Easy and Affordable Eco-Friendly Swaps

I’ve been wanting to do better in regard to making better choices for the earth. I realize there is a lot of changes I need to make. It’s a little overwhelming. One thing I started doing was to keep a stash of reusable shopping bags in my car so I wouldn’t forget them when I’d go shopping. Here are a few more changes I’m making

Choosing Eco-friendly Stores

I’ve been shopping at Aldi more. Even though it’s a bit out of the way they’ve been more eco-friendly for a while and continue to make changes to do better, themselves. Aldi fairly recently announced they would be moving to fully sustainable packaging by the year 2025. There are tons of options for reusable shopping bags out there. I’ve actually got quite a few from local events, swag bags, etc for free.

Making Eco-friendly Swaps

So one issue I kept having was disposable utensils. We have a lot of get-togethers with a lot of people multiple times a year. The idea of washing that many dishes and utensils was daunting but the reality is, I don’t own enough for the amount of people that come to our parties. Initially when looking into biodegradable or sustainable disposable products they were pretty pricey for a minimal amount.

A fate, facebook post helped me to find Avoplast. Avoplast is 100% eco-friendly disposable utensils and straws made from avocado pits! As if there was any more reason to love avocados. How affordable are these? Well as a an example the Avoplast forks come in a 24 pack with free Prime delivery.

It doesn’t appear that Avoplast makes disposable plates or napkins though but there are lots of options for biodegradable plates and biodegradable napkins.

I also found this 114 pc set from Earth’s Naturals that has service for 16 people at a reasonable price.

Everyday Eco-friendly choices

My nieces have some kind of crazy obsession with straws. I keep stainless steel straws handy when they visit. What i like about stainless still straws is, they’re sturdy, they hold up well, and they come in different sizes. They have everything thing from regular size straws to Boba straws. I tried glass straws but they just didn’t hold up in our house. The stainless steel straws definitely do better.

Check out this set of 10 stainless steel straws with silicone tips (a little safer for the kids). It also comes with cleaning brushes. They actually gave me a coupon code to share with you too that is valid until Sept 9, 2019. Use code: METST5FF to get this set for only $5.99 with free shipping! (expires 9/9/19)

Some local convenience stores allow you to buy a branded reusable travel mug and refill coffee for a lower price or even offer so many free refills. Save money and the environment but using reusable water bottles too. There are plenty of different sizes and options from glass, stainless steel, BPA free plastic, and more.

Earth Friendly and Family Friendly Cleaning

There’s lots of reasons to swap out your cleaning products. Not just environmental but for your families health. Fumes and chemicals in some cleaning products can actually cause more harm than good.

There are more eco-friendly options in your grocery store with reduced packaging and free of chemicals but you can also make your own. A simple vinegar and water solution can be great for cleaning windows, counters, and more.

There are also essential oil companies that offer safer cleaning options and essential oil recipes. Simply Earth actually has a subscription service that send you several essential oils each month with natural product recipes. Everything from cleaning products, hygiene products, cosmetics, and more.

You can also choose products that are reusable and let you clean without chemicals using water. E-cloth is an affordable alternative with chemical free options to clean windows, scrub dishes, even remove make up with just water. I’ve used these products myself and they work better than I ever thought. Who knew you can get a good clean with just water?

Are you trying to make earth-friendly changes? I’d love to know what you are doing.


Benefits of Talking to an Insurance Broker

I’ll be honest, up until a few months ago I didn’t even know what an insurance broker did. I honestly thought it would be more expensive to go through an insurance broker rather than dealing with a company directly. I thought they’d get some kind of big commission which would translate into extra fees on our insurance.

When we were getting ready to add our oldest son to our insurance and saw the crazy numbers that were coming up, we figured it couldn’t hurt to talk to an insurance broker. If we didn’t like what they had to say, well, we already had our insurance with the same company we have for many years. I’m so glad we took the time to do it.

We found out that the insurance company we were with for years is one of the most expensive ones out there and they can be beat by almost any insurance company out there.

We found out that if you have a pool or one of those big outdoor trampolines it can make your house insurance go up.

They told us that the smaller regional insurance companies can be a lot cheaper than the national companies because they’re not having to compensate for payouts for things like earthquakes in California, tornadoes in Kansas, or hurricanes in Florida.

We found out that while one company had amazing rates on car insurance they’re rates were actually worse on home owners insurance so our broker helped figure out the best company to go with as a whole for our needs.

In the end we ended up saving over $1000 a year on our car insurance even with adding a new driver and a used car with liability. I’m so glad we took the time to get the quote. It really paid off.

Speaking of insurance, check out this post I wrote for Bodwell’s blog on Insurance Fun Facts.


16th Birthday Gift Ideas

16th birthdays are a big deal. For many that means they’re now allowed to get their permit and start driver’s training. But the idea of buying a car for a 16th birthday present isn’t always within reach. Here are a few other great ideas for 16th birthday gifts.

