Pinching Pennies – Going Green

Going Green

I am in the process of learning how to go green and conserve energy.  This seems to go hand in hand with frugal living and I want to live this earth better than I found it for my children.  I am quickly discovering that a sea of information is out there teaching people how to go green.

While I am sure that all of those ideas are great, many of them will not work for the penny punchers like myself.  I want to conserve energy and “go green”, but I don’t want it to break the bank either.  I will continue to post on tips and tricks I am currently using hoping it may give you some things you can do as well.

For now, I am doing the following:

1. Light Bulbs- We have all seen the new energy saving light bulbs at our local store.  It just did not make sense to me to throw away perfectly good light bulbs only to replace them with the energy efficient ones.  While I am convenienced that they do save money over time, the initial cost would take time to overcome.

My Solution – I look for the energy saving light bulbs to go on sale. When they do, I buy a couple packs of them. I do not replace the bulbs in the house that are working. I simply put them up and when one of the traditional bulbs burn out, I replace it with an energy efficient bulb.

2. Electricity-  I admit I have only taken baby steps in this area since it is such a broad topic.  I researched the things I could do that would not impact my budget and save me money at the same time.  The first area was the obvious:  Turn off lights and the TV when they are not being used.  The second thing made a noticeable savings the very next month.

The Hot Water Heater:  I had read about how the hot water heater really impacts the electricity bill, but I had not paid that much attention to it.  I decided to give it a try and all of the articles I have read were right.  The manufacturer settings for a typical hot water heater is 140 degrees, but the average household only needs it at 120.  According to recent studies, you save 5% on your total electric bill for each 10 degrees you can cut down your hot water heater.  I was surprised to find that mine was set at 150 degrees so I lowered it to 130 and I saw an immediate saving on my electric bill the very next month.


3. Plastic Bags- We recently bought 8 of the Walmart cloth bags for bagging our groceries.  I know this isn’t a money saving tactic, but it was a step in going green for a very little price.  The bags sell for $1 each and you just take them in when you buy groceries and the cashier will put them in your cloth bags verses the plastic Walmart bags.  I do know one thing that I have found one thing I really like:  It doesn’t matter how many groceries you put in the bag you don’t have to worry about it ripping open and your eggs hitting the pavement before you get them in the house.

I am working on several other things that I will post as time goes on.  I am determined to get this frugal living thing down to an art and hopefully the “going green” thing too!