If you don't love saving money, then stop reading right now. For those of you who have continued reading, I must warn you, you are about to embark on a journey of money saving tips. But that's not all!
I'm also going to point out how you can save the environment at the same time. So get out your pen and paper, or load your printer with paper, or figure out how to bookmark this page, because you're going to want to remember this information – 10 ways to keep more GREEN by going GREEN.
This is something I have contemplated doing myself for some time now. There are many advantages to growing your own produce. First of all, you are in control and you know exactly what you are eating, as well as what you are NOT eating (not preservatives, colorings, chemicals, etc.); everything’s 100% organic. Secondly, the cost is minimal; if you do it right, you will probably spend less per month maintaining a small garden with a good variety of different fruits and vegetables than you do on store-bought produce.
This one is a hard one, especially for me. But the truth is: meat is expensive. Unless you raise your own poultry or cattle (doubtful for most people reading this blog), you probably buy most of your meat. Now I’m not suggesting everyone go vegetarian, but one way to save money is have at least one meal every few days completely devoid of meat. It can be done. Then, maybe try it once a day. You’d be surprised how well you can do without having meat in every single meal.
Ugh. I remember when we used to buy bottled water. We probably went through at least 36 bottles a month. Think of how many empty plastic bottles we tossed! Sure we would refill them sometimes to make them last, but eventually, they would get brittle and flimsy, and we would throw them out sooner or later, only to buy another case of bottle water and repeat the cycle.
We finally switched to filtered water. We have a Brita water pitcher that filters the water every day. We also have separate bottles and big gulp cups that are washable and reusable. This is much better on the environment. The filter cartridges last about 3 months, and we are saving money. Plus, I don’t have to carry huge cases of bottled water from the car to the house anymore!
What a way to save money! Since we’ve had our Irish twins, our laundry load has certainly increased. That’s when we decided to create our own laundry detergent. It was so easy! Just mix 2 cups of fine grated soap, 1 cup of washing soda and 1 cup of borax. You can make enough to almost fill a 5-gallon bucket. For a cost of a few dollars, you’ll have enough detergent to last several months.
And running that dryer at least once a day was affecting our power bill as well. What did we do? Put up clothesline in the back yard and allowing natural sunshine to dry our laundry. A little more effort but it does save money.
We all love to take long, hot showers and relaxing baths, but we could save a lot of water by reducing our shower time in half. No, I’m not suggesting taking less showers (Eew!). What I am suggesting is cutting back on the time you spend in the shower. Let’s face it; you can get everything you need to get done is less than 10 minutes, yet many people spend twice that long in the shower. The less time we’re in the shower, the less water we use, and the more water we save.
Another way to save is to get an aerating showerhead. These types of showerheads reduce the amount of water coming through, while still maintaining high water pressure (we all like that, right?).
I know, it sounds gross, right? But hear me out… Since we’ve had our babies, it is so expensive to use disposable diapers, not to mention wasteful, when you consider how many diapers the average baby goes through in a day! It’s a lot more garbage bags to hold all the dirty diapers, and a lot more space in dumpsters and landfills…multiplied by how many babies there are in the country at any given time, and the increases in population…(sigh) you see where I’m going with this.
Cloth diapers are a great alternative. Yeah, you might be doing a little more laundry (see Tip #4 about making your own detergent!), but you’ll still be saving oodles of money compared to constantly buying disposable diapers for your ever-growing bundle of joy.
We’ve all heard about the power vampires; various electrical appliances and devices that suck power even when they’re not in use…simply because they’re still plugged directly into a wall outlet. Solution? Get a power strip. Try to get such devices on a power strip and you can just turn them all off with one switch. (To learn more about energy consumption, check out a previous post – Average Household Energy Consumption )
This is one of my personal favorites. The library is a public service, yet so many seem to forget it is there. Books cost money to print, and the resources are vast: ink, paper products, etc. Many people buy a book, read it once and throw it on a bookshelf, and may never read it again. An alternative is to go to the library. First of all, you can rent the book, FREE of charge, and simply return it when you’re through for someone else to enjoy. This way, hundreds (if not more) people can enjoy the same book and there’s no need to waste paper resources to continue printing excessive copies.
The sun is our friend. Use it! You save a lot of electricity and power, by just opening a window shade and allowing daylight to illuminate your home.
If you are not in the habit of exercising, this may be a hard one. But if your job or school is close enough, definitely consider walking or biking there instead of using up precious, expensive fuel by driving your vehicle. Let’s be honest; we can all benefit from a little exercise and fresh air, and you’ll find you may actually enjoy it.