Green Energy Savings - $5000 Money Saving Mama Challenge

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Green Energy Savings - The $5,000 Money Saving Mama Challenge

Go Green and Save Some Greenbacks

Green energy savings. Learning how to live frugal while practicing ways to save the earth can be a challenge for many families.

green-energy-savings; 5k money saving mama challenge
For many of us living off one-income in a two-income society, green living is a daunting task.

Often environmental responsibility seems overwhelming when we are simply trying to make sure all the bills get paid!

But there are ways to keep it all green - your wallet and the earth - and this page will help you do both.

This page is part of the $5,000 Money Saving Mama Challenge, and is full of tips on how to not only save the green in your wallet, but the earth as well.

So let's get started with these save money ideas!

(And help the environment at the same time.)

Are you new here? This page is part of the $5,000 Money Saving Mama Challenge. We'd love for you to join us!

Simply click the link for more information on how you can participate, and save some money this year.

Green Energy Savings - Ditch the Disposables

In the name of convenience, many of us moms have compromised over the years. It's so much easier to throw away a paper plate than to wash a real one. Grabbing prepackaged sliced apples instead of cutting our own. It gets both expensive and environmentally unfriendly.

Make it a point to eliminate disposable and unnecessary packaging from your home. Bring your own bags to the grocery store; some stores are now offering 5-10 cents per bag to customers who use their own bags instead of disposable ones. Pack your children's lunch in reusable containers; many are available at Walmart that cost about the same as a box of plastic baggies. Think green energy savings and ways to save the earth.

Here's another example.

A couple years ago, I was invited to participate in a focus group from a paper towel manufacturer. They had already pre-qualified me as a paper towel user; I do in fact use paper towels on a daily basis in my kitchen. They met with me, one-on-one, in a grocery store, and wanted me to pick out the type of paper towels I would use to wash my mirrors and windows.

Growing up, my mother kept a rag basket under our sink, filled with pieces of dish towels or bath towels that had exceeded their life expectancy, and we used these to clean our windows and mirrors. (Yes, she was my first exposure to how to live frugal.) The thought had never even dawned on me to purchase paper towels for this job! To me, it was a total waste of my money and resources, when I had a perfectly acceptable solution already on my hands.

Using paper towels to clean the windows when an old bath towel could do the trick is one way to save. Make an effort to use dish towels or rags for other tasks in your home such as drying your hands or cleaning up after spills. Even reducing your consumption by one or two rolls a month really adds up.

How about bottled water? We used to be guilty of buying cases of disposable water bottles for the family to use. I had outlawed soda, but the ease of grabbing a bottle of water replaced that habit all too quickly. Couple that with our aversion to tap water, and we were spending more than $75 a month on drinking water!

We made the change 18 months ago to a Berkey water filtration system and personal water bottles. Now we are helping our finances with this green energy savings and we are contributing to ways to save the earth.

Green Energy Savings - Examine Your Energy Leakages

Are you leaking money from your walls? This isn't good for you or Mother Earth! Time to plug up some savings and learn how to live frugal. You don't need to be a skilled carpenter to take steps to prevent energy loss in your home. One of the simplest ways to save energy is to caulk your windows and doors both on the inside and the outside. This will help stop Old Man Winter from stealing all your heat and can also keep you cooler in the summer.

Caulking your windows and doors is relatively inexpensive and a typical 2000 square foot home can be sealed for under $100, including all the tools you need. The most difficult part of the task will be to pick the type of caulk and a color that will best match the decor of your home. If you live in a colder climate, you will see immediate results from less drafts during those cold snow packed days spent at home. If you are in a more temperate climate, you may not notice the difference right away but your AC unit will thank you.

Insulating your attic is a great green energy savings project and will make your home more comfortable all year long. This is a project that can be done with little skill except for navigating your attic by step ladder or attic stairway.

If you use cellulose insulation (basically recycled newspaper) instead of fiberglass, you'll be protecting the environment and you'll literally feel a lot better about the situation, as there are no itchy particles in the cellulose. The materials can be obtained at your local home improvement store and can be a great, do-it-yourself weekend warrior project. Be prepared to crouch a lot in the tight spaces!

