waste http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/2404/all en-US 10 Expensive Things That Look Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/10-expensive-things-that-look-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-expensive-things-that-look-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000019035137_Large.jpg" alt="woman shopping coat" title="woman shopping coat" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The intrepid Wise Bread reader can find a wealth of articles about how to find cheap things that look expensive. But what about the opposite? Want to know what to avoid, or just have a good laugh at how some people throw away their hard-earned money? Then read on for this list of 10 expensive things that look cheap.</p> <h2>1. Kanye West's $120 Plain White T-Shirt</h2> <p>That's not a pack of 10 t-shirts for $120. It's not a t-shirt personally worn and autographed by the singer who places himself on the highest of pedestals. It's just <a href="http://www.okayplayer.com/news/style-kanye-west-apc-120-plain-white-hiphop-t-shirt-sells-out.html">a plain white t-shirt</a> that he launched in collaboration with the high-end brand A.P.C. From a distance, it looks like a cheap white t-shirt. Up close, it looks exactly the same. You will have to go to great lengths to tell people just how much you paid for it, if you can find one. Yes, they sold out almost immediately, proving some people do have way more money than sense.</p> <h2>2. Prada Camouflage Saffiano Tote &mdash; Just $2495!</h2> <p>One look at this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.purseblog.com/totes/prada-debuts-camouflage-for-fall/">monstrosity from Prada</a> and you have to wonder what they were thinking. It's made of real leather, but looks like it's made of plastic. If it weren't for the Prada label, you'd have absolutely no idea it was made by a high-end purse maker, and the design is nothing special. What's worse is the camouflage pattern, which brings any sense of formality crashing to the ground. Once again, people with money to burn ensured this thing sold out. They are currently changing hands&nbsp;on eBay for $2,600. You'd be better off going to Wal-Mart and getting something for under $20; it might even look a lot better.</p> <h2>3. The $50,000 Diamond-Encrusted Bluetooth Headset</h2> <p>Say what you want about Bluetooth headsets (personally, I think they do a great job of making you look tacky), they are usually fairly inexpensive, and for the most part look discreet. Not so with the <a href="http://www.bornrich.com/diamond-encrusted-bluetooth-headset-from-plantronics-worth-50000.html">Plantronics Discovery 925 Diamond-Encrusted Headset</a>, coming in at $50,000. It looks like one of those berets you get from a dollar store, and yet if you bought one you'd be constantly cradling it to make sure your investment hadn't fallen out of your ear. It's a complete waste of money for even someone obsessed with gold, like Donald Trump (and it looks as tacky as one of his gold toilets).</p> <h2>4. The Breitling Bentley Flying B Watch &mdash; $189,900</h2> <p>The problem with anything diamond-encrusted is that you can get the same effect using cheap glass and crystal, and plenty of people have done just that, spending only a few bucks on watches covered in sparkle. So when Breitling released a watch that looked like a $25 special from Kohl's, but asked for the same amount of money that newlyweds spend on their first home, you'd think it would have tanked. Well, they sold out, too. You can now find used ones for a steal,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.essential-watches.com//watch/Breitling-J2836263-E512-Bentley-Flying-B-Chronograph-White-Gold-Diamond-Bezel-on-White-Gold-Bracelet-with-Silver-Diamond-Dial/52511?gclid=Cj0KEQiAlISlBRDHpIekkMGiiskBEiQAh-0KQI1LtjLLoLvy1h-kBO_XYEUzBooIXG4SpaxMXTSHC_caAj3k8P8HAQ">at just $66,450</a>, but it will look like you spent a whole lot less. Keep the receipt if you want to convince people how much of a connoisseur you really are!</p> <h2>5. The $32,000 Moynat Bicycle and Trunk</h2> <p>Forgive me for being ignorant, but I know several brands of bicycle and I have never heard of Moynat. But perhaps it's only for those in the know, because&nbsp;<a href="http://howtospendit.ft.com/gift-guide/7736-moynat-bicycle-and-trunk">this bike</a>&nbsp;(single gear by the way) will set you back over $32,000. It does come with a nice little trunk, filled with picnic items, but at that price you won't have a lot leftover for food. And better still, the whole thing looks like a low-end bike you'd get at Target or Walmart.</p> <h2>6. The Swarovski $1500 Crystal Catflap</h2> <p>Perhaps you think this looks like a great way to spend $1,500, but <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1158909/The-1-000-Swarovski-crystal-encrusted-cat-flap-creates-purrrfect-pet-entrance.html">this catflap</a> looks like a Bedazzler project done by a fifth grader. It's studded with over 1,000 of the finest Swarovski crystals, but thankfully it doesn't ooze the kind of style that you're paying for. The fact that it's close to the floor, letting your cat (who couldn't care less) go in and out on the muddiest of days, is neither here nor there. If you want to show off (your bad spending habits), this is a great place to start.</p> <h2>7. Moonbeam, the $1,499 Rocking Horse</h2> <p>Imagine the look on your kid's face when you tell them you blew the entire Christmas and birthday budget for them for the next five years on a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.mommycouturedesigns.com/item_2168/Moonbeam-the-Horse&mdash;Childrens-Heirloom-Riding-Rocker.htm">rocking horse</a>. And not just any rocking horse, but one that looks like it was painted in a hurry by a kid younger than them. The blurb on the website waxes lyrical about handcrafted quality, and the &quot;non-traditional&quot; painted finish. I'm not one for being super traditional myself, but I do like the tradition of a rocking horse that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.</p> <h2>8. Anthropologie's $98 Toilet Brush</h2> <p>If I was going to spend almost three figures on a toilet brush, I'd want it to be some kind of light saber, with sound effects and the power to melt away the nastiest of bathroom issues. The <a href="http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/home-office/34077701.jsp#/">toilet brush from Anthropologie</a> looks like something you find at the dollar store. It's handmade in Sweden, but if you want to impress your friends when they come over, leave the price tag on it. They may not realize you have a Swedish work of art to clean the bowl.</p> <h2>9. A Gold-Plated iPhone 6 for $7,300</h2> <p>You can buy imitation gold cases for around $20 on eBay. Not many people do though, because they look tacky and gaudy. Thankfully, if you want to prove to the world that you know real style, you can drop $7,300 on a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.luxuryelectronics.com/inventory/iphone-6-24kt-diamonds/">case made of 24k gold</a>. The big question here is&hellip; do you then need a case to protect your case? This doesn't seem to be an idea that's been thought through.</p> <h2>10. The $70,000 Pop Art Teddy Bear Piggy Bank</h2> <p>Clearly inspired by the work of Jeff Koons, this <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2809587/A-100K-rocking-elephant-70K-piggy-bank-1-gifting-little-darlings-Christmas.html">Asprey piggy bank</a> will leave your actual bank account empty. At 16 inches high, and made from sterling silver, it's not small&hellip; but neither is the price tag. However, you may need to have your head examined after purchasing something that looks like it cost $10 from a thrift store.</p> <p><em>Do you know of expensive gifts or products that look really cheap and tacky? Leave your best examples in the comments.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-expensive-things-that-look-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-waterproof-laptop-cases">The 5 Best Waterproof Laptop Cases</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-leather-cleaners">The 5 Best Leather Cleaners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-manicure-kits">The 5 Best Manicure Kits</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-gel-nail-polishes">The 5 Best Gel Nail Polishes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping Style luxury ripoffs vanity waste Wed, 21 Jan 2015 12:00:42 +0000 Paul Michael 1282523 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Tips to Stop Wasting Food http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tips-to-stop-wasting-food <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-tips-to-stop-wasting-food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3256237101_53cc2c8972_z-1.jpg" alt="Tips to Stop Wasting Food" title="Tips to Stop Wasting Food" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on tips to stop wasting food, getting your hurricane claim paid quickly, and unexpected uses for a Roth IRA.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2012/11/01/5-tips-to-stop-wasting-food-now/">5 Tips to Stop Wasting Food</a> &mdash; Making a meal plan will help you avoid wasting food. [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/columns/ask/archive/8-steps-to-help-get-your-hurricane-insurance-claim-paid.html?si=1">8 Steps to Help Get Your Hurricane Claim Paid Quickly</a> &mdash; To get your hurricane claim paid more quickly, meet face-to-face with the adjuster. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/4-unexpected-roth-ira.html">4 Unexpected Uses for a Roth IRA</a> &mdash; You can use your Roth IRA as a down payment on a house. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://money.msn.com/frugal-living/post.aspx?post=bbd8b5b5-efee-4bd3-95b2-a0b3348bdf78&amp;ref=bfv">8 Things You Shouldn't Cheap Out On</a> &mdash; Don't cheap out on health care coverage or clothes. [MSN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mainstreet.com/article/career/employment/tips-stealthy-job-hunter">Tips For the Stealthy Job Hunter</a> &mdash; When searching for a job, don't post anything about it on Facebook or Twitter. [MainStreet]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Where-Get-Free-Samples-25696773">10 Awesome Places to Score Free Samples</a> &mdash; If you want to try a different pet food but aren't sure your pet will like it, ask the supplier for a free sample. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/getting-repairs-after-the-warranty-expires/">Getting Repairs After the Warranty Expires</a> &mdash; If the first person you talk to refuses to fix an item in need of repair due to an expired warranty, move up the chain of command. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/11/real-estate-101-finding-good-tenants.html">Real Estate 101: Finding Good Tenants</a> &mdash; To find good tenants for your rental property, check their criminal history. [Free Money Finances}</p> <p><a href="http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/parenting/school-age/9-crucial-life-skills-to-teach-your-child">9 Crucial Life Skills to Teach Your Child</a> &mdash; Teaching your children good manners and grattitude will help them be more successful. [Quick and Dirty Tips]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/prosquad-national-adoption-month-and-constipation-in-young-children">Prosquad: National Adoption Month and Constipation in Young Children</a> &mdash; Did you know November is national adoption month? [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-tips-to-stop-wasting-food">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-digital-food-scales">The 5 Best Digital Food Scales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/concession-stand-treats-a-license-to-print-money">Concession stand treats – a license to print money.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt">Baby Carrots: The Frugal Idea That Isn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips Food waste Mon, 05 Nov 2012 10:37:32 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 955565 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Foods You Shouldn't Waste Money On http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-foods-you-shouldnt-waste-money-on <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-foods-you-shouldnt-waste-money-on" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/299228444_d0a1d90279_z-1.jpg" alt="Foods You Shouldn&#039;t Waste Money On" title="Foods You Shouldn&#039;t Waste Money On" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some great articles on food you shouldn't waste money on, the best ways to make extra money, and easy ways to save for retirement.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.beatingbroke.com/five-foods-you-shouldnt-waste-your-money-on/">Five Foods You Shouldn't Waste Your Money On</a> &mdash; Don't waste your money on canned soup. The sodium levels in canned soup are very high. [Beating Broke]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/10/best-ways-to-make-extra-money-rent-your-stuff.html">Best Ways to Make Extra Money: Rent Your Stuff</a> &mdash; To make extra money, rent out your driveway or garage. