Sunday, June 29, 2008

Putting it all on the line

So you make your own laundry soap? You rock! Here's another way to make the household chore of laundry cost less and leave a smaller footprint (hello buzzword =). Hang it out to dry! Did you know that electric dryers are in the top five energy hogs in your home? Of course it depends on the age, brand and model, but in general it's true!


Here's a link (How much electricity does my stuff use?) where you can calculate approximately how much energy you are using with certain appliances and then you can calculate the cost. This is a great tool! You can pick an appliance, device or even a kind of light bulb, adjust the amount of time you use it in a day, choose the cost of your electricity in kilowatt hours (get out your utility bill and do some math - the cost of your electric bill for the month divided by the KWH that you used) and whalaaa! Your cost per year is calculated for you!

In my situation we wash approximately one load of laundry per day (cloth diapers will do that to you). As a result, we run the dryer about one hour per day. I live in Oregon and the my average cost per KWH runs 7 cents. If I dried my clothes on the clothesline each time, I would save 150 KWH/month, $10.50/month and a whopping $126/year!

Does this offset the cost of my clothesline? Absolutely! My clothesline cost me $42.21 plus a bit of quickcrete and a little labor from my hubby (having a hubby is not necessary to complete this project, it just helps when you have a 1 week old newborn). If I use my clothesline 121 days the first year then I've paid for it with the money that I save not runing my dryer - every time i use it after that it's like money in my pocket!

Now, if you have to use your dryer like I do for part of the year (living in sunny Oregon and all), here are a few tips on cutting down on your energy usage:
  • of course you COULD hang your clothes on an indoor rack - Our dryer is in our garage so I hang my clothes on hangers and then hang them from the garage door tracks
  • when it's time to buy a dryer, buy one with a moisture detection feature so that it will shut off when the clothes are dry - and just FYI, the EPA does not award dryers with the energy star label
  • if possible put your dryer in a warm location in your home that way less energy is used to heat the air to dry your clothes
  • clean the lint filter after each use so that the hot air moves efficiently through the dryer
  • dry two or more loads in a row - take advantage of the heat still in the dryer from the first load.
  • dry full loads when possible - drying small loads wastes energy
I hope you are inspired! Personally even though it takes a little more time hanging my clothes out to dry, I find it rather therapeutic, much like weeding or hand watering my garden.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

free green stuff...gotta love it!

welcome to frugally green! i am so excited about this blog, but i will share more about that later. right now i need to pass on this great offer to you. corporate image is giving away FREE binders that are made with the earth in mind. just click here and give your name and address to have this lovely set sent to you! i already did and received a confirmation email. can't wait to get my "green" binders in 2-4 weeks!

Our FlexHinge Binders begin with durable binders board made of 100% post-consumer waste.
We have always worked very hard to make these binders green from the inside out:
We use soy-based inks and recycled papers
We recycle metal rings
Our lamination is inert
We are improving our production processes to reduce waste

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Wow! I just noticed that we already have comments! This blog is still kind of under construction as we plan out our posting ideas and decide on a final template. Add to all that the fact that one of our authors just had a baby and another one is about to move across the country! I'm not sure when regular posting will really start up but I hope you keep checking back! Thanks for all the nice encouragement!

How to Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent

Making your own cleaning products is super easy and super cheap. Here's what you need to make Dishwasher Detergent and a Rinse Aid: 2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Baking Soda
4 small packets of sugar freelemonade Kool-Aid (you can also use 4 tablespoons of citric acid--if you can find it)
White Vinegar

Mix everything together by either dumping into a big bowl and stirring it really well or dumping it into a container with a lid and shaking it up. You can keep it in your lidded container or re-use your old detergent box.

I used this adorable thrifted glass jar because going green doesn't mean losing my sense of style.

Use 2 tablespoons per load. (1 tablespoon in the open cup and 1 in the closed locking cup) Pour some White Vinegar into your rinse aid receptacle and your glasses will come out sparkling! (If your dishes end up covered with a white residue, you probably have hard water and need to experiment with the amount of Borax to use.)

This batch of dishwashing soap cost me about 65 cents to make and it will last for about 100 loads of dishes. It took me less than 5 minutes to make and probably only took that long because I took pictures for you!

If you try this out, let us know how it worked for you and what adjustments you made. Maybe add what part of the world you live in so others near you can benefit from your discoveries. Thanks!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Coupons for Organic Goods

Found through the "Cent"sible Sawyer

Stonyfield Farm – Coupons for yogurt, milk, smoothies, ice cream - click on coupons
Horizon Organic - $1 off coupons for various dairy
Organic Valley – Coupons for milk, cheese, butter
Earths Best - Coupons for baby food
Rosetto - $1 coupon off pasta
Seventh Generation – coupons for diapers, wipes, laundry, cleaning, dishwashing products
Knudsen Juice - $1 off coupon for juice boxes
The Healing Garden – misc. coupons for moisturizer
Organic Prairie – coupons for steak, hotdogs, deli meat, other
Coleman Naturals – coupons for meat
Misc. products – dairy, skincare, gourmet, homeopathic coupons

Next time you fly . . .

Keywords: wing, clouds, blue, airplane

Not necessarily green but definitely frugal . . . unless you count the cash you save then it's green too.

"Has the price of your airline ticket ever dropped after you bought it? No Problem. Get a refund or a travel voucher for the price difference through Type in your confirmation number and ticket price and Yapta will track the fare for you for free. If the price drops, you'll receive an e-mail with step-by-step instructions on how to claim your refund and spread your wings for less." found in RealSimple