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Archives for October 2017

10 Ways to Improve Gas Mileage and Reduce Fuel Expense

You can improve your gas mileage and reduce fuel expenses without buying a new car! 

Save money by improving your gas mileage without buying a new car!

While hybrids and electric cars are great ways to reduce your fuel consumption not everyone can afford a new car. There are many ways to make your current car more efficient to save money and reduce your use of gas. Here are few tips to improve your car’s fuel efficiency, save you money, and help our environment.

Improve Gas Mileage and Reduce Fuel Expense

Save money by improving your gas mileage without buying a new car!

#1. Maintain your vehicle

Remember that car maintenance refers to more than just an oil change.  Cars also need spark plugs, wire, and belt checks, air filters replaced, and regular tire inflation and rotation. Generally speaking, the better tuned your car, the better the gas mileage. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, keeping your tires at their proper inflation levels can increase your gas mileage by as much as 3.3 percent. For a complete summer car maintenance checklist, visit this link at Advance Auto Parts.

#2. Don’t overload your car with unnecessary weight

The heavier the items piled in or on your car, the more fuel your car consumes to operate.  This includes all different types of sports racks fitted on your car’s exterior like bicycle racks and ski racks. When you aren’t using something, take it out or off the car.

#3. Don’t top off at the pump and make sure you screw your gas cap on tightly

When you are done filling your gas tank at the pump, don’t top off. Topping off can spill and waste gas. Furthermore, make sure the gas cap is screwed on tightly. Gas can evaporate quickly from a loose cap. 

#4. Open a gasoline credit card

As long as you can pay it off each month, opening a gasoline credit card can save you money. For example, with a Conoco card, you can save 5 cents per gallon of gas.  If you can’t open a credit card, purchase your gas from a wholesale club like Sams or Costco. Typically these stores are able to sell gas 5-10 cents cheaper.

#5. Don’t drive over 60mph on the highway and follow speed limits

Although it’s not exactly true that the faster you go the higher your gas mileage, most cars reach their best gas mileage somewhere between 40-60 mph. Keep a record of all car trips and calculate the gas mileage to find the optimal speed for your car.

#6. Find the best gas prices, but don’t go out of your way.

GasBuddy.com has a great app for smartphones that allows you to find the cheapest gas price in your area. However, if the cheapest gas price is 15 miles away, opt for the 5 cents higher price only 1 mile away.  Don’t spend extra gas finding cheaper gas.

#7. Carpool

Most of us have heard this one before, buts its worth mentioning again. Not only will carpooling save you money, but it benefits the environment by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the air.

#8. Plan your trip to the gas station, don’t wait until the tank is on E

According to GasBuddy.com, gas prices are statistically cheaper earlier in the week, on Mondays or Tuesdays. Don’t fill up on the weekends or right before a holiday.  If you really have the time, watch the price of crude oil and follow the stock market and fill up as soon as prices start to jump. 

#9. Be a calm, consistent driver

The more you speed, brake, and engage in rapid gas acceleration, the less your gas mileage will be. Instead of being an aggressive driver, be consistent and calm. Drive at or below the speed limit and don’t brake or accelerate quickly. If you can, use cruise control to maintain a consistent speed.  By following these simple tips, you could gain as much as a 33 percent gas mileage increase on highways and 5 percent on city roads.

#10. Don’t drive!

If you can walk, take the bus, or ride your bicycle, you not only save yourself gas money, but you are also reducing the number of pollutants in the air.

Save money by improving your gas mileage without buying a new car!

Sources:
How to improve your fuel economy: 23 tips for better gas mileage. Get Rich Slowly. (2007).
How to save gas. WikiHow.
Reed, P. (2005). What really saves gas? And how much? Edmunds.com

Why You Shouldn’t Rake Your Leaves

Raking leaves is a chore you may want to skip this fall. There are several reasons to let the leaves be instead of bagging them up.

Why You Shouldn't Rake Your Leaves

As the leaves change color and fall we start to see bags of leaves lining the streets. Raking leaves isn’t a fun chore but one many believe is necessary but it may not be. Not only that but raking leaves may be harmful to wildlife and the environment.


Scientists are urging people to skip raking their leaves. It’s one chore you can remove from your list this year.

The Benefits of Not Raking Leaves

Creating Wildlife Habits

Many wildlife species including box turtles, toads, earthworms, and chipmunks live in or rely on the leaf layer for food. Many butterfly and moth species overwinter in the leaf layer. When you rack the leaves you are likely getting rid of some beneficial insects as well. These insects are also important food sources for birds in the spring.

