Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Recycling Aluminum and Reducing Your Aluminum Foil Use

Recycling Aluminum and Reducing Your Aluminum Foil Use

How to Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce Aluminum

Aluminum is 100% recyclable, yet only about 65% of the average Americans household aluminum gets recycled each year. Nearly all of that is in the form of aluminum cans. You can recycle 100% of the aluminum your family uses, and here's how to do it.

Eliminate, or significantly reduce your aluminum foil use. It's estimated that each American throws away about three pounds of aluminum foil per year. None of that foil should be getting to the landfill, recycle it instead. 

Not all recyclers allow aluminum foil, but if yours does then make sure to do your part. Remember it takes around 400 years for that aluminum foil to break down naturally. 
If you're lucky, like me, your city does allow aluminum foil to be recycled. Just wash, and dry before recycling with the rest of your household aluminum. Or follow your cities recycling regulations for aluminum. 

Instead of using aluminum foil to cover leftovers place food in bowls with lids. Or make your own covers. 
Rewash and reuse all the aluminum foil that you do use until it can't be used anymore and then take it to the recyclers. You can also recycle those aluminum pie plates and other baking containers, so be sure to recycle them too.

Recycle all the aluminum packaging that comes into your household per year. Remember aluminum is 100% recyclable. The average American throws away 14 1/2 pounds of aluminum from packaging a year. That's not counting aluminum cans. 

It is all recyclable, and we can all do our part to see that our household aluminum does get recycled. Consult your area recycling company for how and where to recycle aluminum packaging from your household, or from your job.

Aluminum cans are the most common aluminum recyclable, but we can do even more. Do you recycle the 2.5 cans that each American worker is said to consume at work each day? 
If your work does not recycle aluminum cans, maybe someone can at least be responsible for taking the cans home and recycling them. Recycling aluminum cans is big business. It's also good for the environment so do your part.

Other aluminum recyclables include things like aluminum siding, gutters, aluminum wire, and anything else made of 100% aluminum. It can all be recycled. And it all should be. Our landfills are far too full of recyclable materials like aluminum.


  • Recycle 100% of the aluminum that comes into your household.
  • Drastically reduce your households use of aluminum foil.
  • Don't forget to recycle aluminum cans and other aluminum at your workplace.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Downsizing Your Lifestyle



A great article from Miranda Marquit of  Check out her blog for dozens of ways to live a more frugal life, without sacrificing quality of life.

One of the reasons that so many of us end up falling behind with our finances is due to lifestyle inflation. It’s so easy for wants to be seen as needs after a while. Plus, as you make a little more money, or pay down a little more of that debt, it seems as though it’s easy to add a little more spending to your monthly budget.

At first, it seems like you’re just adding $5 a month here, or $10 a month there. Pretty soon, though, it adds up, and you are looking around, wondering why you have spent so much money, and have so little to show for it. If you aren’t sure of how you got to where you are, it might be time to take a hard look at your expenses and consider downgrading your lifestyle.

What Expenses Have Been Creeping Up On You?

I do like to eat out. However, a couple of months ago, I realized that things were going a bit overboard. Somehow, we had got to the point where we were eating three or four meals a week from a restaurant. While it was technically “affordable”, I realized that things were getting a little out of hand. Not only is eating out expensive, but it can also be terribly unhealthy. My husband and I decided that we needed a to get back to the meal planning we used to do, and “downgrade” from eating out so much.
It’s easy to let some expenses creep up on you, from buying a few extra toys each month, to increasing your cable package. Take a look at your spending, and figure out where you might be seeing some expenses creep up — especially in areas that aren’t that important to you. I may not be known for being the most frugal person in the world, but I don’t like spending on things that aren’t important to me.
Match your spending with your priorities. If you find that you are spending on things that don’t matter to you, just because you feel like you “should”, or because you’ve got in the habit, maybe it’s time to downgrade a little bit. Sometimes, spending more money isn’t really a lifestyle upgrade.

Could Downgrading Your Lifestyle Be an Upgrade?

In some cases, downgrading your lifestyle can actually be an upgrade. I don’t like clutter, and I have little use for stuff. “Downgrading” by getting rid of things my family doesn’t use anymore wouldn’t feel like a true downgrade; it would feel like an upgrade. My husband sometimes laments that our modest home is “too small”. But why is it too small? It actually has to do with how much stuff we have, and not actual square footage. Our four-bedroom home is just fine for our three-person family.
Getting rid of a lot of the stuff would free up space, and make the home feel much more open. There are other ways that downgrading your lifestyle can actually be an upgrade. Instead of needing to spend money to be entertained, you could begin using your creativity to make lasting memories with your family. You don’t need a lot of money to play board games with your kids, or go on picnics.
It can be easy to get caught up in appearances, and think that you need to buy certain things, or do certain things as a family in order to be seen as living a lifestyle that others think of as “normal”. This kind of upgrading can get expensive, and lead to keeping up with the Joneses — and their debt. A little simplicity in the form of a lifestyle downgrade can help you free up money for things that you find more important, while possibly improving your quality of life.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t spend any money, of course. I still eat out — just not multiple times a week. I do the things that are most important to me, and let the other things slide. My lifestyle may not seem glamorous, but it’s one I’m mostly happy with, and I’m glad to be back on track after slipping a bit into the practice of spending money on things I don’t really care

Saturday, August 2, 2014

168 Frugal Living Tips

A great article about ways to live more frugally from Here's the link to the article:

And here's the tips on how to save on utilities. Click on the link above to see all the other tips for living frugally.

