smart spending

Frugal $ense: Save the planet and some money

Bankrate: How long have you been planting?
Jessica: For a long time, five or six years. I used to be a florist and it drove me nuts how much money people spent on flowers, so I'm much more into plants and growing them and cutting them myself.

The flowers get marked up so much, and that's another thing -- you can have your own cutting garden and just plant them and cut them yourself. And they last longer, I've found.

Bankrate: Do you have any favorite ways to save money on a day-to-day basis?
Jessica: I'm such a nerd about all this, actually. I put a lot of my money into money market accounts, I read money blogs, the Internet is just full of ideas. I also really like the coupon Web sites; I just bought a computer and checked the coupon Web sites and got a really good deal -- $500 off a computer.

Mainly, I just try to stay on top of my bills so I know what I'm paying and what's coming in and going out. I also do odd jobs occasionally to make some extra money.

Plus, I read a lot of money books to learn about investing. I'm all about getting my money to work for me. I always pay myself first.

And I always check Bankrate for new tips.

Bankrate: Paper or plastic bags at the grocery store?
Jessica: I get plastic now but I'm going to buy my own reusable bags. I haven't gotten to that point yet but I'm convinced. I definitely want to convert to reusable bags. The plastic bags I get now I use as trash bags, so I reuse them.

Investing in some tote bags is definitely my next step.

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