There are so many reasons to live a more sustainable lifestyle, but did you know that a lot of sustainable practices are also pretty frugal? If you’ve been thinking about living more sustainable because you want to help the planet, the realisation that it could actually save you money might be a good push to actually put some of these things into practice. Equally, maybe you have some friends who aren’t as environmentally conscious as you – enlighten them about these amazing money-saving tips and they’ll be more sustainable without even realising it! Generally, living more sustainably is about buying less and getting the most out of everything, which reduces waste and also reduces the amount of stuff we have to produce in the first place, and that’s both sustainable and frugal.
#1: Invest in some reusable bottles
Get yourself a reusable water bottle – Chilly’s have some gorgeous ones, but there are of course cheaper options. Always having a bottle of water with you will save you money and stop you buying water bottles while you’re out. It’s a small amount, but if you think about it you’ll be surprised how often you actually do it, and that money builds up. Also, don’t forget, you’re legally allowed to ask to refill your water bottle in any licensed establishment. You could also get yourself a reusable coffee cup, as some coffee shops give you a small discount if you bring your own cup, and if you buy coffee a lot that money can build up too!
#2: Carry a fabric tote with you
Get a light, fabric tote bag, fold it up small, and keep it in your handbag. We’re all trying to get into the habit of bringing reusable bags shopping with us, but sometimes you’ll spontaneously pop to the shops without planning to, and find yourself without a bag. It’s handy to always keep a tote folded up in your bag so you never have to buy one!
#3: Reduce food waste
We throw out a lot of good food because of the dates they have on their packaging, which are often misleading, or because we bought food but never got round to cooking with it. Reducing food waste if great for the environment because it means we contribute less to landfill, and because reducing the amount of food we buy means reducing the amount of food we produce. But it’s also great for your purse, because less food waste means less money spent on food! We have a whole post about reducing food waste by meal prepping if you want to learn more.
#4: Buy food in bulk stores
Okay – there’s a difference between buying food in bulk and buying food from bulk stores. Either way will save you money! If you have the money (and kitchen space) to buy some dry food in bulk i.e. something that you regularly use like rice or pasta, do so as you’ll save money in the long run because it’s much more expensive to buy small amounts in individual packets. This is also great for the environment since bulk-buying saves on packaging! Alternatively, if you only need a small amount of something for a specific recipe, try and get it from a bulk store. Bulk stores get their stock in bulk and often have large containers which you can help yourself from, which also saves on packaging from individual packets of small amounts. This is great because it saves on packaging, but it also means you only buy what you actually need, rather than pay for a whole pack of something and then not use half of it.
#5: Make your own all-purpose cleaning products
Okay, there’s really no need to have a specific cleaner to every specific thing in your home. Bathroom, kitchen surface, often, fridge…think about it, if companies make us think we need a different cleaning product for 10 different areas, we’ll buy 10 different products from them. There are plenty of recipes out there to make your own cleansers with things like vinegar and baking soda, like this one from Keeper of the Home.
#6: Avoid disposable cleaning cloths and paper towels
There’s so much we use to clean with that we throw away – paper towels, j cloths, dusting cloths…but again, it’s not necessary to buy disposable versions of these items, all that results in is us spending more money with the companies that make them. Instead make your own and reuse them. Take an old t-shirt you don’t want anymore, and rip or cut it up into cloth sized pieces. Use these to clean with, and when they’re dirty you can wash them and reuse them – never buy cleaning cloths again!
#7: Avoid single-use beauty products
Again with the one-use, ‘disposable’ products – they’re everywhere! There’s really no need to spend so much money on stuff we will literally just throw away after using them once. Things like razors, we waste so much plastic with those disposable razors – Sustainable Baby Steps has a great post about alternatives. There’s also cleansing wipes, in my opinion they’re not great for your skin anyway, but regardless, you use it once and throw it away! Instead you can use an oil cleanser and a flannel, which you can wash and reuse. There are so many things designed to be thrown away immediately in order to encourage us to spend more money, and it’s not necessary!
#8: Buy ethical and sustainable clothes
Okay, this one might seem a bit odd, as ethical and sustainable clothing can be more expensive than high street clothes. But they’re an investment! Ethically made clothing is usually much better quality, more well made, and will last longer. In general, buying fewer but better quality pieces will save you money! It’s cheaper to buy one great, ethical, staple jumper and wear it year after year than it is to buy multiple jumpers every year because they all fall apart in the wash.
#9: Support your central heating
Doing what you can to heat your home without the central heating will both help the environment and save you money on your bills! Try and get some decent, thick curtains to keep the heat in, and get draught excluders to put in front of doors. The warmer you can keep your home, the less heating you’ll have to use. We’ve got a post full of tips for making your home more eco-friendly, if this is where you want to start!
#10: Reduce the amount of meat in your diet
It’s pretty well known that being vegan is better for the environment than eating meat, but we’re not here to preach. If you don’t want to go vegetarian or vegan, consider just reducing the amount of meat in your diet. Maybe join in with meat-free Mondays, and push yourself to try new recipes! It’s not our mission to turn you all vegan, but if a lot of people just reduce the amount of meat they eat, that alone is enough to have an environmental impact!
Got any more tips to save money with a sustainable lifestyle? We’d love to know! Leave us a comment or tweet us @revival_collect