10 Easy Ways to Save Money by Reducing Waste in Your Home

In contemplating ways to save money, I began to think about ways I have reduced some of the waste our household produces. I have to say that I'm pretty lazy, so some of these actions took years before they become consistent habits. But in the long run, all the effort is worth it when I think about all the destruction our modern lifestyles do to the Earth. And all this stuff really is pretty easy and saves me loads of money in the long run.

Here are 10 easy ways to save money, listed by each item I have reduced or eliminated from consuming:

-Plastic baggies. I find that using tupperware or mason jars to store or freeze food in works just as well and is easier to clean. I especially like using mason jars of varying sizes because they're pretty cheap, and I don't have to worry about plastic leaching into foods.

-Paper towels. The only time in my adult life that I have purchased paper towels was the day before I went into the hospital for TTP, and the illness was causing neurological problems. I just don't see a point in them when you can use washable cloth towels.

-New Clothing. My thrift-store only attitude began during my emo/punk rock phases of youth. But after searching relentlessly through Salvation Army and Goodwill stores for attractive clothing that fits well, I have come to prefer Plato's Closet for most of my clothing purchases (except for undergarments and socks). They have name-brand clothes like American Eagle, but they're second hand which makes them affordable and saves me from directly supporting evil corporations.

One day I would like to make all my own clothes from durable, organic materials, but that is probably a long way off.

-Videos and DVDs. We usually rent from the public library or from a kiosk in Kroger for $1. Most movies aren't good enough to watch more than once. And this reduces a lot of potential clutter in our home.

-Commerical Cleaners. I clean everything (except for laundry) with white vinegar, baking soda, or dish soap. When I can, I buy these items in bulk. It's very affordable, cuts lots of waste for packaging, and keeps my baby safe from toxic chemicals.

-Fabric softener. White vinegar works well as a fabric softener, although it does leave a lingering scent. Much of the time I don't use any fabric softener at all. I'm not sure if that is good or bad for clothes, but I'm weary of all those chemicals.

Here are a few other ways I try to prevent waste:

-Reusing plastic grocery bags for small trash cans. I'm torn as to whether this is very positive as I should be using reusable cloth bags at the store anyway, but we do reuse our plastic grocery bags as trash bags so they get a second life. I plan to work on eliminating this all together in the future by not having any trash that isn't recycled and remembering my cloth bags when I go shopping.

-Reusing bath towels. In our home, we use the same bath towel for our self for a week straight. Perhaps that grosses you out, but it saves a lot of laundry washing, folding, and energy...and I like it.

-Having a single family car. With only one car, we force ourselves to rethink certain trips, walk more, and to not rely on an automobile so much. And we save loads by not paying insurance, maintenance, and all the other costs a second car would incur.

-Buying loose leaf tea in bulk instead of tea bags. This doesn't save bunches of waste, but every bit helps. This is also a way to make organic tea affordable.

Although those are the easiest ways to save money by reducing waste that I have found, here are some other ways on how to save money and greening my life further:

-Recycle and compost every single item I want to throw out. I want to try to include everything even things like old shoes and cell phones by finding places that will take those.

-Have at least 50 percent of all the groceries we buy come with no packaging. I'll do this by purchasing in bulk from natural foods coops (bringing in my own containers) and buying produce from local growers.

-Use clothe diapers exclusively.

-Hang dry at least some of our clothing.

-Get myself organized so I can make only one shopping trip a week, eliminating unnecessary car usage.

-Use those cloth bags when I shop! Every single time.

I do have a long way to go, but the biggest challenge is to just get my life more in order and work all this into my lifestyle. It is a journey, and I take baby steps most of the time, but I enjoy practicing ways to save money and I'll make in to my destination!

Here's a good blog post on the topic of what a sustainable life should look like: Enough Already!

1 comment:

EcoGirl said...

I save money buy using these cleaning tips to clean my home

Silver – Put some water in a pan with a few teaspoons of washing soda, bring to a simmer. Throw in alittle piece of aluminum foil, and then dip your silver right into the mix. Pull the item out, dry it off, and shine it clean with a rag.

Brass & Copper – By combining a few tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of baking soda, you have a great brass and copper cleaning agent. Just rub in on and then polish it off…so shiny! If your items are heavily soiled, you can soak them in hot vinegar and some table salt. The shine will start showing up on its own, and once you see it, take the item out and rinse it. You can also rub lemon on brass and copper to get into any grooves that need cleaning…just be sure to wipe it off once it is clean.