St. Patrick's Day is a holiday that is often filled with green beer, green bagels, and spending a little bit o' green on having a good time. The fact that it falls on a Saturday this year could spell a huge windfall for the local Irish pubs right around the corner from your home. With unemployment still at 8% plus percent and people still tight at the wallet, I thought I would share a few frugal your smart money moves you take to go 'green' on St. Patty's Day to help put a few bucks in your wallet.
1.) Skip The Bottled Water - Bottled water is not only very expensive, but it also generates a huge amount of container waste. You can easily install a filter through the tap at home or talk to your employer about installing a filter at work. If you grab a reusable aluminum water bottle, this will give you a chance to get clean and healthy water for a fraction of the price. Especially avoid grabbing bottled water at convenience stores or grocery stores near the checkout where the price can be almost double the normal rate.
2.) Save Water To Save Yourself Money - If you are partying throughout St. Patty's Day, you might need to take a shower before you go out on the town. Taking shorter showers can help reduce your water bill. In addition, installing a low-flow shower head shouldn't cost you a lot of money and will help cut down on bills as well. Make sure you have faucet aerators on each faucet which can conserve heat while keeping your water pressure high. Water bills are especially important to watch in city areas where usage rates could be higher.
3.) Plant Your Own Vegetable Garden - Sometimes people say that Whole Foods is where they spend their whole paycheck. Everyone is looking for a way to get organic vegetables they can eat with their meals. The most lucrative for you will be either planting tomatoes or potatoes with vegetables like zucchini not far behind. Plus, spending time in your garden will keep you avoiding the stores.
4.) Try Reusable Items - At many of the grocery stores, you'll get a discount if you bring your own organic bags that you can reuse week to week when you shop. Stores all sell items like reusable coffee filters which can save money especially if you brew your own coffee and aren't using a French press to make the coffee. You may also be able to reuse old clothing items like t-shirts as rags instead of spending $5 or $10 at a department store buying rags.
5.) Don't Throw Away Your Cell Phone - Most of the electronics that you buy today can be recycled or resold. Most importantly, don't discard them in your trash can. Electronic waste could contain items like Mercury which could be bad for the environment. On the other hand, keeping them could be good for your wallet by using sites like www.gazelle.com to sell your stuff.
Hopefully, you'll be able to paint the town green on Saturday night this year for St. Patrick's Day. By using some frugal green strategies, you'll make some smart money moves to keep a few dollars in your pocket for the rest of the year.
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Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder of oXYGen Financial, Inc
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