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/save-for-retirement/">5 Easy Ways to Save for Retirement</a> &mdash; Want to save for retirement? Do away with unnecessary expenses. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Disaster-Emergency-Kit-24626776">What To Keep At Home To Prepare For Natural Disasters</a> &mdash; Be prepared for a natural disaster by making sure you have hygeine products on hand. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bripblap.com/5-ways-to-get-free-money/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BripBlap+%28Brip+Blap%29">5 ways to get free money</a> &mdash; If you are not using a cash back rewards card, you are missing out on free money. [brip blap]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.joetaxpayer.com/7-tips-to-go-big-in-vegas-for-under-100-per-person/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Joetaxpayer+%28JoeTaxpayer%29">7 Tips to Go Big in Vegas for Under $100 per Person</a> &mdash; To go big in Vegas without breaking the bank, limit your time in the casinos. [Joe Taxpayer]</p> <p><a href="http://www.mint.com/blog/housing/tips-and-tricks-to-making-your-diy-home-makeover-a-success/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MyMint+%28Mint+Personal+Finance+Blog%29">Tips and Tricks to Making Your DIY Home Makeover a Success</a> &mdash; Remembering that DIY takes time will help make your home makeover a success. [MintLife Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyqanda.com/layaway-bad-familys-financial-wellbeing-health/?utm_source=feedburner&amp;utm_medium=feed&amp;utm_campaign=Feed%3A+MoneyQandA+%28Money+Q%26A%29">Why Layaway Is Bad For Your Family's Finances</a> &mdash; Layaway is bad for your finances because it has fees like a credit card. [Money Q&amp;A]</p> <p><a href="http://www.doughroller.net/personal-finance/10-personal-finance-myths-busted/">10 Personal Finance Myths Busted</a> &mdash; It is a myth that budgeting is painful. It doesn't always have to be painful! [The Dough Roller]</p> <p><a href="http://bargainbabe.com/2012/10/24/professional-photography-at-bargain-prices/">Professional Photography at Bargain Prices</a> &mdash; Take advantage of Groupon to get professional photography at a bargain price. [Bargain Babe]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-foods-you-shouldnt-waste-money-on">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-digital-food-scales">The 5 Best Digital Food Scales</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/concession-stand-treats-a-license-to-print-money">Concession stand treats – a license to print money.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-great-meals-with-your-car-engine-the-heat-is-on">Cooking great meals with your car engine. The heat is on.</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-times-to-go-grocery-shopping">The Best and Worst Times to Go Grocery Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt">Baby Carrots: The Frugal Idea That Isn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink best money tips Food money waste Wed, 31 Oct 2012 10:00:34 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 955475 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways You May Be Wasting Money in Your Business http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-you-may-be-wasting-money-in-your-business <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-you-may-be-wasting-money-in-your-business" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/articles/5-ways-you-may-be-wasting-money-in-your-busine...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/5-ways-you-may-be-wasting-money-in-your-business" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000007506364Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="177" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When it comes to small business and money management, are you wasting money or using your resources wisely?</p> <p>You might be wasting money if you have...</p> <ul> <li>A stellar website with no conversion funnel.</li> <li>A star sales guy who's bogged down with meetings and red tape.</li> <li>An outdated product line you won't give up on.</li> <li>A leadership style that makes trying a new idea impossible.</li> <li>A bloated system that makes routine tasks far too complex.</li> </ul> <p>All of these issues are costing you money, either in charges you could avoid or in profits you could be making.</p> <p><strong>1. A Bait with No Hook</strong></p> <p>That great website you have, for example: you paid a professional design team to build it. You pay to host it. You pay for somebody to put new content on it (you are putting fresh content on it, right?). Maybe you're paying to get an SEO professional to tweak your website, or you're buying stacks of Google ads to get the traffic to your home page.</p> <p>But do your visitors know where to go once they get there?</p> <p>A stellar website with no conversion funnel is like bait with no hook. You aren't going to catch any fish.</p> <p><strong>2. Stuck Employees and Weak Teams</strong></p> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/managing/article/7-ways-to-motivate-your-employees">What about your employees</a>? These people are the backbone of your business, but if you squelch their natural talents, ignore their strengths, and manage them poorly, they will lose all desire to help you succeed.</p> <p>Who do you have on your team? Do you have a guy who's a little out there, or a gal who's rather hard to manage? Maybe he has great people skills but stinks at time management. Maybe she excels at managing herself but doesn't like being told what to do.</p> <p>What can you do to put these people in a place where their strengths matter and their weaknesses don't?</p> <p>Play to Their Strengths</p> <p>Put your employees in places where their strengths matter and their weaknesses don't. Give your star sales guy the support he needs to stay on schedule, or give him the freedom to do things on his own time line by providing money-oriented goals rather than time-oriented tasks.</p> <p>An employee working in areas of strength will bring in more profit than an employee struggling daily to conquer weaknesses.</p> <p><strong>3. Outdated Products or Poor Marketing</strong></p> <p>Your products need the same analysis. Are they selling? If not, why not? Is the problem in the marketing or in the product itself? Do they need to be repackaged, or is the whole product line simply outdated?</p> <p>Don't be afraid to let go of what isn't working; that's the only way you'll find out what will work.</p> <p><strong>4. Resistance to New Ideas</strong></p> <p>A fear of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/3-must-read-blogs-for-developing-innovation-systems?intlink=us-openf-nav-gallery">new ideas</a>&mdash;and a leadership style that squelches them automatically&mdash;will cost you in terms of innovation that could improve your products, services, company image, processes, systems, and customer service.</p> <p>5. Consider the System</p> <p>So, next time you're faced with a new idea, take your time and consider it. And next time you find yourself spending twenty minutes to do a task that should take two, consider the system; is it time to make a change?</p> <p>The value of simplifying systems is that it allows you to focus on what is important. Detail work shouldn't be part of a complex process, but should be streamlined into a simple routine you can get through quickly.</p> <p>If you're wasting money stupidly, it's not because you're stupid; it's because you're busy in the work of running your business, too busy to stop and consider what you might be losing. But take a moment. Step back, look around, make some changes, and start making money instead of wasting it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/5-ways-you-may-be-wasting-money-in-your-business">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-49-smartest-amazon-hacks-that-will-save-you-big">Flashback Friday: 49 Smartest Amazon Hacks That Will Save You Big</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-free-travel-sooner-with-these-frequent-flyer-mileage-secrets">Earn Free Travel Sooner With These Frequent Flyer Mileage Secrets</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-gluttony-is-keeping-you-poor">6 Ways Gluttony Is Keeping You Poor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-i-saved-enough-for-a-down-payment-while-working-in-china">How I Saved Enough for a Down Payment While Working in China</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center costs efficiency employee management innovation saving money small business waste wasting money Thu, 29 Sep 2011 20:34:01 +0000 Annie Mueller 705935 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Things to Throw Out Today http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-things-to-throw-out-today" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/old_copier.jpg" alt="Two guys throwing out a copier" title="Two guys throwing out a copier" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="176" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a great quote from <em>Fight Club</em>, one of my favorite movies. It comes from Tyler Durden, Brad Pitt's character, and it's prophetic &mdash; &quot;The things you own end up owning you.&quot; After watching several seasons of <em>Hoarders</em>, that's got to be one of the most truthful statements ever to come out of a movie.</p> <p>Now, we all have a little hoarder inside each of us. We see some things that we just can't bear to get rid of, probably because there's an emotional attachment to them. Sometimes things are valuable, and we keep them for that reason. On rare occasions, we don't even know why we're hanging onto something, but we are.</p> <p>Well, there's a great feeling of liberation that can come from shedding these items. If you'd like to feel it yourself, here's a list of 25 things that you should throw out today. And by that, I mean donate, dump, trash, incinerate, whatever you like&hellip;just remove them from your life. (See also: <a title="25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today" href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-easy-organizing-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Easy Organizing Changes You Can Make Today</a>)</p> <h3>1. Clothing and Shoes You Haven't Worn in the Last 18 Months</h3> <p>&quot;Well hang on, I'm saving those for a special occasion!&quot; Really? I'm guilty of this too, waiting for the perfect time to wear that shirt I wore once back in 2002. It's so cool, how can I get rid of it? But at the same time, there just never seems to be the need for it, and it never gets worn. Give it away or sell it; someone else may actually wear it more than once every 10 years.</p> <h3>2. Old Paint</h3> <p>We all have those cans of paint in the garage or basement. They're great for touching up walls when they get chipped or scratched up. But when you repaint a wall and no longer need the color beneath it, or you haven't painted in several years, you should consider responsibly ridding yourself of the old paint. Try patching a wall you painted years ago with the paint in the can, and you'll see that it's not a perfect match. The paint on the wall has dulled. And if you repaint a wall, the chances of ever using that old paint color again are very slim. Keep newer paints for touch-up, but the rest can go. Visit <a title="Earth911.com" href="http://earth911.com/">Earth911.com</a> to find a place that will safely dispose of the old paint for you.</p> <p><img width="605" height="361" alt="paint cans" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/paint%20cans.jpg" /></p> <h3>3. Contents of the Junk Drawer</h3> <p>Everyone has a junk drawer full of random, well, crap. The occasional battery, old hair ties, bits of string, matchboxes &mdash; you name it, it's in there. And it just gathers drawer dust. So try this little experiment for a month. Grab a box and empty the contents of the junk drawer into it. Then, if you use something from that box, put it back in the junk drawer. At the end of one month, the drawer will be filled with items you use. The box? That's all stuff you can donate or throw out.</p> <h3>4. Dated Receipts, Paychecks, and Bills</h3> <p>Do you really need a filing cabinet full of <a title="6 Quick Tips for Organizing Your Finances" href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-quick-tips-for-organizing-your-finances">old bills, paychecks, and receipts</a>? If they are no longer needed, dump them. If you have receipts for tax purposes or warranties, they need to be stored somewhere (although many people these days are scanning them and saving on a hard drive). You should save paychecks from the past two years; throw the rest away (scan them first if you must). And bills, who needs them? If you can, sign up for electronic bills and paychecks to save the environment.</p> <h3>5. Unread Books</h3> <p>How many books do you have on your shelves that will never be read or never read again? Chances are, you've got plenty. Go through them today and donate them, so that someone else will get enjoyment from them.