Excerpt from 7Gen Blog: Fully-baked Tips for Saving Energy in the Kitchen

Seventh Generation not only makes great products, but provides a wealth of information to its consumers.  You can subscribe directly to their 7Gen Newsletter and receive all kinds of helpful "green" tips.

Excerpt from 7Gen Blog: Fully-baked Tips for Saving Energy in the Kitchen

The scent of stuffing and gravy hangs heavy in the air, and with the holidays about to get cooking, I think it's a good time to add some energy-savings to the menu.

The Department of Energy tells us that 15% of the energy we use in our homes flows through our kitchens. So if we can make a big dent in our energy consumption there, we can make a big dent in our energy consumption period. Here's a side order of kitchen conservation tips:

•When making a multi-dish meal, try to cook as much as you can at the same time, then reheat individual dishes as needed in the more efficient microwave or toaster oven (or in the regular oven if you happen to be cooking something else).

•Resist the temptation to open the oven door to check your food. That can lower temperatures inside by 25°-50°. Turn the oven off a few minutes before the timer sounds and let residual heat finish the job.

You can read more about Saving Energy in the Kitchen here.

Sustainable Saturday - Biodegradable Plastic Trash Bags

With all the added trash that the holiday produce, I thought I would re-post a blog post from awhile back about biodegradable plastic trash bags . . .

When making your decision regarding how to dispose of your trash, consider this:
  • Conventional plastic bags are made with petroleum which may eventually break down, but it will never truly go away.
  • When exposed to heat and light the plastic breaks apart into tiny particles which infiltrate our soils, bodies of water and are ingested by the fish we eat.
Here is the info you need to know when it comes to biodegradable plastic trash bags:
  • Find out exactly where your trash goes: does your city compost garbage or does it truly go to a landfill?
  • If your city does compost garbage your best bet is a bio-based trash bag. Bio-based means its made from corn, sugarcane or potatoes.
  • If your trash goes to a landfill consider using bags made from recycled plastic or synthetic biodegradable plastics. Synthetic plastics mixed with additives allow the plastic to break down when exposed to light, heat and oxygen. If they are buried underground they may not break down as nothing biodegrades 100 percent in an air tight landfill. Bags made from recycled plastic would be the preferred option.

Seventh Generation Coupons $1/1 & $2/2

Seventh Generation Coupons $1/1 & $2/2 available here.
  • $1 OFF One (1) Package of Seventh Generation Diapers or Training Pants
  • Save $1 when you buy any ONE (1) Laundry Product
  • Save $2 when you buy any TWO (2) Seventh Generation Products
  • $1 OFF Any One (1) Seventh Generation Feminine Care Product
  • $1 OFF Any One (1) Seventh Generation Product

Whole Foods Market® - This Week's Hot Deals

You can check out all of Whole Foods Market® Hot Deals here.  These prices are valid from Nov. 27 thru Dec. 1.

85% Lean Ground Beef - Beef in its purest state with no antibiotics and no added hormones ever!
Sale! $3.49 lb
Reg. $4.49 lb

Beef Chuck Roast or Stew
Sale! $3.49lb
Reg. $4.99 lb

Split Chicken Breasts
A quick and flavorful meal awaits you!
Sale! $2.99lb
Reg. $3.99 lb

Apple Cider (1 gallon)
Located in our Produce department
Sale! $3.99 ea
Reg. $5.49 ea

Organic Valley® Farms - Organic Butter (16 oz) Salted or Unsalted
Sale! $4.49 ea
Reg. $5.99 ea
Printable Organic Valley coupons available right now here.

Stacy's Pita Bagel Chips
SALE 2 for $4

Black *Green* Friday - Lowe's

If you are looking to upgrade your holiday lights to LED and reduce your energy bill, Lowe's has a great deal on GE 50-Count White StayBright LED Micro String Christmas Lights for $3.97 each!  

