Want to learn how to save money on food– and finally lower that grocery bill? What if we told you that you could create green habits at the same time? It’s true– spending less and saving the environment often go hand-in-hand. And these 10 ways to save money by going green will show you just how it works.
It all starts with the saying “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” Environmentally, adopting the mindset of “less is more” is a big way to lower your personal carbon footprint. And when it comes to your wallet, the same thought process can help you keep more cash in your pocket.
If you’re feeling financially tight but don’t want to give up on your green living goals, these tips are for you. Staying on track (and even increasing your green living goals) is entirely possible, no matter your budget. There’s no need to buy the latest “sustainable” product– because green change starts with what you already have.
10 Sustainable Ways To Save Money By Going Green
Don’t stress! Eco-friendly choices and low-cost living can go hand in hand. These easy changes will keep more change in your pocket and help create green habits at the same time.
1. Choose to reuse and repair
In our throw-away society, the next new thing is often marketed as the “best.” But do you really need it? Try to reduce the number of items you purchase by reusing and repairing what you already have. Patch the hole in your pants instead of buying a new pair. Put a fresh coat of varnish on aging furniture. Not only will you save money, you’ll also reduce the need for the production and shipping of new products.
2. Skip the dryer and use a clothesline
It might seem old-fashioned, but when the good weather between summer rains and winter storms abounds, there’s no reason not to hang your clothes to dry. This energy-saving tip is 100% free, and in fact, it’ll save you some cash on your next electric bill.
3. How to save money on food: try Meatless Mondays
Even if you have no desire to go 100% plant-based, adding more meat-free food to your diet is a great way to save money grocery shopping. Instead of chicken or beef, try this pasta dish loaded with chickpea protein for dinner. Swapping meat out for plant-based protein like black beans or quinoa can make a big difference in the footprint of your dinner plate and it’ll help save money on food, too.
4. Say no to single-use
Have you ever noticed that those “convenient” purchases seem to add up the most? From a morning stop for coffee to your favorite takeout meal, purchases that include single-use packaging are a good thing to cut out when you’re trying to figure out how to save money. Environmentally, bringing coffee in a reusable mug and opting to cook and eat at home saves countless pieces of trash from the landfill.
5. Shop locally and seasonally
Want to know how to save money on food (while still eating well)? Look for produce that’s in-season where you live. When the harvest is abundant, prices go down. Especially if the food is grown nearby. Shipping costs can exponentially increase the cost of goods, which is why exotic foods are often so pricey. By choosing local, you reduce the number of miles your food has to travel to get to your plate. And therefore, you reduce its carbon footprint.
6. Swap the store-bought cleaners for package-free, homemade concoctions
It doesn't take much to keep your space clean. Many home cleaners (eco-friendly or not) can be expensive. Plus, they typically come in plastic bottles. Making a version that works just as well is easy, affordable, and you can reusable glass bottles for a zero-waste switch. For an all-around home cleaner, look to classic ingredients like white vinegar and lemon juice. And for tough stains or messes, use baking soda. These recipes for homemade cleaners are a great place to start.
While you’re at it, scratch paper towels off your shopping list and switch to a reusable alternative that’ll last for years.
7. Make a meal plan, and stick to it
Figuring out how to save money on food is often easier said than done. But one thing does help. Meal planning! Going to the grocery store with a list makes it easier to avoid impulse purchases and helps save money on food. And, a solid meal plan can help you pick recipes with similar ingredients. This will reduce your grocery bill and lower the chance of food going bad. With over 30% of food in America going to waste, keeping food out of the trash is one of the best ways to effectively lower your impact.
8. Use low-cost transportation methods
Have you noticed the gas prices? Yep, we thought so. With the monetary (and environmental) cost of driving going up, it’s a great time to explore alternative modes of transport. If you live near your workplace or local store, try walking or biking. If you’ve got a further commute, consider public transport or carpooling with others. Got kids in school? Try organizing a community carpool with other parents in your neighborhood.
9. Borrow, don’t buy
In need of something, but only need it once? Before heading to the store, see if you can borrow the item from a family member, friend, or neighbor. This will save you from a new purchase, and reduce the need for more product production. While you’re at it, normalize the sharing mentality by offering to do the same for others!
10. If you do buy, purchase things that last
It’s unrealistic for most of us to stop purchasing things once and for all. Instead, take a conscious approach to shopping. While some items may have a lower upfront cost, they often don’t last long. If it’s in your budget, try saving a bit longer for a higher-quality item that’s made to last. But remember- price doesn’t always equal durability. Above all, do your research and look for products made from sustainable and long-lasting materials such as organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp.
So, is sustainable living cheaper?
Going green will look different for everyone, but more often than not, choosing to live simply, reduce your purchases, and practice daily routines that lower your impact is less expensive. Small changes like using a reusable water bottle and packing food rather than eating out are both great tips for saving money and sustainable choices.
Want to learn more ways to save money by going green? Discover what it means to be a conscious consumer.