30 Ways to Save Money, Conserve Energy, and Stay Warm This Winter

by Tiffany in A Green Home

A cold snap set in this week and it has me thinking about staying warm. For some reason I have a greater tolerance for cold than I do heat so it seems more manageable for me to find little ways to whittle our heating bills this time of year. I am sure that many folks are doing the same. We want to pinch pennies and divert them elsewhere. It’s also a bonus that saving money on energy usage means we are saving precious resources too.

For me this has been a work in process ever since we moved to Ohio. One year we invested in several sets of thermal blackout curtains. Another year I spent days making draft snakes to put along each door and inside each window. This year we replaced our dinosaur furnace and rearranged furniture for better insulation. I have our wool blankets that we picked up in Mexico at the ready to hang on walls or windows. Yesterday I was packing up some children’s play rugs to donate when I decided to put them on our cold basement floor instead. Now I will be cozier when I go down there to wash laundry and since the rugs are all sorts of wild colors it is very cheery down there. Every little change helps and I can look at our gas bill and smile rather than want to pass out.

Here are some other easy tips for warming your home for winter, conserving energy, and saving money:

  1. Open the oven after cooking your meals and let the heat escape
  2. Close vents and doors in rooms that are not used regularly (guest room, storage room)
  3. Close blinds and curtains each night
  4. Use thick insulating, thermal curtains in winter, especially on northern facing windows
  5. Layer your window coverings like you layer your clothing, add shears on the inside to help with drafts
  6. Add extra insulation to your attic
  7. Seal leaks around doors, vents, outlets, and windows with caulking
  8. Check your furnace filter often and clean it to help with efficiency
  9. Clean furnace vents and make sure they are not blocked, especially in children’s rooms (ie clothes, toys on floor)
  10. Turn down your thermostat low each night, get a programmable thermostat if you forget
  11. Replace your old furnace or boiler with a newer and more energy efficient model
  12. Use draft snakes to seal gaps. To make roll up small blankets / towels or fill up panty hose with rice
  13. Caulk your windows, outside first, then inside (using a temporary silicone caulk)
  14. Use dryer lint to stuff inside window panes to insulate
  15. Close cupboards and drawers…they insulate
  16. Use thick blankets and quilts to cover windows
  17. Hang quilts on walls (in medieval times they used to hang tapestries for this purpose)
  18. Bake and use the oven instead of microwaves and crock pots
  19. Dress warm, drink hot tea or coffee, wear a blanket, and layer clothing
  20. Open curtains during sunny days, especially southern facing windows
  21. Put bookshelves, book cases, filing cabinets, ect against outside walls
  22. Move beds, couches, recliners, computer desks (ie where you sit/sleep/live) to inside walls
  23. Cover vinyl or leather cloches and chairs with slipcovers or blankets
  24. Cover window unit air conditioners with a quilt or mattress pad to block drafts
  25. Flip the switch on seasonal reverse switches on ceiling fans to blow warm air downward
  26. Insulate your garage door
  27. Add a storm door for extra door insulation
  28. Open your dishwasher immediately after running to let hot air/steam out
  29. Wrap your hot water heater with a Thermal Blanket.
  30. Plant trees. They save money by providing a wind break in the winter, which keeps you warmer. In summer they save you money by providing shade. Trees are awesome.

Do you have any tips to share??



Vibram Five Fingers – Half Off Sale!

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

Vibram Five Fingers are one of my fave shoes brands. They are minimalist shoes that are oh so so comfy and good for the health of your feet. I credit them with helping me regain balance and strength in my toes and feet like I had in my younger years when I would go barefoot all the time. I wear toe shoes literally every single week day…to the gym where I run in them, jump in them, and lift heavy weights in them. My husband also wears them and he has the men’s version of the ones seen above.

Our only issue is that these shoes are notoriously expensive so we only buy during Cyber Monday sales which usually mean a 40-50% discount. For the next few days though you can get them for 50% off at Zulily. Just wanted to let other barefoot shoes fans out there know!