A few *Green* gift ideas:

LED Flashlight 7-Piece Gift Set at Lowe's - $7.97

Step 2 Children's Real Projects Workshop - $49.99 (just because it's cute and what a better way to spend time with your child!)

Black *Green* Friday - Babies R Us - 24 jars of ORGANIC baby food for $0.25 each!

Earth's Best Variety Packs Baby Food - Buy 1 Get 1 FREE
$1 off 10 jars (you should be able to use on variety packs) here

These variety packs sell in my area for $8.29.

Here is the breakdown:

Buy two variety packs at $8.29
Use two $1 off coupons
Total:  $6.29 + tax

24 jars of ORGANIC baby food for $0.26 each!

FREE Annie's Mac & Cheese at Kroger thru 12/6/09

Go here to print a coupon for $1/1 Annie's cereal or $0.50/1 Annie's product.

Thru 12/6/09 you can get FREE Annie's Mac & Cheese at participating Kroger stores.  Annie's Mac & Cheese is on sale for $1.  Kroger doubles the coupon $0.50/1 = FREE.

We are going to stock up!

$0.99 greenworks laundry detergent at Meijer

I have posted many times about the different types of products that we use in our home.  I have said in the past that I would prefer to support companies like Seventh Generation, Ecover and Method to name a few in lieu of buying products produced by large companies like SC Johnson.  However, you can't really beat free (especially in the "green" world) so I'm going to give it a try.  

Meijer has Greenworks Laundry Detergent on sale for $6.99 this week and you'll get a $3 catalina when you buy one. Here's how to get it for $0.99:
Buy 1 GreenWorks Laundry Detergent (45-oz.) at $6.99
Use $3/1 coupon
Spend $3.99 plus tax out of pocket
Get $3 catalina good off your next order AND get a $3 off coupon for another Greenworks Laundry Detergent
$0.99 after coupon and catalina

You can roll this deal over and over and over (you get the idea).  I did this deal 3 times today.  That was all my patience would allow for as their was an issue with the catalina/ coupon printer.  

I paid $5.97 + tax and still have a $3 catalina left to spend on something else.  Each bottle of detergent will do 30 loads of laundry each.  That is $0.03 per load!

FREE Samples of Seventh Generation Products

Login or sign up here to request a free sample of Seventh Generation dish detergent.

Sign up here for Seventh Generation sample packs of their Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender Dryer Softener Sheets.

I use the Free & Clear and love it!  It is one of the top rated dish detergents according to the National Geographic Green Guide.

You can also purchase Seventh Generation products for a reasonable price and have them shipped to you home from Alice.com.  You can read my post here.

FREE 16 oz. STEAZ Organic Iced Teaz

Print a coupon here for a free 16 oz. STEAZ Organic Iced Teaz. These are available at Target and Whole Foods as well as other health food stores.

There's also a coupon here for a free Steaz Organic Iced Teaz when you buy another and there's a coupon here for a free Steaz Zero Calorie Sparkling Green Tea printable.

Driscoll berries coupon - $0.50 off

Go here to register with Driscoll's and then you'll be able to print a coupon twice for $0.50 off Driscoll berries. Pair this with a sale and you'll have a great deal on fresh fruit!

Sustainable Saturday - Roasting Pumpkins

I paid $1 each for locally grown pie pumpkins.

I washed the pumpkins.

I cut up the pumpkin and placed in a pan with 1/3 cup water. I roasted the pumpkin at 400 degrees for 20 minutes covering with foil, then turned the pumpkin pieces and roasted for another 20 minutes.

Then I peeled off the skin and placed in a freezer bag to use later.  On our last Freezer Cooking Day I pulled the frozen pumpkin out of the freezer and used in my recipes instead of canned pumpkin.  While I'm sure the muffins and scones we made were packed with nutritional value, I wish I would have made the pumpkin into more of a puree before adding to the baking mixtures.  The scones definitely didn't have a strong pumpkin taste and the muffins were not much better.  I also used all wheat flour this time and think that I will do 1/3 wheat flour and 2/3 white flour in these recipes next time.  Live and learn.