16th birthday gift ideas
  1. Drivers Education classes – This will not only give your child more experience with driving but also give you a nice discount when they finally get their driver’s license. We did this for our oldest son. I wrote about the benefits of drivers education classes here.
  2. AAA membership – another sensible gift that will help with towing, road side assistance, and when they lock their keys in the car. This also gives a little more peace of mind for the parents.
  3. Gas gift cards – with their new driving freedoms comes new expenses. Gas gift cards gets them in the habit of filling the tank when they take the vehicle especially when they’re on a tight budget.
  4. Car Wash gift certificates – if they did happen to get a vehicle for their 16th birthday they’ll want to take care of it. Car wash gift cards will give them a little more motivation to take care of the outside
  5. Car Safety kits -my son actually got a car safety kit for his birthday from his aunt. It contained things like flares, bandaids, road triangles, and more. He said he really appreciated that gift
  6. Car care kits – Armor All makes car care kits to keep your car clean inside and out. My son actually said he’d like to have one because he enjoys cleaning the car. I always did too at that age.
  7. Car oriented gift bags/gift baskets with small items like a key chain, air freshener, driving sunglasses, ice scraper, etc.
  8. Maintenance gift cards – Places like Jiffy Lube or Pep Boys offer gift cards so your new driver can take care of an oil change, windshield wipers, tires, or whatever maintenance they need.

This post does contain some affiliate links. I will get a small commission from sales made through my post.


HuePets 2.0 Helping Your Kids Eat Healthy Foods + Giveaway

This information is brought to you by Huetrition. All opinions are my own.

Kids love apps! So Huetrition has created an app to help your kids make healthy food choices and have fun with the HuePets 2.0 app! Your kids will have fun taking pictures of their food and interacting with their pet Huey. (Look for this updated app in August!)

Scan real-life meals to feed your HuePet™, unlocking prizes and raising your pet from a little egg to a HueMaster!

HuePets 2.0 is a digital-first program that consists of:

  1. A FREE mobile app that turns daily healthy eating into a game- new characters!
  2. The app is tied to a website that allows medical professionals, teachers, family, and friends to view a patients or kids dashboard of colorful choices and even assign rewards! 
  3. HuePets will feature educational materials and giveaways
  4. HuePets educational promotional materials and collectibles—including the Huey Bundle: first edition Huey Plushie, HuePets coloring book, and HuePets lunch-bag.  Click here to reserve the bundle.
Get the HuePets app and get a discount on the HuePets bundle! The bundle will make its debut this fall on As Seen On TV.  You should reserve this bundle because there are limited quantities! It comes with a HuePets Coloring Book, the Huey Plushie and a Travel Bag!    HuePets, a FREE mobile app that turns daily healthy eating into a game, is turning 2! Version 2.0 coming out this August – new characters, potions, and more! The app is tied to a website that allows medical professionals, teachers, family, and friends to monitor a patient’s or kid’s dashboard of colorful choices and even assign rewards! I know my kids always do better with something to work towards. If you tie in technology it’s more likely to get them interested too.

Download The HuePets App

HueTrition has been sharing the nutritional benefits of different colored foods and challenging you to fill your plate with color. Visit their HueTube Channel to check out the previous videos and subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss an episode.

Giveaway Details!

  • You will have the chance to win a $25 gift card of your choice and when you download the HuePets app ( iTunes Store or Google Play) you can enter for a chance to win Huey Bundle! (Make sure you add your entry in the form below!) 
  • Ends July 30, 2019
  • Open to US Residents
 

Lycoming County Penn State Extention Offering Mediterranean Cooking Classes

With so many diets and ways to eat out there with so much information it can be hard to tell what’s best for you and even what the diet is really all about. Keto, Atkins, Mediterranean, South Beach, I mean I can honestly say I don’t know much about the Mediterranean diet. Cooking classes from experts can be a great way to not only learn some new dishes but to get education on the ways of eating that interest you.

The Mediterranean way of eating is considered one of the healthiest diets worldwide and focuses on plant-rich cuisine, with less focus on meats and sweets. Lycoming county Penn State Extention in Montoursville, PA is offering Mediterranean cooking classes.

“Let’s Cook Mediterranean” will take place from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on August 5 at Penn State Extension Lycoming County Office, 542 County Farm Rd., Suite 206. In this hands-on cooking class, participants will create an authentic Mediterranean meal that’s healthy and delicious. To register, visit extension.psu.edu/lets-cook-mediterranean or call 877-345-0691.

The “Let’s Cook with Penn State Extension” classes address nutrition, healthy shopping, time saving tips and more, so cooks of all skill levels can navigate around the kitchen with confidence. I’m sorry, did they say time saving tips? This keeps sounding better and better.

If the Mediterranean cooking class doesn’t interest you, there are more to choose from. There are multiple “Let’s Cook” classes, focusing on a range of subjects, including special diets, weight management, and cooking for one or two, to name a few. All have been developed using science-based best practices. To see all the cooking classes currently offered, visit extension.psu.edu/lets-cook.