About Angie

As a blogger for FiltersFast.com, I try to bring a fresh perspective to issues regarding air and water filtration focusing on topics that matter to those like me; a typical, yet supreme, multi-tasking, working mom. Environmental impact and health concerns are addressed in my writing, as well as fun, helpful tips to better juggle that crazy thing known as life!

Drop the Bottle! Drink Filtered Water Instead.

iStock_000019689327_Medium - CopyLounging around the neighborhood pool this summer, I am aware of how many people still choose to buy bottled water.  True, it is convenient to toss a few in a cooler when heading out to the pool or beach, but there are so many better alternatives these days, so it still surprises me to see how many people still do it!  The latest published statistics state that over half of all Americans drink bottled water!

I thought this might be a good time to remind myself as well as others why we need to “drop the bottle” and filter water at our homes instead:

Reason #1:  Negative environmental impact.  The production and transportation of bottled water wastes our precious fossil fuels. It takes a plastic water bottle 1,000 years to bio-degrade. Knowing that 80% of water bottles end up in our landfill; that’s a pretty scary statistic! When not recycled, bottles produce mass amounts of litter, not only in landfills, but in our lakes, rivers and oceans.

Reason #2: Cost.  The average American spends over $100 per year on bottled water (think $400 per 4 person family on WATER).

These are just my two top reasons to drop the bottle.  There are obviously many more.  You can find detailed reports and statistics at The Water Project. Or read 15 Outrageous Facts about Bottled Water.

Additionally, if you buy bottled water because you feel that it is safer and tastes better than general tap water, there are many alternative options available to you.  Visit FiltersFast.com to find a full range of water filtration devices including whole house filtration systems, faucet mount filters, refrigerator filters, filtered water pitchers and water bottles (to throw in the cooler for the pool or beach).  These days, home water filtration options are endless.

Aside from the better taste and smell that filtered water provides, there are other benefits to filtering water as well:

  • More cost effective than buying bottled water
  • Eliminates the environmental impact of bottled water
  • Filtering removes unwanted, harmful contaminates from drinking water

This summer, when you head out to the pool, or pack a cooler for the beach, or venture out for a nice hike or picnic, forget the disposable water bottles!  Use instead a reusable filtered water bottle or fill some other reusable container with clean filtered water from your refrigerator or other home filtration device.

Check FiltersFast.com for available options.

Buying Generic/Compatible Products: Even Air and Refrigerator Filters!

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One of my favorite budgeting tips is to use compatible products.  Compatible, generic, comparable; whichever term you prefer, it basically means you are NOT using the “name brand” item, but rather a product of equal quality, but different brand.  A recent study by economists at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business found that Americans can save nearly $1 billion per year by buying generic products.

There are a lot of commonly known products that we think to buy generic.  Here are a few:

  • Groceries (baby formula, food and drinks)
  • Clothes/ fashion accessories
  • Cleaning products
  • Make-up/ sunscreen/ personal care items
  • Medications
  • Batteries

But did you also know there are some other commonly used household products that are available as generic?  FiltersFast.com, the leading source in online retail for air and water filtration products, offers a variety of compatible items.  Whether you are looking to replace your home’s air filters, refrigerator filters or even swimming pool filters; FilterFast.com provides the name brand item, but also offers you more economical options by way of compatible filters.

For example, if you are looking for the Maytag replacement filter in the above picture, you can find it at FiltersFast.com, but you will also find a perfectly comparable filter (non-Maytag) as well.  The side-by-side graphic above shows the price difference.  In this case, the Maytag being $29.95 and the compatible filter being $19.95!  Then the choice is yours!

Another example is for air filters.  Generally these must be replaced at least 4 times per year, which can quickly add up.  Did you know that FiltersFast.com offers all of the brands you trust for quality air filtration, as well as their own brand of air filters?  This 6 pack of Filters Fast brand filters will save you $17.00 over the comparable name brand of the same quality!

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As you can see, by checking into buying generic (comparable, compatible) products, you can save money without sacrificing quality.  In addition to your standard off-brand items, such as groceries, there are other nontraditional items to investigate as well.

Visit FiltersFast.com for a wide range of air and filtration products and brands!

*All prices shown are subject to change

How to Create a Budget

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When I went away to college, my parents told me to “make a budget”.  When I graduated from college, my parents told me to “make a budget.  When I was planning my wedding, my parents told me to “make a budget.”  When we were looking to buy our first home, my parents told me to… you guessed it, “make a budget.”

By this time in my life I should probably be an expert on budgeting, but I am not.  Like most people, I occasionally fail to see the big picture and give in to impulse buys or spend too much money on a pair of jeans, or eat out too many times per week.  But, that does not mean I should throw in the towel and just spend money all “willy nilly”.

Occasionally I hear my father’s voice reminding me to “tighten the purse strings” and that “money doesn’t grow on trees”.   This is my conscience reminding me to sit down to redo our loathsome, yet necessary household budget.  I am after all, a reasonably responsible adult with a child who will be going away to college in less than 8 years.

There are many factors that play a role when creating a budget from scratch, especially if it is your first time.  The task may seem overwhelming, but there are a few very basic tips to follow.

  1. List all “fixed” expenses.  These are expenses that do not change month to month.  These may include rent/ mortgage, car payment, insurances, utilities, loans, credit card bills etc.
  2. List all “variable” expenses.  These offer some flexibility such as groceries, entertainment, travel, eating out and general “fun money”.
  3. Know all sources of monthly income.
  4. Do the math… subtract fixed expenses from income.  Then factor in variable expenses.
  5. Don’t forget to factor in all of your savings/ retirement plans!

That’s it!  You now have a very basic household budget to work off of.  Once you have a budget created, whether you choose to use any of the many software options available, or if you prefer to create your own spreadsheet, keep it handy.  Look at it often.  Remember to reevaluate and adjust your budget over time as things in your life change and evolve, as they will naturally.

Remind yourself of your long-term goals.  This will help strengthen your will power and make it easier to walk away from those $100 jeans or that $6.00 cup of coffee. Personally, I hope to be able to retire and live comfortably when the time comes.  I want to be able to travel some and spend plenty of time on some beach.  That dream, along with my parents voices saying “make a budget” help keep me on track.

To help keep your budget on track, visit FiltersFast.com for all of your water and air filtration needs.