Menu Plan Monday

Sunday - Dinner out

Monday - Barbeque pulled chicken sandwiches, french fries and peas

Tuesday - Shepard's Pie (from our last Freezer Cooking Day)

Wednesday - Whole Wheat Chicken Enchiladas, pineapple

Thursday - Crockpot Chili w/ cornbread

Friday - Homemade whole wheat pizza w/ pineapple and ham?

Saturday - Hot (Turkey) dogs w/ chili and other football favorites.

I’m an Organizing Junkie is home to Menu Plan Monday.

$3 off Organic/ Natural Baking Products

Go here to print a coupon twice per computer for $3 off of any 3 organic/natural baking products listed.

Whole Foods Holiday How-Tos

Whole Foods Holiday Videos featuring how-tos, from roasting a turkey to making gravy.

Also available, A  Holiday Meal Planning Guide to help you through the season.

And what meal would be complete without the right wine, Whole Foods Top Ten Holiday Wines.

Sustainable Saturday - Homemade Applesauce

I paid $4.50 for a large container of apple seconds.  The are not organic, but they were locally grown. 

I made two large pots of applesauce and froze portions large enough for my family for one meal.

Amy's Applesauce:
Apples (your choice of type)

Wash and peel apples (if desired)
Core and slice apples
Place apples in a pan
Fill with water to almost cover apples
Cook apples and water on medium heat until apples breakdown
Add sugar and cinnamon (if desired) to taste

I freeze meal size portions in freezer bags, laying them flat in my freezer. I can just take one out when ready and let it thaw in the fridge. For an extra treat, you can warm the sauce in a pan before serving.

 I have also made sauce leaving the skins on. This will give a pinkish tint to your sauce.  When I was all done we composted all of the apple scraps.

$5 in Cascadian Farms Coupons

Here are $5 in coupons for Cascadian Farm® products.

Organic Finds Friday: Organic Valley - Printable & Register for $10 in coupons!

Celebrate Organic Contest — Share and Save!

Fill out the form to receive $10 in coupons in a special-edition Rootstock magazine. You'll be entered to win a year of free Organic Valley products, and a chance to have a donation made in your name to your store's local food pantry!

Printable Organic Valley coupons available right now here.

Take the quiz here to receive $1 off coupon for any Earthbound Farm product.

Freezer Cooking Day - The Results

We survived the day! Everyone had fun, we got a lot done and it was absolutely beautiful outside for almost the middle of November!  We didn't get to everything on the list, but we do have lots of delicious breakfast foods and dinners to enjoy in the very near future! 

The results:

Getting to Green - Downloadable Holiday Cookbooks

What a terrific way to be frugal and Green!

Download these two Holiday Cookbooks:

Paula Deen's Holiday Hosting Guide

Martha Stewart Thanksgiving

FREE Sample Green Works Laundry Detergent

First register your cell phone online by going here to Shop Text and registering online:
-Register your cell phone number.
-Enter in the code that is text messaged to you.
-Fill out your address information. Credit card info is not necessary.

After completing that:
Text NATURAL to 467467 to receive a free sample of Green Works Natural Laundry Detergent!.

Freezer Cooking Day - The List

I have my tentative plan in place, but with two little ones in tow I'm sure I will be altering as we go.  We are excited to do more baking and freezing and my daughter informed me that she wants the muffins to be cool this time as last Freezer Cooking Day she touched a too hot muffin pan.  Ouch!

For all recipes I substitute as much local and organic produce, meat and dairy as my budget will allow. You can read about my strategies here, here and here.  I buy organic produce and dairy at the grocery store utilizing store sales and coupons.  We always buy organic milk and purchase our meat from a farm in Northeast Ohio.  It's the commitment we've made for our family and we budget for it accordingly.

The list:


Alice.com is here to help.

