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Retailers offer discounts for eco-friendly practices, but savings can be slim.

By Karen Datko Apr 22, 2010 12:10PM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.


Companies are increasingly willing to offer consumers discounts for green behaviors such as recycling electronics and receiving statements electronically. But while the behaviors can have an environmental impact, the savings for consumers are usually nominal.


Among the recent movements: Last year, Target began offering a 5-cent discount to shoppers who pack purchases in a reusable tote, while CVS launched a green tag program that offers shoppers a $1 store credit for every four visits they bring a bag. (The program costs 99 cents to join.) And last week, Starbucks offered free coffee to customers who brought in a refillable mug as a way to publicize its campaign to reduce paper cup waste.


They can often be had for free, and you can use them to build all kinds of things you can use or sell.

By Karen Datko Apr 22, 2010 10:57AM

This guest post comes from Buck Weber at The Buck List.


My last 9-to-5 job was an IT position. I had my own office in the front office area, and in the same building was the company’s in-house print shop and the supply department warehouse. Paper for the printing presses and supplies for the warehouse all came on wood pallets. What was not taken home by employees was stacked outside the building with the hope that others would come along and take them away.

Enter the scruffy guys in old beat-up pickup trucks, driving their daily routes looking for pallets to resell to pallet companies.


Yes, but is it really worth your time? Here's what an experiment shows.

By Karen Datko Apr 22, 2010 7:29AM

This post comes from Trent Hamm at partner blog The Simple Dollar.


Mal writes in:

I loved your post about how little you save by not flushing. You should do the same thing about your favorite bugaboo, rewashing Ziploc bags!

Rewashing Ziploc sandwich bags is something that I’ve joked about being a frugality “step too far” since the first days of The Simple Dollar. In March 2009, I prepared a post on this very topic, intending to present it in a very tongue-in-cheek fashion on April 1, 2009, but I never got around to posting it. Why? It read too close to being serious, as though I were strongly advocating rewashing Ziploc sandwich bags as a method to become a millionaire. (I do, in fact, rewash those large, ultra-durable gallon-sized Ziploc freezer bags.)


However, I did do some real research into the topic to find out how much a person could actually save by rewashing Ziploc sandwich bags. Here’s what I learned.


You can save money while saving the planet. Free mugs, cleanser, plants and $1 ink refills.

By Teresa Mears Apr 21, 2010 11:39PM

Today, April 22, is Earth Day, and the only thing better than saving the planet is getting free stuff while saving the planet.

We’ve already told you about the great deal for free admission to national parks through April 25.


He's now obsessed with the show and determined to watch every past episode before the 'Lost' finale.

By Karen Datko Apr 21, 2010 2:50PM

This guest post comes from “PT” at ptMoney.


I have a confession: I’ve recently become obsessed with the TV series “Lost.”


I tried watching an episode or two in the past but just couldn’t get into it. It’s really one of those shows you had to be watching from the start to appreciate.


Anyway, several weeks ago ABC began running the previous week’s episode an hour before the new show (I watch TV for free -- I get ABC over the air via antenna) and they've included subtitles to give you some context about what's going on. That was enough to get me hooked.


We live in a culture where a person's value is measured in dollars. Let's rethink that.

By Karen Datko Apr 21, 2010 1:23PM

This guest post comes from “vh” at Funny about Money.


Simple Life in France recently wrote on a subject that seems to be worrying a number of women in my circle. It’s a concern that speaks with profound irony to women d’un certain âge. “What would my husband think,” she wonders, if she decided never to go back to work but instead to devote herself to being ... ah, let’s say it: “just a housewife?” And into “what he would think,” let’s read the more invidious “what would everyone else think?”


Redesign of largest U.S. note in circulation is aimed at deterring counterfeiting. Most of the bills circulate outside the country.

By Teresa Mears Apr 21, 2010 11:31AM

Benjamin Franklin may have been dead for 220 years, but he still has managed to appear on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube.


The U.S. Treasury Department has unveiled the new $100 bill design, pulling out all the social media stops. If you didn’t happen to catch the unveiling live, you can watch it on YouTube. 


The new bill, the first revamp since 1996, was designed with more security features, and you can watch those on video here. It will go into circulation in February 2011.


Cut the cost of organic and other eco-friendly items.

By Karen Datko Apr 21, 2010 10:04AM

This Deal of the Day comes from Kelli B. Grant at partner site SmartMoney.


Does going green have to equal spending more?


Americans seem to think so. Last year, largely because of recession belt-tightening, about a third of Americans regularly bought green products -- the same level as 2008, and a reversal of the double-digit growth that characterized the green market between 2007 and 2008, according to market researcher Mintel.


While the majority of shoppers aren’t willing to pay a premium for eco-friendly goods, the committed green shopper is -- and calculates that savings can accrue over the life of a product, says Brian Howard, founder of, an eco-living site. He cites compact fluorescent bulbs as one example. Other items, like organic produce, offer perceived value in health and environmental benefits.


To broaden the number of eco-friendly customers, manufacturers and retailers are taking some steps to drive down prices.



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