Save Money on Utilities

Including tips by No More Spending, Damsel, Susan, Paula, southernseven, Looby, Fresch, My Dollar Plan, and several more.

  • Turn off every electrical item at the plug every night. Putting everything on power strips makes this easier.
  • Keep the lights off during the day.
  • Line dry clothes outside when it’s warm and sunny.
  • Line dry clothes by setting dryer racks over heater vents. Use your shower rod if you need even more room.
  • Let dishes air dry after running them through the dishwasher.
  • Cancel the cable.
  • Don’t use hot water in the summer.
  • Consider a family plan for cell phones.
  • Use CFL bulbs.
  • Turn down the thermostat (or turn it off). Use candles in the room to raise the temperature. A set of little tea candles goes a long way.
  • Don’t run the heater at night.
  • Open windows on summer nights to cool down the house.
  • Use a fan.
  • Get rid of your land line and use your cell phone.
  • Take short showers.
  • Insulate your water pipes.
  • Install low flow showerheads and aerators on all faucets.
  • If you’re going to be in and out all day, park on the street, rather than using the electric garage door opener multiple times.
  • If you live in an apartment, see if you can split the cost of a wireless connection with your neighbors. But make sure it’s legal first.
  • Turn off the PC if you won’t be using it for an hour or more.
  • Use nightlights that only come on when it’s dark.
  • Use nightlights in the bathroom, so if you have to use the bathroom at night, you don’t have to turn on the light.
  • Keep the freezer full. If you have to, put milk jugs filled with water in the freezer. It’s less expensive to keep a full freezer cold than an empty one.
  • Never leave the water running when rinsing dishes, brushing teeth, etc. Only use the water you need.


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Aid For Friends Feeding the Isolated Homebound in Philadelphia

Aid For Friends is a wonderful organization in Phiadelphia.

Aid For Friends

With nothing more than an extra serving from her family’s dinner, some aluminum foil and a heart called to help those in need, Rita Ungaro-Schiavone founded Aid For Friends in 1974.

Struck by the isolation and desperate need of those she met through her work with the Frankford YWCA , Rita began bringing frozen home-cooked meals with her as she visited her shut-in clients. Struggling with loneliness, despair, and physical suffering, many of Rita’s clients had no friends or families to share their burdens and help care for them.  Health issues – many of them very serious – were exacerbated by emotional distress, lack of human interaction, and an inadequate diet.  They were alone and hungry – lacking for  basic needs like human contact and nutritious food.  Rita saw that her visits made a huge impact on the quality of life of her clients.

Realizing that the need was greater than her personal ability to address it, Rita enlisted the help of her friends in the Christian Family Movement, parishioners from her home parish of St. Jerome and members and leadership of the Frankford YWCA.  Through her continued advocacy for this cause, speaking in churches and to community groups across the city and suburbs of Philadelphia, Rita grew Aid for Friends from its fledgling roots in one parish in Northeast Philadelphia to its current operation throughout the five-county region over a network of more than 200 churches, synagogues and community meal centers.  In addition to the home visits and meal deliveries, AFF provides aid and advocacy, including caregiver support, safety assessments, and other assistance as needed, to help our friends survive in their own homes and maintain their independence.

More than 15 million meals, 16,000 volunteers and 14,000 client friends later, Aid For Friends continues the work Rita started – providing food and friendship to those in need.
  - See more at:

The mission of Aid for Friends ( AFF)  is to alleviate the hunger and loneliness of isolated homebound individuals.  Our volunteers visit with client friends throughout the five-county Greater Philadelphia region, providing home-cooked meals and life-enhancing friendship.  All our services are provided free of charge.
- See more at:

“Dorothy died yesterday in her sleep yesterday. She wasn’t hungry…she wasn’t cold…she wasn’t lonely…she was loved because of Aid For Friends.”
- Rita Ungaro-Schiavone, AFF Founder, speaking about one of AFF’s first clients.

 “If anyone has enough of this world’s goods and sees one of his brothers or sisters in need yet fails to help him, how can the love of God be living in him?  My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk but something real and active.”
- John 3: 17-18

Johnny’s Story

Johnny lives in Germantown.  His life has not been easy.  After serving in the Vietnam War, he returned home and worked for many years until the company went out of business.  Unable to find another full-time job, Johnny moved in with his parents.  Being musically talented – able to play jazz piano and saxophone - he made a living playing at a club in Philadelphia while caring for his parents until they passed away in quick succession. A year later, tragedy struck:  the house burned down in a terrible fire, killing his sister and destroying his instruments.  It was a devastating blow to Johnny.

Johnny is now 59 years old and living in an apartment on SSI income of $450.00 a month.  He suffers from multiple serious ailments and from malnutrition as well.  He is bedridden because he does not have the physical strength to walk.  He sleeps on his mattress on the floor and gets around by crawling.  Johnny’s health and living conditions are not good, but he is getting stronger from the meals from AFF and – just as important – he has a measure of happiness in his life that comes from having a friend who cares about him.

“He is there for me.”
-          Quotation from a shut-in who has multiple serious illnesses and has been served by Aid For Friends for 15 years.  She has been unable to leave her home except by ambulance for her frequent hospitalizations.   Each week her AFF visitor brings dinners, soups and breakfast bags, and he shops for her when needed.

Copies of two notes to AFF received from appreciative client/friends:
“A grateful thank you for the services you provide and the volunteers.  They are a special caring group.  I look forward to the visits and fellowship each time they come. Thank you again.”  
-           DL

“Dear Friends, I thank you for the help you have given me.  The meals brought me back to life when I came home from the hospital.  I don’t know what I would do without them.  Thank you.”  
-          RS