It's an online store where you can find household products like toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo and some dry food goods. At our house we certainly believe in buying local. Now while shipping goods may not be the most "Green", there are products that may not be available in your part of the country. Alice.com is located in Middleton, Wisconsin.

An excerpt from Alice.com

Alice provides you a better way to manage all of your household essentials online. You tell Alice what you buy—choosing from great deals on 1000’s of products—and Alice goes to work. We organize all of your products, find coupons and deals for you, remind you when you might be running low, and help you order just the items you need so you can avoid that trip to the corner drugstore or the big-box store. And all this convenience comes direct to your door with free shipping included.

Go here to sign up for an account with Alice.com.

Here are a few good deals on Alice.com:

Variety of Kashi cereals: $2.67 to $3.63

Tom's of Maine
Natural, Fluoride-Free, Children, Silly Strawberry
4 oz, $0.83/oz

Seventh Generation
Natural Dish Liquid, Free & Clear
25 oz, $0.13/oz

I think you will find many of these items are cheaper at Alice.com that the grocery store or even Target. Tom's of Maine, Fluoride-Free, Children, Silly Strawberry for instance.

Go here to order these and see the other top 50 deals of the week offered on Alice.com.

A few things you'll want to note:

  • ::Alice.com offers free shipping all the time. There is a 6-item minimum order requirement. However, you only have to order one item if it's first time to order.

  • There are clip-free coupons available. These are often the same as are found in the newspaper inserts and come off automatically when you order.

Menu Plan Monday

I am on a quest to incorporate more beans (black & pinto) into our menus. If you are interested in using more beans, there is a fabulous recipe list at Natural on a Budget.

Sunday - Chicken fingers, tater tots and peas.

Monday - Chicken Tetrazinni (serves 4-6). This recipe is from MoneySavingMom - Chicken Tetrazinni Recipe.

The chicken is precooked (I boiled it yesterday in bite size pieces). We will be using this for several recipes when we have our Freezer Cooking Day - 11/11/09 like we did a few weeks ago.

I will be making a double recipe and dividing into 3 meals. One will be baked and served Monday, the other 2 will be frozen in plastic bags and stored flat.

Tuesday - Pulled pork sandwiches, french fries and green beans (from our garden).

Wednesday - Layered Chicken & Black Bean Enchilada.

Thursday - Minestrone soup in the Crockpot.

Friday - Spaghetti with turkey meatballs

Saturday - Baked potatoes, chili and cheese for Football Saturday (Go Bucks!)

I’m an Organizing Junkie is home to Menu Plan Monday.

$1/1 Method product available at Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond (Select Stores)

Print a coupon here for $1/1 Method product. There is a large line of these non-toxic cleaning products available at Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond (Select Stores).

You can combine a 20% off Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons with the $1 off coupon making this a terrifc deal on Method products!

Freezer Cooking Day - October 2009

I am always up for finding new ways to simplify our lives and feed my family as healthy and nutitiously as possible without breaking my $50 per week grocery budget!

This cool October day we decided to do some baking, cooking and freezing ahead.

On the list:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, Thanks! MoneySavingMom
Cook black beans and pinto beans
Cook brown rice
Cook white rice
Mix sugar cookie dough

We made about 4 dozen Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins of which 3 dozen we froze. They were delicous! We will make again, however this time I am going to make my own pumpkin puree instead of store bought.

The beans, brown rice and white rice we bagged into meal size portions for our family and froze for meals later on. As an attempt to further cut our grocery budget and provide variety in our meals, I am using more beans. For example I made: Shepard's pie & Enchiladas using black and pinto beans. If you are interested in using more beans, there is a fabulous recipe list at Natural on a Budget.

The sugar cookie dough we froze for use later. We were supposed to bake the cookies that afternoon, but opted for the park instead. :)

With much success, we completed our first baking, cooking and freezing ahead day . . . and will do this again soon.

Next Freezer Cooking Day - Wednesday, November 11.