Monday, January 26, 2009

Live More Simply or Simply Living: Either Way You Save

Use the library for books, magazines and newspapers Drop the bottled water habit to save big bucks

More Fun than the Gym!

We're all feeling the pinch right now. Everything seems to cost more and who isn't worried about losing their job? Cheer up. I'm here to boost your spirits with an inspirational idea: Live more simply. How, you ask? Here are a few examples to get you started:
  • Drop your gym membership and walk your dog, take a hike in the park or ride your bike on your errands.
  • Skip pizza delivery and make your own. It's a fun family activity that everyone can get behind. Assign prep kitchen tasks according to age and when the pizza is ready, everyone feels like he or she had a hand in making it. It will taste that much better.
  • Save $10 a person on movie tickets and rent one for $5 or less. Invite your friends and spring for the popcorn and organic lemonade. You've invested less than the price of one ticket and you've got yourself a party.
  • Need some help with "living in the now"? Visit the dog park and watch the dogs play. So what if Fifi bumps into Hulk. Neither care. Dogs let that sort of thing go. They don't hold grudges. So you left them home last night while you went to a free concert in the park. No big deal. Fido is still happy to have you home and will greet you with plenty of affection. We can learn a lot from our furry friends about our attitudes toward life.
  • The cost of a land-line phone is no longer necessary, unless you need a fax machine. Add a line to your family plan for $10 (at many wireless carriers) and drop your land line. You've just saved $40 a month.
  • Try some budget-cutting measures in the kitchen that will have the same effect on your waistline. Split one grilled chicken breast onto two large dinner salads.
  • Go meatless with homemade pasta sauce or grilled pepper jack cheese on rye bread. Make your own bread in a bread maker. The sauce recipe at this link is inexpensive, easy and fabulous.
  • Make your juices skinnier by adding about 1/3 water. This tip will lower the calories, cost, and hardly be noticed.
  • Eat more raw foods to save time in the kitchen, as well as power.
  • Check out the coupons on my Coupons, Coupons, Coupons post from last week. There are tons of savings there.
  • Drop the bottled water habit to save your health and lots of dough. Pick up a BPA-free reusable water bottle and a Brita water filtering pitcher. You're in business and will save lots of money.
  • Remember old fashioned Oatmeal? It will save you a bundle over cold cereal and is much more nutritious. Think it takes too long to make in the morning? Check the label: One bowl is 3-5 minutes in the microwave. Or just boil up a pot full and you'll have leftovers to reheat tomorrow or the next day. Another option is to make the oatmeal while you're cooking dinner. Microwave each bowl in the morning for about 2 minutes.

By now your own ideas are probably kicking in. Have a brain-storming session with the family tonight and make sure that a youngster is taking notes. It will make him or her feel important, and so will being part of the decisions that are being made. The kids will be much more likely to pitch in and do their part when they get to be a part of the planning process. Good luck, and I hope to see you back here soon for more help with your green and organic lifestyle makeover.

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