Healthy Living ebook Bundle

by Tiffany in Health & Healing

Now extended through Monday November 5th!!

For 5 days only, 27 prominent Healthy Living authors have joined together to bundle 34 of their most popular eBooks, valued at just over $300, for the incredibly low price of $29. You have likely seen most of these books being promoted around the blogosphere and wanted them. I know I have! I have a few of them but I would love to have nearly ALL of them. Well, now is the perfect time to buy because you can get all of them for one incredibly low price. Even though there a couple that are not applicable to me (pregnancy/baby) the price makes it worth it to buy the bundle.

That’s only $0.87 per book to gain inspiration, encouragement, and the practical resources you need for your own healthy lifestyle. Plus, you receive $49 of additional FREE Bonuses, and you are entered to win one of 3 great prizes.

What’s Included in the Sale?

When you purchase the Healthy Living eBook collection, you will get instant access to each of the 34 eBooks listed below.

PLUS $49 of FREE Bonuses

Each Healthy Living eBook Bundle comes with $49 of FREE Bonuses from several of our favorite healthy living companies. Offers include a variety package from Redmond Trading ($21 Value), a FREE 3-Month subscription to Plan to Eat ($15 Value), and a FREE Sourdough Starter or Traditional Buttermilk Starter from Cultures for Health ($13 Value).

PLUS get entered to win one of 3 Great Prizes

Each person who purchases a Healthy Living eBook bundle is automatically entered to win any one of the following 1 Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator, 1 Omega VRT350 Masticating Juicer, or a R1 Royal Berkey Water Filtration System.


Please note: This collection is only available from 8 a.m. EST on October 29th to 8 a.m. EST on November 2nd. There will be no late sales offered.

Real Food Meals for the Whole Family

Have Your Fruits… and Veggies, Too! by Laura Coppinger @ Heavenly Homemakers ($5.95)

Real {Fast} Food by Trina Holden @ Trina Holden ($6)

20 Minute Meals by Leigh Ann Dutton @ Intentional by Grace ($4.99)

Real Food… Real Easy by various bloggers @ The Humbled Homemaker ($9.95)

Baking, Snacks and Desserts

Smart Sweets by Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship ($8.95)

Healthy Snacks To Go by Katie Kimball @ Kitchen Stewardship ($8.95)

Sourdough A to Z by Wardee Harmon @ GNOWFGLINS ($20)

Homemade “Everything” (Condiments, Pantry Basics, etc.)

Restocking the Pantry by Kresha Faber @ Nourishing Joy ($7.99)

Easy. Homemade. by Mandi Ehman @ Life Your Way ($3.99)

Grain Free and Paleo/Primal Eating

Grain Free Meal Plan Cookbook by Cara Faus @ Health, Home & Happiness ($18)

Toadally Primal Smoothies by Todd @ Primal Toad ($9.95)

Simple Food {for spring} by Shannon @ Nourishing Days ($10)

Simple Food {for winter} by Shannon @ Nourishing Days ($10)

Well Fed (Paleo Recipes) by Melissa Joulwan @ The Clothes Make The Girl ($14.95)

Saving Money on Real Food

Real Food on a Real Budget by Stephanie Langford @ Keeper of the Home ($18.99)

Plan It, Don’t Panic by Stephanie Langford @ Keeper of the Home ($4.99)

Don’t Compost It, Cook It by April Patel @ An Apple a Day Wisdom ($2.99)

Skincare and Beauty

My Buttered Life (Baby edition) by Renee Harris @ Hard Lotion ($5)

My Buttered Life (Gift edition) by Renee Harris @ Hard Lotion ($5)

My Buttered Life (Summer edition) by Renee Harris @ Hard Lotion ($5)

Simple Scrubs to Make and Give by Stacy Karen @ A Delightful Home ($3.99)

Food on Your Face for Acne and Oily Skin by Leslie @ Crunchy Betty ($7.99)

Holistic Mama’s Guide to Homemade Skincare by Roxanne King @ The Holistic Mama ($19)

Homesteading, Gardening and Preserving

Your Custom Homestead by Jill Winger @ The Prairie Homestead ($4.99)

