EcoCheapo Twin Cities

Living green and cheap in the Twin Cities

Being eco and cheapo discussion April 3, 2009

Filed under: Online Resources — kmccully @ 6:11 pm

No Impact Man has a nice open discussion here on his blog about how to save money through being green.  Enjoy!  TONS of ideas.


Earth Day Activities in St. Paul March 27, 2009

Filed under: Things to do — kmccully @ 4:39 pm
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Earth Day is only less than a month away, so I decided to go out on the great World Wide Web and see what’s up in the Twin Cities.  But then I found so much, I decided to only do a selection!  However, I did take a lot of my ideas from this article about 2008 metro Earth Day events.  My thinking was that a lot of them are annual events, and they do seem to be.

And, all events are FREE!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

St. Thomas Green Team Mississippi River Cleanup

Saturday, April 18, 2009

10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Help clean up the East banks of the Mississippi River.  Meet at the WWI Memorial at Summit Ave. and Mississippi River Blvd. in St. Paul.  More information here (it’s kind of in the middle).

2009 Minneapolis Earth Day Watershed Cleanup

Saturday, April 18

9:30 a.m. – noon

Sites all around Minneapolis will host a variety of events.  In 2008 people removed 22,500+ pounds of trash from Minneapolis waterways!  Two of the sites on the Mississippi are being run by Friends of the Mississippi River.

Midtown Global Market Earth Day

Saturday, April 18, 2009

11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

How to enact sustainable changes in your everyday life.  Lots of food things and prizes.

Watergate Marina Adopt-A-River Cleanup

Saturday, April 18, 2009

No time indicated.

Watergate Marina is in Crosby Farm Park in St. Paul.  No time is indicated for the cleanup but see the webpage.

Dodge Nature Center Earth Day Buckthorn Pull

Saturday, April 18, 2009

All Day

All ages welcome.

Other dates

Wishes for the Sky

Harriet Island

Sunday, April 19, 2009

10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Write a wish on a kite to be flown in the sky.  A public art event to celebrate Earth Day.

Como Park Go Green for Gorillas – Party for the Planet

Como Park, St. Paul

April 22, 25-26

Learn ways to protect gorillas and participate in a Party for the Planet.

Friends of the Mississippi River Earth Day Garlic Mustard Pull

Saturday, April 25, 2009

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Help pull invasive garlic mustard at a section of the Mississippi in Inver Grove Heights.  Free, but pre-registration required.  All event details provided upon registration.


A Review of The Hope Chest, St. Paul January 18, 2009

Yesterday I went to The Hope Chest in St. Paul, which is a like a high-end secondhand store with all proceeds benefiting breast cancer research. Anyway, they have about a dozen beautiful, mostly new dresses (donated from a local store). All of them were priced at $125 and were gorgeous. I didn’t have any luck but wanted to pass this tidbit along to other brides. The sized mostly ranged from 10-16, but there were a few smaller ones in there (nothing bigger than 16). You have to ask about the dresses because they are not out on the sales floor. They told me their Orono store doesn’t have any wedding gowns, so this is just at the St. Paul location. Good luck!!

Other than bridal gowns, they have an assortment of high-quality furniture, career clothing, shoes, decorative elements, framed art, etc. The prices match, but it’s good to know that all the money goes to a cause that is dear to many people.  Staff was really friendly and helpful, too.  If thrifting kind of eeks you out, but you like a bargain, The Hope Chest would be a good place to start.


A Review of Eagan Goodwill November 28, 2008

Filed under: Thrift Store Reviews — kmccully @ 3:35 pm
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The Eagan Goodwill store was a pleasant departure from my Goodwill experiences of the past.  We found this store to be clean, sunny, and to have a variety of merchandise in excellent condition.  While there was a good selection, the store wasn’t packed to the gills, so you still felt relaxed and able to view what was there.  We noticed a lot of employees and so there were plenty of people when we needed to ask questions.  Of the Goodwills I’ve shopped in the Cities, this would be my location of choice.

One deal that stood out was that they had a large number of brand-new stretchy textbook covers for about $.35 each – perfect if you need to get any number of tween or teen small holiday gifts.


