20saver


Rainy day update
September 6, 2008, 4:40 pm
Filed under: Careers, Green, Uncategorized, Wedding

Tropical storm Hanna has been soaking Richmond since last night and it has recently gotten a bit windy here as well. I hope everyone has been safe and sound and continues to be while the storm passes through.

No big drug store or Kroger deals for me this week. Hopefully next week will be more enticing.

My job at the bookstore is now unstable. I am no longer officially on the schedule because they cannot afford to pay me to work as frequently as I was (which really wasn’t very frequent, usually about 2 or 3 days a week). The owner told me that I am still free to come in for 2 or 3 hours when I can in order to help them sell books online. They need to cut expenses in order to stay afloat and I guess I was first on the chopping block since I have another job to support myself with. I have wanted to quit working there for quite some time now because I don’t enjoy it there anymore and I feel my time is worth more than minimum wage, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I guess this can be considered an easy out.

Even though it wasn’t much, the extra money I got from working there definitely did help me out. I hope that I can will myself to go in at least once a week to help them so that I can get a few dollars, but I honestly don’t know if I will make myself go since I really don’t want to. I can probably make up for the money I’m losing by mystery shopping again and taking more online surveys and such, but there’s no doubt in my mind now that I really need this full time job I interviewed for recently. I lost my health insurance, the economy is crap, now it seems I’m losing my second job- if only desperation were an attractive quality employers looked for in potential employees.

I’ve been studying diligently for the GRE. I really hope to take it by the beginning of October. It looks like I’ll have more time on my hands now, so that goal seems more attainable. The verbal section is going smoothly, but the quantitative part is really making me sweat. Math wouldn’t be so difficult for me if I found it even remotely interesting.

Jake and I have decided on save the date cards and invitations. We are going to buy them from an invitation company that is dedicated to using earth friendly practices. I’ve been emailing back and forth with the owner about the design and I’m just loving her and her company to bits! I bought a vintage dress from an online store this past week. I’m not going to get too excited about it until it arrives and I can try it on. I haven’t told too many people about it because I’m waiting to see what it looks like on me. I’ve also been looking at vintage and earth friendly wedding bands. I found a band I like for myself, but Jake’s seems to be proving a bit more difficult, especially since we’re not sure of his exact ring size.

And so life is moving forward and dragging me along with it.



The wedding dress saga
August 27, 2008, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Green, Wedding

It is very easy to get caught up in wedding planning and the whole idea of what a modern wedding is supposed to be.

Case in point: I went wedding dress shopping with Jake’s mom, Jake’s sister-in-law, and two of my friends a few weeks ago. I am not happy or proud to admit that we went to David’s Bridal first (big box stores are definitely not my thing). Surprisingly, I found a dress that my entourage and I really liked. It was on sale for $700. They did not have the dress in my size, so I had to try on a dress that was a size too big. In order for them to order my size (which is considered to be a special order), I would have to pay for it in full. The sale supposedly ended on August 23rd and the dress supposedly went back up to it’s original price of $900. The sales women were very pushy about this point and the fact that I should buy, buy, buy, now, now, now.

One of my friends and I went to a smaller bridal store across the street after wrapping things up at David’s. I found another dress I liked there. The price on the tag was $850. I didn’t even bother to ask if it was currently on sale.

I sent pictures around to friends and family and got mixed opinions on the two dresses. I decided I should shop around a bit more before making a decision. I found two more dresses I liked online. One was by the same designer of the dress I liked at the small store, so my guess is that it would be around the same price range. The other was a “couture” dress that goes new for $2,000, but is currently available used on eBay in my size for $600.

After talking some more with some of my friends and stressing out about the whole dress thing, I came to the realization that, while all of these dresses are gorgeous and I would probably be happy with any of them, this is not what I want. I do not want to have to shell out $600-$900 on a dress that I will only wear once. I do not want to buy a dress that was made in such a way that destroys the environment and is made under questionable working practices. None of these things line up with who I am fundamentally and certainly would not be a good foundation for a celebration that is supposed to be based on love.

So, I’ve refocused my energies and am now trying to only consider organic, used, or vintage dresses. A sister of one of my friends owns a vintage clothing store and she currently has about 10 wedding dresses. I’m planning a trip to visit her store to see what she has. I want to hit up all the used and vintage clothing stores in town and if I still don’t happen upon a dress I like, I will search fervidly online.