Guide to Gardening and Preserving by Laura Coppinger @ Heavenly Homemakers ($7.95)

Apartment Gardening by Jami Leigh @ Young Wife’s Guide ($2.99)

Healthy Lifestyle

Simple Living by Lorilee Lippincott @ Loving Simple Living ($2.99)

Herbal Nurturing by Michele Augur @ Frugal Granola ($8.95)

Simple Natural Health by Nina Nelson @ Shalom Mama ($17)

Healthy Homemaking by Stephanie Langford @ Keeper of the Home ($12.95)

Music: An Essential Ingredient for Life by Resound School of Music ($6.99)

Pregnancy and Babies

Breast to Bib by Kate Tietje @ Modern Alternative Pregnancy ($8.95)

Healthy Pregnancy Super Foods by Kate Tietje @ Modern Alternative Pregnancy ($8.95)

Unbound Birth by Jenny Yarborough @ The Southern Institute ($4.99)




Does Your Child Have Zombie Mouth???!

by Tiffany in Green Holidays

Every parent probably worries just a little about how much candy their kids are eating at Halloween. This is especially true since it seems to get stretched out beyond just the one day…parties at school, community parties, and of course the night you all go Trick or Treating and you literally go door to door begging for candy. Add it all up and they consume tons of candy this time of year.

We can of course get creative and come up with alternatives and I have many of these tricks in my arsenal to help reduce the candy loot in my own’s children’s lives whilst not being seen as an ogre mom. One of those tricks this year revolves around one of their favorite video games and a clever partnership between the ADA and PopCap Games. I happen to love this game as well so I was more than a little psyched to see this campaign.

Anyone wishing to give away PopCap’s hit game Plants vs. Zombies instead of sweets for Halloween this year can download free game coupons (redeemable for the full PC/Mac edition of Plants vs. Zombies) here. The game sells for almost $20 normally so this is a fabulous “Treat”! The download code can be used any time between October 30th and November 10th.

As you can see above they also have packets of trading cards you can give out too. They have the game code and various cards. I’m stocked up for Halloween. How about you?

Visit: Stop Zombie Mouth  |  Zombie Mouth Twitter Party on October 24th.


Pumpkin Soufflé and Sweet Potato Soufflé

by Tiffany in Recipes

Pumpkin Sweet Potato SouffléWe have been baking up a storm in this house.

My urge to heat up the oven and make a Pumpkin Soufflé started when I came across this recipe on Balanced Bites. It’s a super easy Soufflé recipe that we all loved. After that initial foray we modified it a bit, adding more maple syrup and even adding a maple flavored cream cheese. Delish!

We used our own homemade pumpkin puree too.

It can’t get any easier than this recipe, that is for sure, but the it didn’t feel or look like a Soufflé technically…which requires dividing your egg whites and whipping them. Our Pumpkin Soufflé didn’t get very high and airy and they deflated pretty fast. I still plan to make them often though because they are so super easy and fast. Plus they taste wonderful. I did want to try to make a more conventional Soufflé though.

Our next baking adventure was a…  

Sweet Potato Soufflé

We started by cooking up some sweet potatoes and mashing them with butter and maple syrup. This was breakfast actually and we had enough leftover for a lunchtime Soufflé. And excellent way to get rid of leftovers if you ask me!

Ingredients: (makes 3)

1 cup mashed sweet potato
4 eggs (yolks and whites divided)
1/4 c grass fed butter
2 T almond butter
4 T maple syrup (1 tablespoon reserved for egg whites)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 T coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t pumpkin pie spice

Mix wet ingredients together (minus the egg whites). Combine the dry ingredients and sift them together well. Add to the wet ingredients and mix.

In a separate bowl whip the egg whites with an electric mixer until they form a soft peak. Add the reserved 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to the egg whites and continue to beat them until they form a stiff peak (this takes some time). Fold the egg white mixture into the base. Pour into individual size ramekins and cook at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Eat while warm and enjoy!

The homemade puree…

The pumpkin souffle in process and the finished product…