sale items.

My lesson today: ask about rainchecks.

March 2, 2009 Posted by | Deals, Frugal Dinner | , , | Leave a comment

Line Drying – How Much Does It Save?

A friend was over the other day and she noticed I put daughter’s clothes outside to dry instead of throwing them in the dryer. She asked why and I told her that when it was so hot, I refuse to let all that free energy go to waste. Besides, using the dryer during the day only heats up the house and it is better for the environment.

But how much money do I save?

This website has an energy usage calculator with common household appliances pre-programmed. If I line dried everything, I could save up to $40 a month according to that calculator.

August 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 4 Comments

Bed Bath and Beyond Accepts Expired Coupons

Today I really needed a garbage can with a lid. I thought to myself that I have about 10 coupons to Bed Bath and Beyond so I should just take one and go. The coupons I get in the mail for Bed Bath and Beyond are 20% off one item. Perfect! I only need one garbage can and those puppies can be pricey. When I looked around, the only coupons I could find expired 3 days ago.

The husband told me to call BB&B and ask if they’d accept the expired coupons. No way would they accept expired coupons but they told me they do! So I got 20% off my overpriced garbage can. Woo hoo!

May 30, 2008 Posted by | savings | , , | 1 Comment

Buying Organic – The Dirty Dozen

Being frugal and buying organic can be a hard combination. Organic, fresh produce can be extremely expensive and staying within a budget might mean forgoing organic foods. There are a few ways to lower the cost of going with organic foods.

The Dirty Dozen – One Frugal Girl posts a list of the 12 foods most likely to harbor pesticides. We either buy organic of these fruits and vegetables or substitute with something not on the list.

Compare Prices – When a fruit or vegetable is out of season, we compare the conventionally grown versus the organic prices. I have found organic cauliflower and broccoli can be cheaper than their pesticide grown counterparts.

Buy Frozen – Depending on the region, frozen organic produce can be pretty darn cheap. People frequently turn their nose up at frozen but since it is frozen immediately after picking, it can contain more healthy stuff than the fresh version that has been sitting at the supermarket losing nutritional value by the day.

March 22, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | 1 Comment