Why I love the St. Paul Farmers’ Market November 11, 2008

Filed under: Food — kmccully @ 11:20 pm
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St. Paul Farmers’ Market

As far as eco and cheapo, the St. Paul Farmers Market is great.  You get a ton of food for your buck and it doesn’t travel nearly as far to get to your table (fewer emissions) – not to mention that the money you spend will stay largely in the hands of the growers themselves.  A few weeks ago we got three squash, about two pounds of carrots, about two pounds of potatoes, four colored peppers, a pound of stew meat and 10 free pounds of turkey wings for $19.  When we visited the stew meat guy, he told us he’s trying to clean out his freezer location, and offered us the wings.  A month later we are still eating them.  Try to get that in the store.  The Farmers’ Market is still open in winter!  Never knew that.  I plan to visit again!

What are your great Farmers Market stories?


A review of Fairview Ave. Goodwill July 24, 2008

Filed under: Thrift Store Reviews — kmccully @ 4:28 am
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Today my BF and I went to the Goodwill on Fairview Ave. in St. Paul.  Generally I am reluctant to go to this thrift store because it is stressful.  In the past I have seen lots of broken goods, for example, and stuff is thrown all over the place.  Today, things were looking a little more organized.  One thing that is odd to me is that their clothes are organized by color rather than size.  Now today I happened to want to look for a white sweater, so that was ok.  But if I’d wanted khaki pants for work, I would have had to comb through all of them for my size.  My BF found women’s clothing in the men’s section.  Also, you have to check the clothing very, very carefully.  Many items are soiled or torn.  The prices are kind of high for what you’re getting.

Now the bright side.  I have scored some deals here, mainly on stuff from Target.  Seems they must give all their we-couldn’t-sell-it-on-clearance stuff to Goodwill.  And it’s ok to pay a little more, I guess, because they do good work.  They have a lot of dressing rooms, which is awesome and a positive thrift store anomaly.  And they do have a large selection of merchandise, especially compared to other Goodwill stores we’ve been to.

I do, however, like donating to Goodwill, because they have a really easy system.  You just pull up
in the back, they help you unload, give you your receipt, and you’re on your way.

All in all, I would go back, but Goodwill on Fairview Ave. would not be my first choice for regular thrifting.


Lots of fun things to do June 17, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — kmccully @ 10:11 pm

I’m sitting around today and am a little bored.  I hate to admit that.  So I figured I would cruise the net for free and cheap things to do and then share them all with you 🙂

  1. Nordic Calendar MN Events Calendar. I was looking for where I can take a Swedish class and what I came upon was this.  Lots of interesting events related to Swedish/Norwegian, and a suppose Danish language and culture throughout Minnesota.  Cheap or free.  Contact them before showing up though, as I know one of the entries is outdated.
  2. The Motherload:  Parentzone’s Twin Cities Free Things to Do. This site has a TON of ideas and some are interesting even to people like myself who are childless.  Really good ideas.  Wants to make me get on my bike, head up to the library to see if there is a Museum Adventure Pass for the Minnesota Zoo, since I’ve been wanting to go but dear BF is none too interested.  Maybe I’ll go tomorrow!
  3. Coffman Union Information Desk has a list of free and cheap activities geared for U of M students.  I did not know, for example, that I could get in free to the MN Landscape Arboretum with my ID.
  4. Explore Minnesota Festival & Events has a great search feature.  Most events are cheap or free, but you take what you get with the great variety that is offered.
  5. Twin Cities Folk Information has all kinds of obscure folk-music and dancing related events.  Looks fun, doesn’t list costs but I bet they are cheap.
  6. Free Stuff is another kiddie site, with a ton of kids-eat-free places.
  7. Riverview Theater. Fun retro ’50s theater (but with stadium seating 🙂 ) and with $2-$3 tickets!
  8. St. Paul Public Library Programs for grownups and kids.  Most are free.  Ranging from storytimes (including PawPals where kids read with DOGS!) to small business workshops, free  outdoor movies, travel seminars, and more.

Well, now it’s time to get going and DO something!!  Let me know if you come across more good directories of free things – this is like a directory of directories, since there are so many good lists out there 🙂