The coupon clipping is going well. I've collected quite a few so far and look forward to adding lots more to my binder. Our local Sunday paper usually carries a small selection and I've called my relatives to ask them to save theirs for me, provided they don't use them. I've been able to get some pretty nice deals recently so I definitely see the benefits that come from using them strategically. Last night at Walmart, I got an 8pk of Zantac, two Buddy Bars of soap, a can of shaving cream, a box of Honey Nut Cheerios, and a pack of notebook dividers all free. In order to get them free, I simply had to print out online coupons and clip a few from the paper. A small sacrifice for what I got. Jeff was with me and was impressed. He would be more impressed if our food stockpile would grow and I'm working on that.
I've also started working on ways to recycle more and not waste so much. About a month ago, I joined our local online FreeCycle group. If you haven't heard about FreeCycle, I urge you to read more about it. I'm starting to really see the benefits of joining the group, as I have been able to bless others with things I could no longer use or no longer wanted. These are things I would have otherwise either thrown away or taken to a local charity where they would have resold the item. Yes they would have resold it at a cheaper price but by placing it on the FreeCycle chain, I was able to give away a perfectly good medicine cabinet this week. Anything goes really. I even gave away a brand new bottle of self-tanner. I was just too lazy to put it on everyday and it would have gone in the trash had it not been for FreeCycle. A few other things I've freecycled are an old shower curtain,construction paper, clothing, and toys. I'm really enjoying this because all of the people I've given things to have really been eager to put those things to use. It's nice to know it's in someone's home rather than in some landfill somewhere.
I'm hoping to set up recycling bins in our garage next week. We have a recycling drop off point within two minutes of our house. They take paper, plastic and cardboard and we go through a lot of that. I've also vowed to save the return envelopes you get when you receive your bills. For example, when I get my electricity bill, they always include a return envelope. I used to just throw it out because I pay most bills online so I had no use for the envelopes. This week, I realized we were running low on regular envelopes and that I needed to buy some. It just so happened that I got bills in the mail and they all had return envelopes (the ones with the clear windows in front). So, I'll be saving those from now on and utilizing them when I need to mail something. I'm not sure why I didn't do this before.
I've also been seeing a lot of news reports on Freegans lately. While I can't imagine myself doing this, it's amazing to watch online videos to see what these people recover from dumpsters. What's even more fascinating is that many of the people who do this are well-educated adults with good paying jobs. They are just disgusted by what we waste and chose to dumpster dive for it. It seems the biggest waste is by restaurants. I can't understand why they don't donate things to local food banks. I think it's probably mostly because these companies are afraid of lawsuits and since our government has made it so easy to file suit against anyone for anything, the restaurants have to be careful. I do know that our local Atlanta Bread Company will donate their leftovers at the end of the day because they've been gracious enough to donate it to our homeschool co-op group on several occasions.
All in all, for me it's about not being wasteful. I want to be a good steward of what God has given us. These are just a few of the things I'm trying, apart from dumpster diving. I just don't have the stomach for that!