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New Year’s Resolutions … Save and Go Green!

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imagesFor most people around the globe,  as they watch the clock strike twelve on December 31st,   the New Year symbolizes the beginning of a better tomorrow.     And for many,  that includes a resolution of ‘trimming’ … trimming a waistline,  trimming excess spending and trimming wasted time.   This clever money saving article by Roberta Murphy identifies ways to trim all three  …   squeezing every inch out of every penny while at the same time  increasing your own personal green initiative!   A fine New Year’s resolution, I would say!

1. Pack a healthy lunch, fill a Thermos of coffee, and spare the environment another plastic bottle by carrying water in a reusable container.   Roberta’s son Eric, now saves at least $5 per day out of his pocket. Take away a couple of dollars, max, for ingredients, and you are still dollars ahead.

2. Paste a sticker that says, 800-FREE-411 (or 800-373-3411) onto both your cell and home telephone. Instead of paying your telephone service up to $3.50 for a telephone number, why not listen to a 10-second commercial and get the number for free? Makes sense to me.

3. Save clothing and dry cleaning bills by applying makeup, hairs spray and fragrances prior to putting on clothing. All can stain and cause undue wear on fabrics that results from repeated cleaning. Also, try spot cleaning your jacket or slacks with a product like OxiClean Spray-Away — and you may be able to wear the garment another day or so. These steps can help save both your budget and the environment.   (Dryel is also a great product for at home dry cleaning!)

4. Start a recession garden. A vegetable garden has enormous harvesting potential and with tomatoes running up to $2.99 per pound, consider how much money could be saved with a few healthy plants (I love to plant basil nearby). A seed and planting budget of around $50 could provide a savings of up to $1,200 per year — along with hours of enjoyment, plus grateful neighbors and friends.

5. Start composting vegetable scraps, grass clippings, raked leaves, vacuum cleaner dust, dead plants, trimmings and leftover potting soil in a composting bin — or layer with soil in an area of your garden. You’ll attract earthworms and the resulting organic compost will do wonders for both your garden, landfills and the environment. You’ll also save substantially on soil amendments and fertilizers.

6. Switch to term life insurance. This could potentially save you hundreds or thousands of dollars each year. Except in rare circumstances, life insurance is not an investment — and you will be far ahead buying term insurance and investing or saving the difference in premiums. You can easily check term life insurance rates online.

7. Cancel memberships in clubs or gyms you do not use. You might also cancel automatically renewing subscriptions if you are not reading them or can find the same information online. Be sure to check cancellation fees first. Also consider canceling the cable or satellite channels you don’t watch. These steps alone could healthily plump up one’s monthly budget.

8. Clip coupons and tie them to grocery store weekly specials . More and more Americans are returning to this practice and find that they are saving substantially on their grocery bills. Just make sure you are purchasing products you will use–and that are not overpriced even when discounted. Keep coupons in your bag or in the car so they are on hand when you go shopping.

9. Get out of a cell phone plan early –or into one without making a two-year commitment. There are several services that allow you to do so, including CellSwapper. You may also be in a position to renegotiate your cell phone plan with your carrier if it no longer meets your needs. Become a squeaky wheel!

10. Go green and buy used if possible. You are giving a product a longer life, helping the environment, and can save substantial money as well. Check local garage sales, CraigsList, ebay or local papers to find what you are seeking. It also helps to share your wants and needs with friends, who can aid you in your search. And a final note: With a $1,000 deductible on our auto insurance, it makes sense for Eric to pay for the damage on his own. Given that he will be buying his own insurance policy in a year or so, the impact on his premiums with this claim could create an ultimate cost difference of more than $800.

And a few more suggestions from this author…

11.  Look online for ‘Promotional Codes and Coupons’:   When ordering online,  you will often see a space for a promotional code which reduces the purchase price.   If you check online before checking out, you can often find a special that enables you to add this promotional code before check out!  It adds up!!

12.  Drink Water:   When dining out,  order water.      It is good for both you and your wallet!   Be sure to ask for tap water,  which is much less expensive than the bottled kind!   Nine times out of ten, it is cold and delicious!

13.   RECYCLE!:  Check with your local recycling plant, but you will be amazed at how much can be recycled!   I have a neighbor who even recycles Splenda packets!   If you live in a  town where you have to pay per bag on trash collection, this will save you greatly and help the environment at the same time.

14.   Internet Greeting Cards and Invitations:    These days so much can be done through the internet.   Wonderful Evites and Singing Greeting Cards can be  fun and free!   Save on paper and postage!

15.   Skype:   What better way to say ‘I love you’ to those across the country or across the globe.    And once again…. it’s free ~

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