Green Energy Savings - Apply Savings to Your Appliances

What about your appliances? The costs of green energy savings EnergyStar certified appliances have become much more competitive over the years. When it comes time to trade in the old dishwasher for a new one, consider spending a little extra cash and going with an EnergyStar model. Over time, you can save a substantial amount on your energy, helping both you and the environment.

How much energy can you save? If your current fridge is 10 years or older, replacing it with an EnergyStar refridgerator can save you around 20% in energy. A dishwasher can save you 10% plus savings on your water bill. But the true shining star in this equation is a clothes washer, which can reduce energy consumption by 30% and water consumption by 50%. Plus, consider boosting your energy savings by using cold water to wash your clothes.

And even though dryers are not participants in the EnergyStar program, there are creative ways you can adapt green energy savings to drying your clothes. During the summer months, consider line-drying your clothes. And during the winter months, if you have an electric dryer, you can invest in a Heat Helper which redirects the heat from your dryer that is generally blown outside back into your home to keep it warm. This cleaver invention was recently featured on Shark Tank (one of my all-time favorite shows!)

Green Energy Savings - Grow Your Own Greens

Who says money doesn't grow on trees? Well, if you grow some of your own food, it certainly can! And whether you live in an urban or rural location, starting your own vegetable garden can be a fun way to live frugally. Also consider planting fruit and nut trees that grow well in your area as ways to save the earth.

And growing your own food doesn't stop with veggies. Backyard chickens are an option for many moms in many different neighborhoods throughout the country, and, for the more adventurous who are learning how to live frugal, even raising meat rabbits can be an option. I've even known suburbanites who keep milk goats in their garage!

Also, consider foraging for local edibles in your area. This can be a fabulous hobby to start with your children that has so many green energy savings benefits. You get exercise from walking, save money on fresh foods, and teach your children a valuable life-skill on resourcefulness. Have a smart phone? Wild Man Steve Brill offers a free app that can help you identify plant friend from foe.

If you do not have the ability or resources to grow some of your own food, find local growers in your area. Usually, there is a better chance that your local food was grown in an environmentally responsible way, in addition to the fact that it really doesn't have to travel far. Plus, with local growers, you might be able to find better prices on some items than grocery stores offer, or you might be able to barter goods or services that you produce instead.

Green Energy Savings - Transport Your Savings

One of the biggest expenses most families have is transportation. But being green and saving money does not mean that you should necessarily trade in your current vehicle for a hybrid. In fact, if you have a vehicle that is in good condition - especially if you do not carry a loan on it - you'll get more green energy savings by keeping your current vehicle than to trade up. Plus, new cars - even hybrids - do carry a carbon footprint when they're made. So stick it out for a few more years with your current wheels, and try some of these tips instead.

Want some transportation save money ideas? With the rising cost of gas these days, it can make good financial - and environment - sense to keep driving to a minimum. Batch your errands. Plan your oil change, your grocery shopping, and your trip to the dentist on one day. This tip on how to live frugal saves time and money.

Can your husband take the bus or a carpool to work? Perhaps you and your kids can ride bikes to and from school. This can reduce your dependence on a vehicle as well as save you money. Quite possibly, with a few thoughtful changes, you can even eliminate a second vehicle from your family all-together.

We are currently a one-car family, and have been for 8 out of the last 10 years. It does take some getting used to, but the cost savings on having only one car to buy insurance for, one car to maintain, one car to fill with gas, and one (or no) car to pay a loan on are astronomical. It's worth considering as money-saving ways to save the earth, no matter your situation.

Sneak Peak at Next Week

Like this section on green energy savings? Next week we'll be talking about how to save money on housing expenses, meaning, the actual shelter you live in, whether you rent or own your home. I'll tell you how my living expenses went from $1,200 a month to less than $150 a month (yep, $150 - not a typo!) and give you ideas on ways you can save too.

Not part of our $5,000 Money Saving Mama challenge? Sign up for updates below so you don't miss even a single money-saving week.

How Much Will These Green Energy Savings Ideas Save You?

I'd love to hear how you are coming with your challenge. Have these save money ideas helped you save this year? Have you just gotten started? Or perhaps you have more ideas to add to the conversation. Tell us below!

How have you implemented these savings tips in your own life?

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