Tag Archives: Efficiency

4. Reduce, Recycle, Re-Use Plastic Bags from the Grocery Store

A Storage Idea

I’ve bought numerous reusable fabric bags intended for conserving our environment by saving on the mass production and use of paper or plastic garbage bags. The problem is they are all in mint condition. Not even a crease or stretching of the sometimes flimsy handles. I feel like such a responsible and socially conscious citizen when I approach the grocery bagger with my reusable bag but if I’m honest more often than not it’s not til I reach the register that I remember I left it at home or in the trunk of my car.

Facing this reality I’ve tried to come up with ways to do a little old fashioned recycling of the re-chid bags that tend to over-take the cupboard under the sink so quickly. The obvious re-use is trash bags. They tend to be too small for the tall kitchen trash cans but work perfectly for an office, bathroom or bedroom. If you own a pet and have to pick-up their droppings, forego the plastic gloves and zip-lock, and double up on the bags you just acquired at Target.

Rather than using plastic wrap or foil to keep food fresh in the fridge, keep it in the dish and wrap a bag around it and tie it shut. Use a bag to shake up a batch of puppy chow. Store messy craft supplies or paint brushes. Hide potent chemicals from children. Keep your smelly tennis shoes separate from the clean clothes in your gym bag or to prevent dirty clothes from smelling up clean clothes in your suitcase on a vacation. Wrap up a gift by cutting up a brown paper bag and sticking a bow on top. (Brown is so in right now.)

Feel good about a really simple form of recycling and save a few bucks while you’re at it. How have you re-used your grocery bags? Please do tell.

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2. Infesting Investing

Investing is another popular escapade people, myself included, evade at all costs; at the cost of new electronics, home furnishings, tropical vacations, or just a few concerts. But again, in the long run investing is going to allow you to maintain your quality of life as long as you live. I find that if I put the money away before I have the chance to see it (straight out of my pay check) I can avoid the dilemma of wanting to spend it before being able to invest or save it.

The good news is you don’t need a lot of money to start investing. There is an online brokerage firm called Scottrade where you can make investments for $7 USD. The only catch is you have to know what you want to invest in. Their site is directed at the “self directed investors” providing a cheap and easy way to buy and trade stocks online.

Although they don’t give you advice on which stocks to buy they do provide a host of information and background like top gainers and top losers, real-time streaming quotes and research, and graphs displaying the history of any particular stock over the last 1 day, 5 days,  6 months, and 5 years. So if you have any interest or experience in monitoring stocks, mutual funds or ETF’s an online brokerage firm could be the way to go. On the other hand, if you have no interest in investment research it would probably be worth your time and money to pay someone else to do it for you rather than dumping money into something you are clueless about. Another option before heading straight to a consultant office would be to talk to any close friends or family members that have experience in trading. You never know how far a little advice can go. The sooner you get started the more chances you have to receive a greater return.


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