</p> <h3>6. Expired Medicines and Vitamins</h3> <p>Not only is this a space-saver, it could also be a life-saver. When drugs go past their expiration dates, they become less potent. So if you're taking them for a certain illness, you may not be getting the correct dosage. Some people double up on the dosage to make up for that, which is dangerous. Drugs can also change in their chemical compositions over time, which means they could become dangerous and have serious side effects. Be safe. Throw them out.</p> <h3>7. Cups and Mugs</h3> <p>You open the kitchen cabinet and reach for a cup or mug to pour yourself a coffee. That's when you're greeted with a vast array of unmatching, chipped, and faded cups and mugs that you've collected over the years. How many do you need anyway? Throw the ones you really don't need.</p> <p><img width="605" height="462" alt="mugs" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/mugs.jpg" /></p> <h3>8. Plastic Containers</h3> <p>Whether you call them Tupperware, Gladware, Snapware, or anything else, you no doubt have a fabulously mixed-up collection of plastic containers. They have missing lids, too many lids, stains, holes, and about nine of them are actually worth keeping. Go through your collection and be brutal. Most can be dumped today.</p> <h3>9. Linens</h3> <p>There are linens that are used regularly. There are linens used for guests or other special occasions. And then there are the rest. Old, dated, worn, mismatched linens that no longer have a use other than &quot;what if?&quot; Well, chances are that day will never come. You won't have 15 house guests who drop in unannounced. Those linens have been stored away for years. Donate them.</p> <h3>10. Power Cords</h3> <p>I have a drawer full of old power cords, data cords, and other various pieces of connective cables. Most of them are duplicates (I get a new USB cord every time I buy a new gadget). Some are for old devices that have long since departed the home. So go through them all, keep the ones for current gadgets in your house, and get rid of the rest.</p> <h3>11. Magazines</h3> <p>There's a better place for those old magazines than gathering dust in your garage, basement, or attic. Don't throw them out; give them to local businesses that have waiting rooms, including doctor's offices and dentists. Next time you have to wait around, you'll have something more current to read than a 1992 National Geographic.</p> <h3>12. Spices</h3> <p>Did you know that spices go off? Actually, most great chefs will do whatever they can to buy only the freshest spices and use them very quickly, or buy them in a state that can be ground or grated (like black peppercorns or nutmeg). If you have a big collection of spices, check the expiration dates. If they have none, use these guidelines and your best guess:</p> <ul> <li>Seasoning blends: 1-2 years</li> <li>Herbs: 1-3 years</li> <li>Ground spices: 2-3 years</li> <li>Whole spices (such as cinnamon sticks and peppercorns): 3-4 years</li> <li>Extracts: 4 years (except for pure vanilla, which lasts indefinitely)</li> </ul> <h3>13. Old Greeting Cards</h3> <p>It may sound heartless, but generally speaking, greeting cards are supposed to be a fleeting message from a loved one. They are not keepsakes to be stored or framed. You aren't throwing away someone's love by throwing away a Hallmark card that they picked out. Unless the card had something particularly sentimental and meaningful written inside, throw it away. &quot;Happy Birthday, Love Mom&quot; does not count.</p> <h3>14. DVDs, VHS and Audio Tapes, CDs and Video Games</h3> <p>VHS and audio tapes are a no-brainer. Have you tried listening to, or watching, either of those after watching Blu-Ray? It's like being transported back in time to the land of sucky reception. But even some DVDs, CDs, and video games should be considered. If you haven't listened to a CD in years, is it worth keeping? How about that movie you bought because it was on sale and cheaper to buy than rent? Or that video game you crushed and have no time for anymore? Dump them all.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" alt="VHS tape" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/vhs%20tape.jpg" /></p> <h3>15. Makeup</h3> <p>First, an admission. I don't wear makeup. But my wife does, and I know she has some rules regarding the lifespan of various products and brushes. Here are guidelines from <a href="http://www.bellasugar.com/When-throw-makeup-away-guidelines-cosmetic-life-span-1124422">Bella Sugar</a>, and fellas, if you use makeup, you should follow them too...I'm talking to you specifically, Gene Simmons.</p> <ul> <li>Mascara: Every three months</li> <li>Foundation: One year</li> <li>Concealer: 12-18 months</li> <li>Powder: 18 months</li> <li>Blush/Bronzer: 18 months</li> <li>Cream blush: 12-18 months</li> <li>Eye shadow: 18 months</li> <li>Eyeliner: 18 months</li> <li>Liquid eyeliner: 6 months</li> <li>Lipstick/lip gloss: 18 months</li> <li>Lip liner: One year</li> <li>Nail polish: One year</li> <li>Makeup sponges: Wash after each use, then throw away after a month.</li> </ul> <h3>16. Old Underwear, Socks, and Bras</h3> <p>Alas, sometimes we stretch out the time between washes a little longer than we should, and why? Because we see five pairs of undies or socks left in the drawer and know we're OK. But we forget they're the saddest items of clothing in the known universe, filled with holes, often glowing with a color that can only be described as &quot;muddy gray.&quot; Get rid of them. As for bras, I bow to the ladies in my life on this one. They tell me that bras do need to be replaced. Dianes Lingerie has some <a title="bra guidelines" href="http://www.dianeslingerie.com/Is-It-Time-to-Toss-out-Your-Bra">guidelines for when to buy a new bra</a>.</p> <h3>17. Dated Technology, Including Old Cell Phones</h3> <p>Last year we donated all of our old cell phones to a charity called <a title="Cell Phones For Soldiers" href="http://www.cellphonesforsoldiers.com/">Cell Phones For Soldiers</a>. It gives our troops the ability to call home, and whether you agree with war or not, the soldiers always need support. That's just one way that something old and seemingly useless can be given a new lease of life. Old cameras, handheld video games, VHS players &mdash; they can all be used by someone. Better that than being stuck in your basement for the next 10 years.</p> <h3>18. Coat Hangers</h3> <p>We moved house recently. I lost count of how many coat hangers we had. I think there may have been 200. And out of those, maybe 30 were nice wooden ones. The rest were cheap plastic or were brought home still attached to the shirt or blouse we bought. Many were broken. And we used maybe half of them; the rest just took up space in the closet. Take a look at your closets &mdash; do you have hangers that are a complete waste of space?</p> <h3>19. Toys</h3> <p>Kids are spoiled for choice these days, and that means a glut of toys can be found all over the house. So get your kids to gather up all the toys, then sift through them together. Decide which ones they really want to keep, which ones can be donated, and which are no use to anyone. A jigsaw puzzle with 10 missing pieces is not fun. Actually, one missing piece is torture in some countries. Dump the headless Barbies and broken cars.</p> <p><img width="605" height="398" alt="toy bear" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u784/toy%20bear.jpg" /></p> <h3>20. Those &quot;Fix It Up&quot; Projects</h3> <p>You know the ones I'm talking about. You bought a scrap piece of furniture or machinery at a garage sale three years ago, fully intending to sand it, prime it, paint it, and make it look like new again. Of course, the day after you bought it you stored it away in the basement or garage and it's been there ever since. So, make a pact. Start to fix it up today, or get rid of it.</p> <h3>21. Cribs, Car Seats, and Other Baby/Toddler Products</h3> <p>It's difficult to keep track of all the new <a title="crib regulations" href="http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/06/the-new-crib-standard-questions-and-answers/">regulations</a> that come into play regarding baby products. For instance, drop-side cribs have now been banned due to safety concerns. The cribs we had for our two children were drop-side cribs, and had we kept them, we'd actually be saving something that was unsafe. The same goes for car seats, strollers, and many other baby items. So, check the ones you have around the home. They may need to be thrown out.</p> <h3>22. Perfumes and Colognes</h3> <p>We all have them, lurking in the back of the medicine cabinet or closet. They're the scents we were given as gifts, maybe by an ex, a clueless parent, or even something we bought for ourselves in a moment of uncommon sense. Now they sit in the dark, 99% full, waiting for the day you throw them away. Release them.</p> <h3>23. Jewelry</h3> <p>Pendants with broken chains. Old rings. Old bracelets. Dated brooches. Dated anything, actually. Men and women alike have jewelry that is no longer needed. It's time to liberate it, and you could even get a nice chunk of cash for it.</p> <h3>24. Rugs</h3> <p>We currently have two rugs in our basement that may never see the light of day again. As we just moved house, though, I'm giving it a few weeks to see if they have a natural place in our new home. If they don't, they're out. How about you? Did you once have a rug that was pride of place in your living room, but since redecorating, it's been stuck in a dark corner? Maybe someone else can give it a new home.</p> <h3>25. Food</h3> <p>We're a wasteful society. I recently read a statistic that says <a title="U.S. food waste" href="http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=earth-talk-waste-land">Americans throw away 25% of the food</a> we produce, and I'm not surprised. We're so obsessed with keeping a full fridge, pantry, and freezer that we can't possibly <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/waste-not-want-not-stop-throwing-away-your-food">eat everything we buy</a>. And that means right now, you have food that's gone off and is rotting in the back of your fridge, freezer, or pantry. Do a complete check of each one, bin the food that's off, and if you find anything good that you're unlikely to eat for whatever reason, donate it.</p> <p><em>Did I miss something? Did I get something completely wrong, in your opinion? Chime in, and let us know what you think should be thrown away today, and what you should actually keep forever.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-the-82-best-spring-cleaning-hacks-we-ve-ever-shared">Flashback Friday: The 82 Best Spring Cleaning Hacks We’ve Ever Shared</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean">9 Things in Your House You&#039;re Forgetting to Clean</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-now-simple-rules-you-must-follow-to-stay-clutter-free">Declutter Now: Simple Rules You Must Follow to Stay Clutter Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-is-how-you-declutter-and-keep-your-stuff-too">This Is How You Declutter and Keep Your Stuff, Too</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/declutter-your-home-in-10-minutes">Declutter Your Home in 10 Minutes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Organization cleaning declutter things to throw out waste Mon, 22 Aug 2011 10:36:17 +0000 Paul Michael 666832 at http://www.wisebread.com 47 Simple Ways To Waste Money http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2924979423_0b94967566.jpg" alt="Burn money" title="Burn money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="184" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <!--StartFragment--><!--StartFragment--><div>How are you doing with your money? Do you have everything under control, or are you spending a little more than you should? Well, if you'd like to blow even more of your money, this list will help you empty your bank account in half the time you usually do. Enjoy.&nbsp;</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="1"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Gamble in Vegas. Sure, some people get lucky. But most of us blow a wad and leave feeling like reckless morons.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="2"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Spend your spare time surfing the bargain sites. It doesn&rsquo;t matter if you don&rsquo;t actually need anything, you&rsquo;ll find something to buy.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="3"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Shop hungry. It&rsquo;s amazing how much extra food you&rsquo;ll throw in your cart.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="4"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Draw more money out of the ATM than you need. If you get $20, you&rsquo;ll spend $20. If you get $40, it will disappear just as quickly.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="5"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Become an impulse buyer. See something in a shop window&hellip;grab it immediately and worry about the cost later.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="6"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Pay bills late. That will eat up some serious cash in the form of late fees, interest rate hikes and, sometimes, damaging your credit rating.