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Around the Home: Tips to save on food and energy

POSTED: July 25, 2012 1:00 a.m.

Whether your fruit and vegetables are from the store, farmers market or your personal garden, they have a much-needed place in your kitchen.

Eaten plain or in soup and dessert recipes, fruits and vegetables can fill household menus with lots of color, flavor and good nutrition.

The Centers for Disease Control offers “30 Ways in 30 Days to Stretch Your Fruit and Vegetable Budget.”
Here are a few of the tips:

• When trying new fruits and vegetables, buy in small amounts. Taste test before you change your grocery list.

• Don’t shop hungry. Eat a healthy snack, such as an apple, before going to the grocery store so that you stick to your budget and avoid spending money set aside for fruit and vegetables on less healthy temptations.

• Dried fruit lasts for a long time, but can be expensive. Buy in bulk with friends and share the cost.

• Homemade soup is a healthy and tasty way to use vegetables. Make a big batch and freeze leftovers in small lunch-size containers.

• Minimize waste by buying only the amounts your family will eat.

• Cook enough for several meals and freeze leftovers. Place enough food for one to two meals in each container.

Save more energy

As the temps soar, some homeowners are looking for ways to save money and energy around the home.

The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension reports that saving energy is an effective way to minimize your carbon footprint while saving money.

Extension offers these strategies you can implement to save energy and money:

• Set your thermostat 2 degrees Fahrenheit below normal, and reduce your energy bill by approximately 10 percent.

• Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Insulate your water heater and pipes.

• Keep your refrigerator and freezer full, and they will use less energy.

• Seal leaks and cracks in and around your home’s doors, windows and pipes.

• Replace incandescent light bulbs with light emitting diodes (LEDs) or compact florescent light bulbs (CFLs).

• Insulate your ceilings, walls and attic in order to reduce your energy bill.

• Select a laptop computer as opposed to a desktop computer. Laptops draw significantly less power than desktops.

• Use a microwave oven instead of a conventional oven. A microwave oven consumes approximately 80 percent less electricity than a conventional oven, plus it doesn’t add additional heat to your home.

• When you purchase an appliance, buy an Energy Star labeled model.

Sandra Stringer is a nutrition educator with the UGA Cooperative Extension office in Hall County. Contact: 770-535-8290. Her column appears on



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