Increased Soil Health

Leaves create a natural mulch that can help suppress weeds and also fertilize the soil. This can save you money on mulch and fertilizer and also is safer than many of the commercially available options.

Reduces Waste

Many people rake and bag their leaves. This can waste a lot of trash bags and means a lot of plastic ending up in our landfills. According to the EPA yard trimmings and food accounted for 28.2 percent of household waste.

Reduces Pollution

Leaf blowers save a lot of time and are becoming more common but they also often rely on fossil fuels and create a lot of pollution.

What to do Instead

Sometimes you do need to remove leaves from your yard. If you are in a high-risk fire area, a homeowners association, or maybe you just really don’t like having leaves in your yard. Instead of just bagging your leaves and letting them go to the landfill try one of these options.

Compost

Composting your leaves is a great way to get the benefits from the leaves without the mess. Home composting is easy and can reduce your waste. Check out this Composting Guide: Using Leaves for Composting.

Additional Resource: How to Start Composting in 30 Seconds for Less Than $3

Use for Mulch

Leaves are a free and effective mulch. Put the leaves in a big trash can and use a weedeater to shred them. Then apply the shredded leaves to flower beds, trees and shrubs, vegetable gardens or simply mow the leaves and leave them on the yard.

Donate Your Leaves

Check with local community gardens or schools to see if they could use some leaf mulch. It’s a great way to keep the leaves out of the landfill, clean your yard, and help your community all at once.

Use all that time you’ve saved not raking leaves to enjoy fall activities around Oklahoma

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes? These are delicious and perfect even for your non-vegetarian friends. 

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

No matter if you are vegetarian, flexitarian, or just trying to reduce your meat intake, these recipes are perfect for your Thanksgiving meal.


Many of these recipes are also vegan-friendly. None of them are short on flavor. Everything from main dishes to a tasty dessert is on this list.

Many are also gluten-free so everyone at your Thanksgiving meal will have something delicious to eat.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Additional Resource: Thanksgiving Planning Guide

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Additional: How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for even more meatless recipes? Check out Meatless Instant Pot Recipes

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Top 5 Ways to Save: Buying Organic on a Budget

Buying organic food doesn’t have to be expensive. You can buy organic food on a budget with a little work. These are some easy tips to help you stay on budget while buying organic food. 

Top 5 Ways to Save, Buying Organic on a Budget

Using coupons does not mean you are stuck eating processed foods. While it does take a bit more creativity, buying organic on a budget is entirely possible. Simply applying basic money-saving techniques can land you big savings at the register and big health benefits as well.

Buying Organic on a Budget

  1. Use Coupons: While it may appear most coupons are for processed, conventional foods, you can find coupons for organic products as well if you know where to look. Visit the manufacturer’s website directly, sign up for newsletters and call your favorite companies as well.  A simple phone call to customer service asking for coupons could have a big payout. MamboSprouts.com also offer printable coupons for organic products and WholeFoods has an app with mobile coupons, as does Sprouts.
  2. Timing: When it comes to strategic shopping, timing is everything. Instead of using a coupon the very second you cut it out, wait until your item hits its rock bottom price. When you see an amazing sale, that is the time to use your coupon!
  3. Stockpile: When your items are at their lowest price, use your coupon and stock up. This means you will need multiple coupons (you might want to pick up a few extra papers). Don’t worry, you do not have to stock up for 2 years, just keep enough until your item goes on sale again which is typically every 6-8weeks. If you like organic produce, purchase fruit in season and freeze it so you can use it all year long.
  4. Menu Plan: Planning your menu around sales, coupons and your stockpile will bring in the most savings. Sales are store loss leaders, those items bring the most savings in the store each week. When you combine your coupon with those, you’ll get double the savings. Planning your menu around simply those two savings methods can easily cut your grocery bill in half without much effort at all! Don’t let your stomach tell you what to eat, tell your stomach what to eat and plan around those sales!
  5. Organization: Once you learn how to get multiple sets of coupons, you must find a way to organize those coupons that will work for you. Pick up a 3 ring binder and organize your coupons using baseball card holders. This will allow you to see your coupons clearly which will help you use them before they expire. You can divide them up into sections such as beverages, frozen, cereal, etc.