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="7"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Lend money to people you know won&rsquo;t pay you back, even when they say it will be different this time.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="8"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Don&rsquo;t shop around. The first place you look is almost certainly not the best price available.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="9"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Don&rsquo;t buy online. Those high-street retailers have lots of extra overheads, and they pass them on to you by marking up products.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="10"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Go to a state fair or carnival and buy lunch from a concession stand for your family. $8 for a hot dog, $4 for a can of coke. Multiply by number of family members.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="11"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Feed $1 bills into those crane machines that tempt you with large stuffed animals. You may get lucky&hellip;but only after you&rsquo;ve paid twice what the crappy toy is worth.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="12"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Buy complete albums instead of cherry-picking the songs you want from a music download site. (Unless, of course, you always buy albums that are 100% brilliant from beginning to end).&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="13"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Never double-check your measurements on a DIY project. You&rsquo;ll make at least one big mistake and have to buy another round of materials.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="14"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Forget to take back movie rentals on time. Red Box may only be a buck a night, but rent two and leave them behind the sofa, and that can add up quickly.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="15"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">That goes for library books, or any other type of rental that fines tardiness.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="16"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Buy food, throw it in the back of the fridge or in the &ldquo;vegetable crisper&rdquo; and forget about it. Then, a few weeks later, you can throw it away. Cash in the trash.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="17"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Become completely disorganized and forgetful. You have no idea how quickly you&rsquo;ll spend money if you are buying things that you already have, or can&rsquo;t find the library books that were due back three months ago.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="18"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Ignore special offers and coupons. Why pay $3 for an item when you can just as easily pay $5?&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="19"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Take your car in for an oil change and proceed to get every single &ldquo;recommended&rdquo; repair. I just took my car in for an oil change, they wanted to change all four brake pads. Little did they know my car has a warning light that tells me when my brake pads need replacing; I also have a mechanic for a father-in-law.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="20"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">And speaking of oil changes, get yours done every 3000 miles. True, modern engines and synthetic oils mean most vehicles can do 5000-7000 miles between changes, but so what.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="21"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Use credit cards without paying off the balance in full each month. You will rack up some delicious interest rates. And if it&rsquo;s an APR, look for increasing fees as time goes on.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="22"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Fly First Class. You&rsquo;ll get to your destination at the same time as the folks a few rows behind you, but you&rsquo;ll pay substantially more for some legroom and a nicer meal.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="23"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Never read a contract. Ever. You will later be taken by surprise with all sorts of fees and penalties. And legally, you signed on the dotted line so you&rsquo;re obligated to pay them all&hellip;or in some cases, like a secured loan, lose your house.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="24"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Buy an extended warranty, especially on a car. Most of the time, you&rsquo;ll be paying a huge percentage of the cost of the item and when it comes time to make a claim you&rsquo;ll be battling with legal eagles who will do anything to make sure you don&rsquo;t get any money.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="25"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Don&rsquo;t take advantage of your company&rsquo;s 401k match; because another great way to waste money is to decline free money.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="26"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Buy a monthly gym membership, work out once, then sit at home for the next year and watch TV.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="27"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Buy in bulk on stuff you&rsquo;ll never be able to use or consume before the sell-by-date.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="28"> <li class="MsoNormal" style=""><span style="">&nbsp;</span>Smoke. If you go through one pack per day, you&rsquo;ll literally burn over $2000 per year.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="29"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Walk past the perfectly functional coffee machine at home, drive to work and pick up a grande half-caf-double-mocha-vanilla-chai-peppermint cream coffee from Starbucks or any other &ldquo;premium&rdquo; coffee chain. That&rsquo;s an easy way to blow up to $5 on something that should only cost you pennies.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="30"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Buy books, DVDs and CDs at bookstores like Borders and Barnes &amp; Noble. Last time I checked, the regular price for a new DVD averaged $25 - $30 in one of these stores. Even when they&rsquo;re on sale, they&rsquo;re more expensive than the same copy at Target.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="31"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Throw away your leftovers. Whether they&rsquo;re from a home-cooked meal or from dining out, just put them in the fridge covered in cling-wrap and then pop them in the garbage a week later.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="32"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Buy bottled water. It&rsquo;s dollars for a bottle, pennies from the faucet. And let&rsquo;s not forget the environment costs of bottled water either.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="33"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Use 411 instead of 1-800-GOOG411. The first costs you a hefty fee each time you dial, the second is free. Both offer the same service.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="34"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Buy the high-octane gas. Modern computer-controlled cars will alter ignition and timing profiles to allow the use of low-grade gas, but why bother taking advantage of that?&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="35"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Purchase bags of &ldquo;baby carrots.&rdquo; In actuality, they&rsquo;re large carrots shaped into smaller, bite-sized pieces, but you&rsquo;re way too busy to cut carrots to size.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="36"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Don&rsquo;t take the time to read street signs. I got myself a lovely $25 parking ticket recently because I thought the road was meter-free. It wasn&rsquo;t. The meters had been replaced by one parking fee booth about 20ft down the road.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="37"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Oh, and why not speed as well? You&rsquo;ll get a big fine and a few points on your license just to get somewhere a few minutes quicker.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="38"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Rent from Blockbuster instead of RedBox. $4 versus $1 per night. And remember never to return it so you get charged a big fat fee to keep the disc.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="39"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Never monitor your bank account(s). That way, you can occasionally go overdrawn and get charged a lovely big fee.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="40"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Don&rsquo;t take care of your teeth, and avoid dental check-ups and cleanings. You&rsquo;ll save a little money at first, but worry not&hellip;the dentist&rsquo;s fees will come pouring in when your mouth looks and smells like the inside of a garbage dump.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="41"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Don&rsquo;t haggle. Whether it&rsquo;s a small bag of apples at a farmer&rsquo;s market or the purchase of a new home, just accept the first price and call it good.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="42"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Play the lottery. Sure, there&rsquo;s a<span style="">&nbsp; </span>roughly 1 in 120,000,000 chance you could bag the jackpot, but it&rsquo;s a slim chance. Even the odds of winning just a lousy $10 are about 1 in 35. Imagine closing your eyes and picking one white ball out of a bag containing 34 red balls&hellip;yep, doubtful.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="43"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Never question a dubious charge or bill. If in doubt, let the restaurant, grocery store, cable company, phone company or any other mega-corporation keep the money. They need it for all the lawsuits.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="44"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Buy brand-name everything. Yes, many of the store-brand products are repackaged brand-names at lower prices, but why pay less?&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="45"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Buy a new car. It loses about 20% of its value the second you drive it off the lot.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="46"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Don&rsquo;t turn off the lights or appliances. Keep them all going, even when you&rsquo;re out of the house. That should push your electricity bill way up.&nbsp;<o:p></o:p></li> </ol> <ol type="1" style="margin-top: 0in;" start="47"> <li class="MsoNormal" style="">Don&rsquo;t read Wise Bread. But as you&rsquo;re reading this, maybe you will end up savings some money today. Don&rsquo;t worry, follow the rest of the advice here and you can soon spend way more than you need to.<span style="">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></li> </ol> <!--EndFragment--><!--EndFragment--><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/oprah-asks-a-great-question-what-can-you-live-without">Oprah Asks A Great Question; What Can You Live Without?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/looking-on-the-bright-side-how-to-find-a-silver-lining-in-the-current-financial-crisis">Looking On The Bright Side: How to Find A Silver Lining In The Current Financial Crisis</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-staying-on-budget-can-be-fun-really">9 Ways Staying on Budget Can Be Fun (Really!)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-not-buy-something-just-because-you-can-afford-it">Do not buy something just because you can afford it</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sensible-ways-to-raise-cash-for-a-wedding">Sensible Ways to Raise Cash for a Wedding</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Budgeting General Tips Lifestyle Shopping budgeting cash sales spending waste Wed, 24 Jun 2009 17:12:36 +0000 Paul Michael 3312 at http://www.wisebread.com Opt-out of the wasteful $26 billion phone directory industry http://www.wisebread.com/opt-out-of-the-wasteful-26-billion-phone-directory-industry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/opt-out-of-the-wasteful-26-billion-phone-directory-industry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2200696844_3e434151f7.jpg" alt="yellow pages in the dumpster" title="yellow pages in the dumpster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>In this day and age of the internet, free Google 411 and a host of other paperless directory services, what use do the big, fat phone directories serve? I don’t know about you, but when I get those large plastic bags filled with 3lb phone books, I usually put them straight in the recycling bin. We never use them. Now a website similar to the National No-Call registry is asking you to sign up and stop receiving these archaic books. </p> <p>The facts speak loud and clear; the massive amount of money and resources the phone directory industry sucks up is phenomenal. This, from <a href="http://www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/">YellowPagesGoesGreen.org</a> : <ul> <li>540 million directories are printed annually in the United States.