This is my wedding, after all, and it should be representative of me (and Jake, of course, when he decides to jump in and give his two cents about the wedding). So there, media driven and consumer obsessed American culture- I’m not buying it.



Farmer’s market
July 5, 2008, 2:13 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Green

After months of wanting to go to a farmer’s market to pick up produce, I finally stopped by one this morning with my dad.

Last night, I was looking around a few sites on local and organic food when it dawned on me that there’s a farmer’s market that’s open on Saturday mornings and I didn’t have to work at that time so I would be able to go this week. I called up my dad and asked if he’d like to go with me since the market is very close to his apartment and he agreed to go.

I picked up two cucumbers, four peaches, and a dozen brown eggs for $5.50. I was hoping to get more, but there weren’t a lot of farmers there (most likely due to the rain). There’s another farmer’s market that’s open on Tuesdays that I hope to go to this week to pick up the rest of our produce.

To see where there are farmer’s markets as well as organic stores and restaurants near you, check out localharvest.org.



Walkscore.com
June 21, 2008, 4:06 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Green

I came across Walkscore.com on a few PF blogs recently and decided to plug in my address to see how walkable my neighborhood was. It got a 74, which wasn’t too surprising for me since I live a few blocks away from a nice shopping area in Richmond where you can find almost everything you need. I can and usually do walk to CVS, Walgreens, my dentist, one of my doctors, and the post office. Kroger is also doable by foot, but we usually buy too many things to be able to walk there and back. Sadly, parks are the farthest away from my apartment.

Just out of curiosity, I plugged in the address for the apartment we’re moving into July 1 that’s a block away from our current apartment and the score jumped up to 77. I really hope that Jake and I continue to walk to the stores that are near to us and push ourselves to walk more often instead of using our cars. I’ve toyed around with the idea of getting a bike for us since so many places are close by, but I’m not sure how often we’d actually use it.



Are you a Yawn?
May 13, 2008, 11:46 am
Filed under: 20something, Frugality, Green

Young and Wealthy, but Normal, that is.

I stumbled upon this article in the Sunday paper and couldn’t help but smile when I read it. Frugality is really taking off with us youngsters and to know that the earth is being benefited from these socially conscious actions makes the sacrifice worth it ten times over.

Now, if only I could say that I was wealthy…



Parade Magazine: A New Way to Save on Gas
April 8, 2008, 4:13 pm
Filed under: Frugality, Green

I came across the following article in this past Sunday’s Parade Magazine:

A New Way to Save on Gas
The delivery giant UPS thinks that making right turns instead of turning left at intersections can help the environment. Tom Dowdy, a UPS engineer, says the company redesigned its routes so that drivers would make a minimum of left-hand turns. As a result, the company shaved 30 million miles off its deliveries in 2007 and thus saved the cost of 3 million gallons of gas. It also reduced UPS truck emissions by 32,000 metric tons (equivalent to the emissions of 5300 passenger cars).

What makes right turns so much more energy-efficient? Cars and trucks are not idling in traffic—burning fuel and releasing emissions—when they turn right as opposed to left. (Turning right also is often safer, because drivers don’t have to face oncoming traffic to make a turn.)  “People can’t control sky-high gas prices,” says Dowdy, “but they can make small changes in their driving habits that benefit them financially and environmentally over time.”

I absolutely love this idea! I have to see if I can rework my commutes so I can be more right turn friendly.


It’s not easy being green- solved!
March 13, 2008, 9:51 pm
Filed under: Dogs, Green

I managed to answer my own question regarding a green alternative to plastic bags for picking up after my dachshund, Honey.

A quick search in Amazon led me to BioBags. They are 100% biodegradable bags made out of renewable resources. And even better news- they make tall kitchen bags and liners for kitty litter boxes too!

Once I scrounge up some extra money, I’ll be sure to buy the doggie bags, if not the kitchen bags too. I won’t mind spending the extra money because I know that it will be doing nothing but help the environment. 

I really hope this BioBag concept takes off and all of our current plastic bags become made out of biodegradable resources. It won’t ask people to change their habits, it simply makes their habits more earth friendly.