No matter what types of food you purchase, you can save a bundle by learning how to shop smart. It is not as hard as it looks and certainly does not mean you’ll be eating junk food. Companies producing organic products know you need to save now more than ever, hunt down those savings and let the healthy eating on a budget begin!

If you would like to learn more about strategic shopping, check out Couponing 101 on MoneySavingQueen.com.

 


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Recycled Halloween Crafts

These recycled Halloween crafts are adoreable and easy to make. Many are easy enough for kids to make.

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Looking for some easy Halloween craft projects? We have gathered some great ones that use materials from your recycling bin!


It’s a great way to save on craft supplies and be a bit greener this Hallowen. It’s amazing what you can make with things that were headed to the landfill.

These recycled Halloween crafts are perfect for different ages and skill levels. They would also be fun to do at a school Halloween party.

Recycled Halloween Crafts

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: How to Have an Eco-Friendly Halloween

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: Have a Greener Halloween

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: Things to Do This Fall in Oklahoma

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Start saving up your recycling to use in these great crafts. It’s a great way to upcycle your trash and help the planet.

Interested in more green living tips? Sign up for our mailing list below.

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Autumn Apples- Paleo Friendly Dessert

Looking for a great paleo and Whole30 friendly fall dessert? These apples are delicious, easy, and perfect for a healthy dessert.

Autumn apples, paleo dessert, whole30 dessert, healthy dessert

I’ve been a little crazy for ghee since I did my first Whole30 this year. I did another Whole30 in August and actually completed it. During that month I was on Instagram often, sharing pictures of my meals and gaining inspiration from other paleo foodies. I noticed almost all of them were using OMGhee and raving about it.


I placed my order for my first jar last week and received it this morning. Can I just say, WOW! I immediately opened my jar, feeling like a kid on Christmas morning, and had a little taste. Caramel. No joke, this is one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth. I started dreaming up ways to play on that delicious flavor.

Although in Oklahoma we don’t seem to get fall until October or sometime even November or December, the minute September hits I start obsessing over all things pumpkin and apple. As the days grow shorter these things come into season and are the freshest and best of the year. So there is my story and here is my recipe.

Autumn Apples

Autumn apples, paleo dessert, whole30 dessert, healthy dessert

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Cut your apples into bite-size chunks.
  2. Over medium heat melt your ghee and toss in your apples.
  3. Squeeze the lime juice onto the apples.
  4. Add your pumpkin spice and continue to cook the apples until soft. It only takes about 5 minutes. Now you enjoy. Easy (and delicious) as pie.

You can easily increase this recipe and serve it this Thanksgiving or at holiday parties. It’s a nice break from the usually unhealthy treats we find around the holidays.

Looking for more delicious apple recipes? Try these 35+ Apple Recipes

Have a Greener Halloween

Halloween is a fun time of the year but it can also come with a lot of waste. Have a greener Halloween this year with these great tips.

Have a greener Halloween, Eco-Friendly Halloween, Zero Waste Halloween

Halloween will be here before we know it and that means lots of candy with questionable ingredients and a lot of waste. So how can you stay green and still celebrate Halloween? All you have to do is rethink Halloween and we have tips to get you started.

Candy & Treats


Halloween Treats

Look for natural candy and when possible Fair Trade certified and/or organic candy to help avoid nasty ingredients and be a bit more gentle on the planet. A great place to look for these items is Natural Candy Store, just be sure to order in time.

You can also skip all of the sugary candy altogether and go with non-edible treats, like eco-friendly packs of crayons, little notepads made from recycled paper, and other fun things.

For Halloween parties and your own family consider making your own homemade Halloween treats using natural ingredients.

Costumes

Look for local costume swaps, borrow costumes from friends, make your own using tips from sites like Pinterest, and check out thrift stores, you will save money and avoid extra packaging. Be sure to also avoid costumes that contain PVC, which is toxic and often contains lead.

Carrying Your Treats

If you have brown paper bags around your kids can decorate them for their bags. They can also make one from a shoe box and magazines using this cute treat bucket tutorial. Or get a reflective reusable Halloween bag. It’s fun to use for trick or treating but also can be used as a reusable bag when not being used for candy.

Decorations

A lot of Halloween decorations are made of cheap plastic and don’t hold up long-term. They may also contain harmful chemicals. Instead, make your own decor, shop second hand, or shop the options below.

Have a greener Halloween, Eco-Friendly Halloween, Zero Waste Halloween

Don’t forget to place your Natural Candy Store Halloween candy order before the shipping deadline. 

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