</li> <li>The average weight of each directory is 3.62 lbs.</li> <li>1.79 directories are printed for every man, woman and child in the US. </li> <li>The phone directory industry is worth over $13 billion in the US (that figure doubles to $26 billion worldwide).</li> <li>It takes 24 trees to make 1 ton of paper.</li> <li>It takes over 19 million trees to make half a trillion directories.</li> <li>It takes 380 gallons of oil to produce that ton of paper (over 7.2 billion barrels per 500,000,000 books).</li> <li>3 cubic yards of waste are taken up by one ton of paper (that equates to 1.6 billion lbs per 500,000,000 books).</li> <li>Over 270,000 cubic yards of landfill are taken up per 500,000,000 </li> <li>7,000 gallons of water go into the production of one ton of paper.</li> <li>4,000 kilowatts of energy are also needed to make that ton of paper (3.2 billion KW hours/500,000,000 books).</li> </ul> <p>As a frugal shopper, I deplore waste (the main image at the top of this article came from someone who spotted DOZENS of yellow pages in their apartment building&#39;s dumpster). And the idea that these millions and millions of directories are being printed so that at least 90% of us can just put them into the recycling bin, well, that just burns me up. So much money, so many resources, all for nothing.</p> <p>Decades ago, there was a need for phone directories. But that industry needs to face one hard fact; it is going the way of the dinosaur. And continually producing these books is merely prolonging the inevitable, but wasting precious time and money in the process. However, if we all do something about it, maybe we can speed that process up.</p> <p>Simply <a href="http://www.yellowpagesgoesgreen.org/stop-yellow-pages/">click on this link</a> and you’ll be directed to the opt-out page at YellowPagesGoesGreen.org, where you can opt out of both the yellow and white pages. The website’s mission statement is both clear and admirable:</p> <blockquote><p><em>Yellowpagesgoesgreen.org is an organization working to educate consumers and promote the green movement to eliminate the unsolicited delivery of Yellow and White Pages books. This site is aimed at starting a national movement to solicit the White/Yellow Pages industry to proactively stop the delivery of books or to begin moving legislation to mandate the stoppage of this activity. This movement should be similar to the National No-Call Registry that have stopped and/or decreased the number of unwanted solicitations telephone calls to consumers.</em></p> </blockquote> <blockquote><p><em>A college student who was renting a house in Liberty, Missouri founded Yellowpagesgoesgreen.org. The number of telephone books delivered to the house was overwhelming and the work required to recycle them was daunting. When he spoke with his neighbors they all told him they just threw them away. Due to the use of technology, he felt these books were now outdated. However, he understood that some people may still want them and felt the best way to limit this tremendous waste was to mimic the National No-Call Directory. Additionally, he wanted this site to serve as a depository for information and educational issues concerning the green movement.</em></p></blockquote> <p>I put my name down this morning; and unless you have a real need for these books, like in the video below from <a href="http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1752127">collegehumor.com</a> , or maybe propping up a young child at the table, so that they can reach their chicken soup, I urge you to do the same. It&#39;s time to put the phone directories out of their misery.</p> <p><em>Note: There&#39;s a tiny bit of &quot;colorful&quot; language in the vid...turn down the volume if you&#39;re at work or around young ones.</em></p> <object classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,29,0" width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3U9YAwuN5lA&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="menu" value="false" /><param name="wmode" value="" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3U9YAwuN5lA&amp;hl=en&amp;fs=1" wmode="" quality="high" menu="false" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="425" height="344"></embed></object></p> <p><em>Thanks to <a href="http://thedenveregotist.com/article/2494/enough-with-the-yellow-pages-already">The Denver Egotist</a> (via <a href="http://lifehacker.com/400663/yellowpagesgoesgreen-like-do-not-call-list-for-giant-wastes-of-paper">LifeHacker)</a> for bringing this subject to my attention.</em> </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/opt-out-of-the-wasteful-26-billion-phone-directory-industry">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-will-you-do-when-gas-drops-below-150-a-gallon">What will you do when gas drops below $1.50 a gallon?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-coffee-cup-revolution-lets-take-a-stand">The Coffee Cup Revolution: Let&#039;s Take a Stand!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-daylight-saving-time-a-complete-waste-of-energy">Is daylight-saving time a complete waste of energy?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/welcome-to-container-city-how-shipping-containers-are-recycled-into-green-dwellings">Welcome to Container City - How Shipping Containers Are Recycled into Green Dwellings</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-stuff-i-try-never-to-buy-new">The stuff I try never to buy new</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Consumer Affairs Green Living 411 directory energy oil phone telephone waste yellow pages Thu, 21 Aug 2008 20:00:32 +0000 Paul Michael 2353 at http://www.wisebread.com Capital One: What’s In Your Envelope? http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-whats-in-your-envelope <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/capital-one-whats-in-your-envelope" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/capital one waste.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="213" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Just when I thought credit card companies couldn&rsquo;t get any more wasteful, I received the mother of all credit card offers in the mail.<span> </span>Excited by what I thought was something worthwhile in a rather thick envelope, I got duped.<span> </span>And the contents weren&rsquo;t even worth reusing&hellip;..</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Unlike many, I eagerly await my mail each day.<span> </span>Since most of my bills are paid online, if the postman is bringing it, I can expect it to be freshly-paid freelance invoices or the occasional trade mag.<span> </span>Of course, there is usually one or two credit card offers tossed into the mix (which I promptly discard, unopened, into the trash/recycle bin.)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Yesterday, I received a rather unusual envelope from Capital One.<span> </span>It was standard yellow and almost passed through into the trash, until I took a moment to feel it.<span> </span>It was thick, a little squishy, and had me thinking that maybe (just maybe) there was something inside of interest.<span> </span>It <strong><em>was</em></strong> thick, after all.<span> </span>(Could it be a free mousepad?)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I can&rsquo;t even believe I took the time to open it.<span> </span>Inside was the standard &ldquo;blah,blah,blah&rdquo; 0% for so many days credit balance transfer offer with return envelope.<span> </span>And one sheet of bubble wrap.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The spendthrift in me immediately became irritated.<span> </span>Why waste the plastic this flimsy, worthless sheet of bubble wrap was made with to send me this?<span> </span>Did they really think that all I needed to do was see this offer to become swept away by their financing?<span> </span>Since I usually recycle any and all packing materials for my own mailings, I examined the barely usable piece of wrap (which couldn&rsquo;t protect a toothpick.)<span> </span>Not even the envelope could be used again.<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Now that I&rsquo;m on to their scheme, what will they do next to get my attention?<span> </span>Skywriting?<span> </span>Messages in a bottle down the Missouri River? <span> </span>Tattoo placement on newborn babies?<span> </span>This left me considering one of Paul&rsquo;s unorthodox methods to let them know it was an unappreciated gesture.<span> </span>Sure, the 3 sheets of paper the offer was printed on made it to me unscathed (thanks to that trusty bubble wrap), but this is a big step backwards in practicing conservation and waste-reduction.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">I&rsquo;ll be opting out of future offers from now on, and maybe I should contact all my other card companies before they start getting any (really bad) ideas.<span> </span>What other wasteful things are you seeing in your mailbox?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/capital-one-whats-in-your-envelope">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/uk-banks-are-blocking-customers-credit-cards-will-the-usa-be-next">UK banks are blocking customers&#039; credit cards. Will the USA be next?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/do-we-really-need-help-in-getting-more-debt">Do we really need help with getting more debt?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-credit-card-legislation-buzz-interview-wall-street-journal">New Credit Card Legislation Buzz: An Interview with Wall Street Journal’s Mary Pilon</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-cant-save-if-you-dont-try">You Can’t Save if You Don’t Try</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/video-on-how-to-spot-counterfeits">Video on How to Spot Counterfeits</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs consumer affairs credit cards junk mail waste Fri, 11 Jul 2008 11:07:06 +0000 Linsey Knerl 2229 at http://www.wisebread.com The Coffee Cup Revolution: Let's Take a Stand! http://www.wisebread.com/the-coffee-cup-revolution-lets-take-a-stand <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-coffee-cup-revolution-lets-take-a-stand" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/coffee cup revolution.JPG" alt="coffee cup" title="coffee cup" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>I can&#39;t stand walking into a coffee shop, ordering a cup of java to stay, and having my coffee served up in a paper cup. Even worse, I get not only one, but two cups stacked together, with a paper sleeve around it to prevent my tender fingers from being burned. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Had my coffee been served to me in a mug (I did say I was staying after all), I could have enjoyed a more luxurious and homey coffee experience, my fingers would remain in tact, and two paper cups and a paper sleeve could have stayed out of the landfills. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>The Facts</span></h2> <ul> <li><span>When you purchase one cup of coffee (or tea) in a disposable container every day, you create about 23 lb of waste each year. -<em>Ideal Bite</em></span></li> <li><span>About eighteen percent of garbage we produce is composed of disposable containers, of which hot beverage cups represent a large portion. </span></li> <li><span>Styrofoam cups are the worst culprits, as it never degrades. Americans throw away 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam cups every ear. Even 500 years from now, the foam coffee cup you used this morning will be sitting in a landfill somewhere. -<em>The Recycler&#39;s Handbook</em></span></li> <li><span>Starbucks just started rolling out new cups that contain 10% recycled paper. (Whoopee). </span></li> </ul> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Whether made of recycled paper or not, disposable hot beverage cups more often than not end up in landfills. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>What Coffee Shops are Doing About It</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Despite my sarcasm, there is a slow (agonizingly slow) movement towards reducing coffee cup waste problems. More and more places are using recycled paper cups, and some will provide discounts if you bring your own cup. (However, a $0.10 discount on a $2 cup of coffee is hardly incentive if the discount is intended to be enough incentive for the masses - but you have to start somewhere I guess). </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>Other places yet will also offer discounts on refills for using the same paper cup they gave you last time. This is handy if you are staying for the afternoon and swilling coffee or tea, but in my mind the discount is still not much of a recompense. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <h2><span>What We can do About It</span></h2> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>The next time you order a coffee to stay and they pull out a paper cup, reiterate that you are planning to stay with the coffee. <strong>If they cannot serve your coffee in a mug, then walk out</strong>. I know, I know - their coffee is the best, and you really like their ambience. But there is nothing like taking a consumer stance en mass. That is how change is affected. And if you simply must drink your java here, then read on:</span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span><strong>Take your own mug.</strong> There are plenty of fancy little coffee thermos-mugs you can tote around with you, and many places will give you a discount for bringing your own mug too. And if you are worried about the mug in your car finding its way to the office, and the one in your office ending up on your kitchen counter all resulting in you never having the mug when you need it, then keep a mug at home, one in the car, and another in the office. That way there will always be one handy when you need a coffee or tea fix. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>The first few times you walk out of a coffee shop because all they would serve are paper cups or because they won&#39;t serve you in your own mug, you may feel strange. But soon enough a feeling of consumer power will set in, and hopefully you&#39;ll tell two friends about your action plan. They&#39;ll discover for themselves the satisfaction of making positive change one cup of coffee at a time, and they&#39;ll each tell two friends too. </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span> </span></p> <p class="MsoPlainText"><span>And so a coffee cup revolution begins. </span></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-coffee-cup-revolution-lets-take-a-stand">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/opt-out-of-the-wasteful-26-billion-phone-directory-industry">Opt-out of the wasteful $26 billion phone directory industry</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-remove-yourself-from-mailing-lists-and-eliminate-junk-mail">How to Remove Yourself from Mailing Lists and Eliminate Junk Mail</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-dont-people-share-more">Why don&#039;t people share more?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-category-on-craigslist-to-be-renamed-haul-away-my-old-bulky-broken-crap-for-free">“Free” category on Craigslist to be renamed “Haul away my old, bulky, broken crap for free.”</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Green Living coffee cups garbage reusable mugs waste Fri, 25 Jan 2008 08:12:16 +0000 Nora Dunn 1677 at http://www.wisebread.com New Ideas for the Chopstick http://www.wisebread.com/new-ideas-for-the-chopstick <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/new-ideas-for-the-chopstick" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/chopsticks.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I love chopsticks.<span> </span>I’m not really sure why, since I’ve never been able to master eating with them.<span> </span>Maybe I like that they are elegant and made from the most beautiful natural resource around.<span> </span>Their clean angles and sturdy design make them destined for something much greater than sitting at the back of my kitchen junk drawer.<span> </span>If you’ve got a few lying around that you won’t be wrapping a noodle around, check out some handy tips for breathing new life into an ancient tradition.</p> <p><strong>Crafting</strong> – If you’re handy with the arts, or just like to build things, then the chopstick can be very useful to you.<span> </span>Chopsticks can be the medium of baskets, jewelry, frames, mobiles, or abstract centerpieces.<span> </span>There is no limit to the imaginative creations that can be made from them.<span> </span>(You can visit <a href="http://www.realgreengoods.com/">Real Green Goods</a>, for a website that offers some great products using chopsticks.<span> </span>You might be inspired to create some of your own!)</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Cooking</strong> – In addition to the popular method of using a chopstick as a skewer for baking or broiling meats and veggies, chopsticks can also be used in steaming.<span> </span>If you are without a steam tray or basket, simple stack several layers of chopsticks across the bottom of a large soup pan.<span> </span>Fill the bottom with a few inches of water, but not enough to meet the top of your chopstick stack.<span> </span>Layer large pieces of fresh veggies on top of the chopsticks and cook while covered.<span> </span>(Pay close attention to make sure that you don’t run out of water.<span> </span>Cooking with a dry pot could cause the chopsticks to burn.)<span> </span>Add water as needed until the veggies are cooked yet tender. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Another handy kitchen use deals with the unpleasant task of deveining shrimp.<span> </span>To easily remove the icky black lines in the back of the shrimp, insert the tapered end of the chopstick into the back of the shrimp’s “spine” and push forward along the length of the shrimp.<span> </span>The vein should scrape out easily. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">Chopsticks can also make a great temperature gauge for that skillet or pot of hot cooking oil.<span> </span>With a small amount of meat (or whatever you’re frying) on the end of a chopstick, touch the bottom of the pan.<span> </span>If it sizzles, you’re ready to cook!<span> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Gardening</strong> – If the thought of wasting wood bothers you, give back to the green good by implementing chopsticks into your horticulture routine!<span> </span>There are so many uses for chopsticks in the care of plants that it is impossible to list them all here.<span> </span>The <a href="http://www.knowledgeofbonsai.org/tools/chopsticks.php">art of Bonsai</a> uses chopsticks in many daily routines, including checking water, repotting, and shaping.<span> </span>If Bonsai isn’t your thing, you can still use chopsticks to support your houseplants or to make plant labels that you can stick in the soil. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Cleaning</strong> – Chopsticks are great for getting into hard-to-reach areas.<span> </span>Wrap a small cloth around the end of one and secure with a rubber band to make your own bottle brush or dish scrubber for long-stem flower vases.<span> </span>The tapered ends make a good sturdy tool for digging out dirt and mold from seams of shower fixtures and along baseboards.<span> </span>They are also great for getting pieces of bread out of the toaster (just be sure to unplug the toaster first), cleaning the dryer vent, and fishing items out from under the TV console or large appliances.<span> </span>I’ve also used them for getting gunked-on batter from the crevices of the waffle iron! </p> <p class="MsoNormal">The list of uses for chopsticks is endless, so there is hope that mine will find purpose in my lifetime.<span> </span>Not convinced that you’re ready to give up using chopsticks for eating?<span> </span>Check out this guide for <a href="http://www.howtoons.com/toon/springloaded-chopsticks/">making spring-loaded chopsticks from a clothespin</a>!<span> </span>So simple, even a child can use them!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-ideas-for-the-chopstick">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keep-these-3-things-in-your-car-save-money">Keep These Things in Your Car; Save Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-frugal-things-to-do-with-origami">8 Fun and Frugal Things to Do with Origami</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-frugal-reasons-to-compost">10 Frugal Reasons to Compost</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-ways-to-reuse-paper">22 Ways to Reuse Paper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Food and Drink Green Living Art and Leisure chopsticks crafts frugal recycle waste Sat, 19 Jan 2008 06:34:12 +0000 Linsey Knerl 1649 at http://www.wisebread.com Baby Carrots: The Frugal Idea That Isn't http://www.wisebread.com/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/35819369_3dfa63642b_z.jpg" alt="carrots" title="carrots" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="225" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you are a health-oriented kind of person, and you need a quick, nutritious snack that doesn't require lots of slurping, what do you reach for? Rice cakes, I feel, have been more or less abandoned by people who understand a thing or two about the <a title="glycemic index" href="http://www.amsa.org/healingthehealer/GlycemicIndex.pdf">glycemic index</a> (PDF). No, chances are that if you are looking for a healthy snack, you probably reach for a small baggie of baby carrots. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-healthy-snacks-that-wont-break-the-bank">6 Healthy Snacks That Won't Break the Bank</a>)</p> <p>I used to do the same, but these days, I eschew the baby carrot. Here's why.</p> <p>For those of you who don't know, baby carrots aren't really <strong>baby</strong> carrots. I was surprised at how many people didn't know that when the topic came up at work the other day. I suppose it's an easy mistake to make &mdash; baby carrots are small, they're sweet, and...well, they're small. And they're called BABY. Isn't that enough?</p> <p>Baby carrots are not young carrots, but rather small pieces of carrots that are<a title="baby carrot" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_carrot"> chopped and whittled down</a> to look like small carrots. They are peeled, and washed, and insanely convenient. USA Today featured an article a couple of years ago about the <a title="baby carrot origin" href="http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2004-08-11-baby-carrot_x.htm">origin of the baby carrot</a>, and I have to say, I'm impressed.</p> <h2>History</h2> <p>The story of the baby carrot is an interesting study in contrasts. The baby carrot is the brain child of Mike Yurosek, a Californian farmer who was weary of throwing away tons of carrots every year because they wouldn't sell. Anyone who has ever grown carrots in their garden knows that carrots don't always grow in perfect shapes. Some are bumpy and lumpy and ugly, and even if they taste wonderful, they won't sell in a <a title="Supermarket Savings Guide" href="http://www.wisebread.com/supermarket-savings">supermarket</a> if they don't fit that ideal carrot shape.</p> <p>That bugged Yurosek. And apparently, feeding tons and tons of ugly carrots to livestock wasn't the answer.</p> <blockquote><p>Culls are carrots that are too twisted, knobby, bent or broken to sell. In some loads, as many as 70% of carrots were tossed. And there are only so many discarded carrots you can feed to a pig or a steer, says Yurosek, now 82 and retired. &quot;After that, their fat turns orange,&quot; he says.</p></blockquote> <p>I believe this. As someone who once went on a baby carrot binge and subsequently turned a light shade of orange, I can attest that beta carotene is a strange substance indeed.</p> <p>In 1986, Yurosek came up with the idea of taking the ugly carrots and cutting them into small pieces of more or less uniform appearance.</p> <blockquote><p>First he had to cut the culls into something small enough to make use of their straight parts. &quot;The first batch we did, we did in a potato peeler and cut them by hand,&quot; Yurosek says. Then he found a frozen-food company that was going out of business and bought an industrial green-bean cutter, which just happened to cut things into 2-inch pieces. Thus was born the standard size for a baby carrot.</p> <p>Next, Yurosek sent one of his workers to a packing plant and loaded the cut-up carrots into an industrial potato peeler to take off the peel and smooth down the edges. What he ended up with was a little rough but still recognizable as the baby carrot of today.</p></blockquote> <p>Thus, the baby carrot is a product of frugality and an abhorrence of waste, which are two ideas that I can totally get behind. I hate wasting food. I love the idea that a product that might otherwise not be sold can be repackaged and sold. But, and there's always a <em>but</em>....</p> <p>Yurosek then sent samples of the baby carrots to Von's, a supermarket chain in California that is related to Safeway, and it was love at first sight.</p> <blockquote><p>The babies were an economic powerhouse. Stores paid 10 cents a bag for whole carrots and sold them for 17 cents. They paid 50 cents for a 1-pound package of baby carrots and sold them for $1. By 1989, more markets were on board, and the baby-carrot juggernaut had begun.</p></blockquote> <p>Ah, there's the rub. <em>Baby carrots are, by and large, more expensive than regular carrots.</em> I'm honestly impressed by the thinking that produced this product, but still &mdash; baby carrots are just chopped up, whittled down rejects, and we pay more for them? Well, I'll address that later.</p> <h2>It's the taste, stupid</h2> <p>I stopped buying baby carrots a while ago. It just so happened that I was at a farmer's market a couple summers ago, and ended up buying some dark purple carrots out of curiosity. I thought that they might taste strange, but when I tried one, I was surprised to see that they tasted like... well, like carrots. But the carrot taste was something that I realized I hadn't experienced in at least 10 years.</p> <p>As someone who had been eating baby carrots for a long time, I had honestly forgotten what a carrot tastes like. Baby carrots are nice &mdash; they are usually crispy and sweet, but they are largely flavorless. They don't have that carrot-y taste and smell. It's a tough taste to describe, but it's very distinct. There are many <a title="varieties of carrots" href="http://www.newfarm.org/features/0404/carrots/index.shtml">varieties of carrots</a>, of course, but most carrots that you can buy in a supermarket, the kind with a top of green leaves and visible roots, taste and smell distinctly different than a baby carrot, which doesn't taste or smell like much of anything.</p> <p>Since trying the first purple carrot, I simply can't go back to baby carrots. While conveniently packaged and pretty handy as finger food, they just don't have that taste. A few months ago, I brought a bunch of organic carrots to my friend's for dinner. I cut off the tops, washed them, and handed one to my friend. He looked at it as though it was some sort of alien life form.</p> <p>&quot;Just try it,&quot; I said. &quot;I know it looks like something that grew in the ground, but I think you'll like it.&quot;</p> <p>He took a super-crunchy bite, and his eyes grew wide. He crunched for a long time, then said, &quot;Huh.&quot; He's been hooked every since.</p> <p>There's just something inherently tasty about carrots, and I don't think that the baby variety have that same taste and texture.</p> <p>In addition, baby carrots are more expensive than regular carrots. At my local grocery store, baby carrots are often twice the cost of regular-sized carrots. The price difference per pound ranged $0.50 to more than $1. Even Bunny Luve, the brand of carrots from the man who brought us the baby carrot, are cheaper if you buy the whole carrots than if you buy the pseudo-baby carrots.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE: *Finally, although I didn't realize this when I first wrote this article: baby carrots are made out of a variety of carrot known as the Imperator. They are bred to grow faster and ripen quickly, and because of this, they only have 70% of the beta carotene of a normal carrot.</strong></p> <h2>But they're so popular!</h2> <p>The success of baby carrots speaks to two things about American culture that sort of bug me:</p> <ol> <li>The desire for food that is uniform in appearance and taste.</li> <li>The desire for food to be sterile, already prepared and washed, and packaged for quick, mindless eating.</li> </ol> <p>It's not that I don't understand these desires, because it's easy to confuse uniformity with quality. I can see why someone who has never grown veggies might look askance at a twisted, bumpy carrot with soil still clinging to it. But imperfect food is still perfectly edible, and incredibly delicious. I'm not advocating accepting rotten apples or wilted lettuce, but I think we've become lousy consumers if we think that the shape of a carrot will affect its flavor.</p> <h2>Why do we care?</h2> <p>And anyway, when was the last time that a carrots appearance mattered? I throw carrots in many dishes, but they are usually sliced or at least chopped, so if one is twisted, it really doesn't make a damn bit of difference. As for convenience &mdash; yes, baby carrots are washed and peeled already, but honestly, how long does it take to wash a carrot? Honestly, I buy bunches of carrots from the farmer's market, and I can testify that it takes all of 15 seconds to prep one for consumption. Mind you, I don't peel mine. But think about it: time is precious, but what's an extra minute of food prep?</p> <p>I was a little hesitant about criticizing baby carrots, because I really like the idea that popular products can be made out of a substance that would otherwise be wasted. But I also think it's rather silly to spend so much more to eat &quot;manufactured&quot; vegetables. In the same way that those plastic containers of sliced honeydew melon are an incredible rip-off (costing sometimes four times more per unit cost, even accounting for rind weight), baby carrots are a good idea that doesn't serve us well.</p> <p>As a frugal shopper, I advise everyone I know to go back to basic carrots. Bugs Bunny would be proud (or upset by increased demand, who knows?). Here are some carrot tips:</p> <ul> <li>Buy the slender, smaller versions (6-9 inches long), as the really big and thick carrots can be woody and tough.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>I read once that leaving the dirt on the carrots actually helps them keep longer, but I never have mine for more than a day or two before I eat them, so I can't testify if this is true or not.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>I like the buy the carrots with the leaves still attached because the leaves don't keep very long &mdash; if the leaves are still fresh, I know that the carrots aren't very old.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>You can pretty much chop up a bigger carrot (or just break it in half) to fit in a small tupperware container like you use for those baby carrots that you take to work with you.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-delicious-ways-to-prepare-a-humble-head-of-cabbage">15 Delicious Ways to Prepare a Humble Head of Cabbage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-use-frozen-mixed-vegetables">25 Ways to Use Frozen Mixed Vegetables</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">Fresh Fruits and Vegetables, By the Month</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/horizon-organic-milk-is-it-all-just-lies">Horizon Organic Milk: Is it All Just Lies?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/end-potato-prejudice-10-reasons-why-you-should-eat-potatoes">End Potato Prejudice: 10 Reasons Why You Should Eat Potatoes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink organic vegetables waste Mon, 14 May 2007 07:34:43 +0000 Andrea Karim 602 at http://www.wisebread.com Keep These Things in Your Car; Save Money http://www.wisebread.com/keep-these-3-things-in-your-car-save-money <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/nuts.jpg" alt=" " width="256" height="171" /></p> <p>As I fall deeper and deeper into veggie-eating, plastic-eschewing hippiedom, I thought I&#39;d share some of my ideas for reducing, reusing, or recycling. There&#39;s nothing here you haven&#39;t heard before, but that doesn&#39;t mean it isn&#39;t valuable information!</p> <p>Here are things that I&#39;ve started keeping in my car to keep me from overspending or wasting.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Pack a lunch that packs a punch</strong></p> <p>Not only is packing your own lunch a very frugal option, but it can be fun, sassy, and will cause you to waste less. Think about how much you throw away if you get a sandwich, chips, and drink at Subway. Even the cafeteria where I grab work puts half a sandwich in a big styrofoam container, rather than on a paper plate or even a reusable plate. Even if you decide to eat lunch out on the town, having your own containers on hand can help you avoid bringing home paltry leftovers on a stryofoam shell. Keep some reusable plastic containers in your car or at your desk, and use them for leftovers or take-out as necessary.</p> <p>Lots of people brown-bag it, but if you want a stylish lunch box in which to transport your Spamwich, there are <a href="http://lunchboxes.com/">lots</a> and <a href="http://www.laptoplunches.com/products.html">lots</a> and <a href="http://www.lunchboxcollector.com/">lots</a> to chose from. The Bruce Less lunchbox pictured above can be purchased at <a href="http://toys.wowshopper.com/toys-bruce-lee.htm">Wow Shopper</a>.</p> <p>Just for kicks, you can use <a href="http://www.hughchou.org/calc/lunch.cgi">this web page</a> to calculate how much money you can spend or save between dining out and brown-baggin&#39;.</p> <p class="sub-heading"><strong>Get a hold of your hunger</strong></p> <p>Very often, I will find myself driving home, stuck on the freeway, and my blood sugar drops. Or I&#39;m so hungry that I get incredibly cranky. The traffic is bad enough as it is - I don&#39;t really need to be hungry on top of it all.</p> <p>So, I&#39;ll pull into the nearest fast food chain and get some fries. Great. That&#39;s not a lot of money, but I just <a href="http://www.mcdonalds.com/app_controller.nutrition.index1.html">spent my calories</a> for the evening. </p> <p>How to keep from losing your cool to a growling stomach?</p> <p>Make, bake, and bring. Here are some recipes that I really like to use to create Road Food. They&#39;ll hold me over until I get home, satiate my noisy gut, and help me keep from gorging on a fries-and-blizzard combo at Wendy&#39;s.</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1610,158182-245196,00.html">Peanut Butter Granola Bars</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.chex.com/Recipes/RecipeView.aspx?RecipeId=6709&amp;CategoryId=343&amp;t=1">Chex Mix Recipes</a></li> <li><a href="http://walking.about.com/cs/snacks/a/recipetrailmix.htm">Trail Mix (Gorp) Recipes</a></li> </ul> <p>Also consider keeping something really simple in your glove compartment, like dried fruit or nuts, or both. Change them out every week (either eat them, compost them, or let the dog have them).</p> <p>There is an intial expenditure with these items, and the swankier you get with them, the more the upfront cost. But the cost is usually balanced out very quickly in the savings.</p> <p>(<em>Photo by <a href="http://www.muratbayral.com/">MURAT BAYRAL</a>)</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keep-these-3-things-in-your-car-save-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/new-ideas-for-the-chopstick">New Ideas for the Chopstick</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-ways-to-reuse-paper">22 Ways to Reuse Paper</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-clever-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-shopping-bags">18 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Shopping Bags</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/one-pot-roast-a-week-of-cheap-and-delicious-lunches">One Pot Roast, A Week of Cheap and Delicious Lunches</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">25 Quick, Cheap Lunch Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink frugal lunch box paper plastic recycle shopping bags waste Thu, 19 Apr 2007 23:04:08 +0000 Andrea Karim 534 at http://www.wisebread.com When Good Food Goes Bad Part VI: Apples http://www.wisebread.com/when-good-food-goes-bad-part-vi-apples <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/evilapp.jpg" alt=" " width="269" height="286" /></p> <p>I hail from The Apple Capital of the World, so I know a thing or two about apples. For instance, <a href="http://www.3appleplan.com/Success/">eating three apples a day</a> helps you lose weight.</p> <p>That is, if you can manage to eat three apples a day. As somone who really loves apples, I can attest that apple fatigue is REALLY easy to come by. </p> <p>My mother, in addition to supplying my Peeps habit, is my apple dealer. OK, apple-giver. When she comes to visit, she brings me bags of apples from the warehouses of our hometown, where apples are much, much cheaper and can be purchased directly from growers. And I eat at least an apple a day, and it&#39;s true that I do feel better and get sick less when I keep up the &quot;at least one per day&quot; regimen. I still go see my doctor, though, because he is incredibly handsome.</p> <p>Anyway, I recently found myself, through a chain of events that is far too boring to recount here, to be the recipient of at least three bags of apples. Even eating three a day, I wasn&#39;t getting anywhere. My newly-restarted veggie and fruit deilvery service delivered another bag, and my fridge was starting to look like the apple warehouses back home.</p> <p>So, apples: I tend to make apple sauce and apple tarts, just so I can get my fix. The apple sauce still falls within the realm of healthy eating - the tart, alas, counteracts most of the goodness brought by the apples. And of course, the BEST way to eat an apple is raw. But if you&#39;ve got too many and you&#39;re worried about one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch, here are a couple recipes to help you prevent waste and eat happily.</p> <h4>Apple-Berry-Sauce</h4> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/applesauce_0.jpg" alt=" " width="259" height="216" /></p> <p>The great thing about apple sauce is that you cook it and mash it up quite a bit, the result being that you can&#39;t really tell what was in there before. Any kind of apple will do. I also throw in other fruit that is looked threatening aged. Tonight, for example, my apple-fruit sauce consisted of three Granny Smith apples, five pink lady apples, one mango, a bag of organic blueberries, the juice from one orange that was starting to mold on th outside, and one Fuji apple for good luck. I don&#39;t add any sugar to my apple sauces, because I like them a little tart, and there&#39;s enough sugar in fruit as it is - but that&#39;s really up to you.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Bunch of fruit, sliced into large chunks, rinsed</li> <li>Water</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions</strong></p> <p>Throw about 1/2 cup of water in a big pot. Boil, add fruit, boil for 10 minutes, then cook on low for about an hour or until everything is mushy. Smash with a potato masher or blend in a food processor. Add sugar (or Stevia, or Splenda) to taste with each individual serving.</p> <h4>Fruit Tart</h4> <p>Because I&#39;m diabetic, I can&#39;t have lots of pastries. So I compromise by making the apple tart without the tart.</p> <p><strong>Ingredients:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Lots of apples and pears (peeled or unpeeled, enough to more or less fill a baking dish), sliced thin (I bought a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Oneida-Polished-Mandolin-Interchangable-Slicer/dp/B0009HHZ20/ref=sr_1_12/102-9974338-1444907?ie=UTF8&amp;s=kitchen&amp;qid=1176443450&amp;sr=1-12">mandoline</a> to do this)</li> <li>Additional fruit (optional)</li> <li>Brown sugar</li> <li>Kosher salt</li> <li>Half stick melted butter or margarine</li> <li>Chopped nuts of your choice</li> <li>Wheat germ (optional)</li> </ul> <p><strong>Directions:</strong></p> <p>Layer the apple and pear slices in a thin layer at the bottom of a large greased baking pan. Drizzle melted butter on top, then sprinkle with chopped nuts and wheatgerm. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used up. Every third later, sprinkle an eensy bit of salt.</p> <p>Cover with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees until the volume has decreased by about half. Uncover, turn off heat, but leave the pan in the oven to brown the top lightly. You can broil it if you wish to get a more crispy top. Slice and eat. REALLY good with ice cream.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-good-food-goes-bad-part-vi-apples">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-easy-and-delicious-ways-to-enjoy-apples">18 Easy and Delicious Ways to Enjoy Apples</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/four-inexpensive-breakfasts-in-under-five-minutes">4 Inexpensive Breakfasts in Under Five Minutes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-great-ways-to-eat-bananas">12 Great Ways to Eat Bananas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-farm-share-a-smart-buy-for-your-household">Is a Farm Share a Smart Buy for Your Household?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-unexpected-uses-for-avocados">6 Unexpected Uses for Avocados</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink apple sauce apples cinnamon cook diet fruit healthy ingredients mangos oranges recipe refrigerator rotten waste Fri, 13 Apr 2007 05:59:27 +0000 Andrea Karim 500 at http://www.wisebread.com a 3-course meal...from garbage. http://www.wisebread.com/a-3-course-meal-from-garbage <p> <img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/498229_parking_entrance_copy.jpg" alt="Dumpster" title="Dumpster" width="225" height="300" /></p> <p>Why buy groceries, when you can get your weekly shop for free? Many people do it, but there is a catch. Instead of going in to your supermarket through the front door, you have to go to a different department. The dumpster. </p> <p>It&#39;s estimated that the US alone throws away roughly $100 billion in food every year. And most of it is perfectly edible. It&#39;s a crying shame, and it&#39;s the reason Freeganism is becoming more and more popular in the US and western Europe.</p> <p>In the more indepth follow-up to this article, I&#39;ll cover the many factors involved in Freeganism and what it means to live life the Freegan way. But to whet your appetite, here&#39;s some quick footage from CBC following a few people who take food from the dumpster and make great food from it. What a society we live in when people are starving on one street corner and they&#39;re throwing food away on the next.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/-_L612od8Ng" /><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/-_L612od8Ng" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-3-course-meal-from-garbage">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-perfectly-respectable-ways-to-get-a-free-meal">5 Perfectly Respectable Ways To Get A Free Meal</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/baby-carrots-the-frugal-idea-that-isnt">Baby Carrots: The Frugal Idea That Isn&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-score-free-food-at-chick-fil-a">6 Ways to Score Free Food at Chick-fil-A</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-coffee-cup-revolution-lets-take-a-stand">The Coffee Cup Revolution: Let&#039;s Take a Stand!</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Food and Drink food leftovers free food free meals freeganism garbage supermarkets waste Sat, 31 Mar 2007 17:59:25 +0000 Paul Michael 430 at http://www.wisebread.com Life Without Toiletpaper - Bum Deal? http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/toiletpaper.jpg" alt=" " width="180" height="200" /></p> <p>How far would you go to save the world?</p> <p>Upon reading the <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/garden/22impact.html?pagewanted=1&amp;_r=2">New York Times article</a> about the Beaven-Conlin household in Manhattan, I started to get a little queasy. The article delves a bit into the lives of a couple and their young daughter, yuppies who live affluent lives in New York City. They&#39;ve taken the idea behind <a href="http://sfcompact.blogspot.com/">The Compact</a>, and then taken it a LOT farther. They are trying to live for one year with absolute minimal impact on the environment.</p> <p>Their toddler wears organic cotton diapers. The family eats all organic food, grown within a 250-mile radius of the city. They bake their own bread, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and don&#39;t buy much outside of groceries.</p> <p>That sounds responsible, right? Then it gets better. They don&#39;t use toilet paper (the details of how they avoid this are not pretty, and no, they did not have the good sense to invest in a bidet). They compost INSIDE their apartment. They use no spices but have made an exception for salt, which they apparently think of as an indulgence in baking rather than something that <a href="http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/1997/797_salt.html">humans need in order to survive</a>.</p> <p>I think that the idea behind what the Beaven-Conlin family is trying is wonderful. And even though we all agree that we should use less, buy less, and pollute less, how many of us really <strong>do much of anything to accomplish this</strong>? </p> <p class="blockquote">The dishwasher is off, along with the microwave, the coffee machine and the food processor. Planes, trains, automobiles and that elevator are out, but the family is still doing laundry in the washing machines in the basement of the building. And they have not had the heart to take away the vacuum from their cleaning lady, who comes weekly (this week they took away her paper towels).</p> <p>I consider myself an environmentalist, but I just ate a sandwich out of a styrofoam container and then threw it away, because you can&#39;t recycle styrofoam in Seattle and I got tired of hauling bags of it to my parents&#39; place across the mountains for recycling. </p> <p>I drive 20 miles to work, because my job is located quite far from the job that I had when I bought my home (telecommuting is not an option with this firm, and taking the bus would take me close to 2.5 hours each way). If there is anyone who eats food grown farther from where they live, I don&#39;t know who it could be. I have a ridiculous appetite for tropical fruit and exotic spices.</p> <p>In the NY Times article, Colin Beaven states that the experiment that his family is trying is &quot;also very urban. It’s a critical twist in the old wilderness adage: Leave only footprints, take only photographs. But how do you translate that into Manhattan?&quot;</p> <p>Well, I&#39;d argue that that&#39;s easier in Manhattan than a lot of other places. Because Manhattan is rife with foodies, you can find farmers markets open year-round. You can buy organic milk in reusable glass bottles. There aren&#39;t many places in the five boroughs that you can&#39;t walk or bike to. I used to live in Brooklyn and work in Chelsea, and I would walk from dinner with friends in Midtown back home. It took a while (and wasn&#39;t always voluntary; sometimes I&#39;d run out of money and not be able to get subway fair), but it was very doable. Come to think of it, I never went to Staten Island, so maybe you can&#39;t get there by bike or on foot.</p> <p>People who live outside of large metropolitan areas with stellar public transportation (you know, normal people who can&#39;t afford huge apartments, or even studios, in swanky downtown areas) don&#39;t have the luxury of riding their Razor scooters to work. Not only would that be impossible, but they&#39;d probably get their butts kicked by their work buddies. Hell, my neighbors are very swishy, and I think they&#39;d probably call me a sissy if I broke out a Razor scooter and started scooting around Seattle.</p> <p>Now, the No Impact Family is not saying that everyone else has to live like this, and they are obviously trying it as an experiment. I think these kinds of revolutionary try-it-and-see experiments are brilliant, and I certainly applaud their efforts, even if I think the lifestyle might be too extreme for many of us (I am NOT making my own vinegar, thank you).</p> <p>Also, I think some of the moves are a little odd. For instance, <em>Ms. Conlin takes her lunch to work every day in a mason jar</em>. </p> <p>A mason jar. </p> <p>What&#39;s wrong with Tupperware? Yes, it&#39;s plastic, but it&#39;s not like you throw it out. A mason jar is heavy and awkward and breakable. I love using mason jars for preserves and pickles, but it&#39;s not up there on my list of potential lunchboxes. Why stop at a mason jar? Why not just put your lunch in a soapstone box that you carved yourself and tie it up in leather than you tanned out of from Central Park squirrel hides? Think of the shoulder muscles you&#39;d develop!</p> <p>Also, she gave up coffee. Well, that&#39;s just plain sick. I mean, if you don&#39;t want to go to Starbucks or even an independent coffeshop every day, that&#39;s fine. But there&#39;s nothing wrong with a French press. It&#39;s French! The French love suffering (or is that Russians?), so it totally fits in with the lifestyle.</p> <p>There was a telling little bit of the story that got me thinking, though:</p> <p class="blockquote">Ms. Conlin... did describe, in loving detail, a serious shopping binge that predated No Impact and made the whole thing doable, she said. “It was my last hurrah,” she explained. It included two pairs of calf-high Chloe boots (one of which was paid for, she said, with her mother’s bingo winnings) and added up to two weeks’ salary, after taxes and her 401(k) contribution. </p> <p>What? You know, maybe these people really need to try this. I don&#39;t know how much Conlin makes at Business Week, because she could be an intern, but I&#39;m guessing from her apartment location and her good taste in boots that that was pretty much a $3000 shopping spree. That&#39;s a guess, yes, but still. Two weeks salary? Doesn&#39;t something like that sort of defeat the purpose of no impact living?</p> <p>Perhaps I&#39;m being too touchy on the subject because I realize that if I used one-tenth of the discipline that this family is showing, I could make a major impact on my life, but by golly, I hate the stairs. </p> <p>And bidets are really, really pricey. </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/life-without-toiletpaper-bum-deal">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/only-celebrate-a-few-select-birthdays">Only Celebrate A Few Select Birthdays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/47-simple-ways-to-waste-money">47 Simple Ways To Waste Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-the-government-pays-you-to-live-green">11 Ways the Government Pays You to Live Green</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/opting-out-of-the-money-economy">Opting out of the money economy</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-the-courtesy-flush-dead">Is the courtesy flush dead?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle An Incovenient Truth compost environment no impact reduce reuse recycle The Compact toilet paper Walden waste Thu, 22 Mar 2007 19:53:53 +0000 Andrea Karim 384 at http://www.wisebread.com