Saving money and going green seems like a unattainable task but there are a number of ways I’ve found helpful to accomplish this. It may not seem like you can be a serious couponer of the extreme, casual or even laid back variety and be green at the same time. However I’ve found some effective ways of saving money while going green that aren’t too difficult to get done. Here are a few that I find helpful.
Reduce Meat Consumption
Decreasing the consumption of meat in your household can greatly contribute to being easier on your pocketbook. You can look online or elsewhere to find new dishes that exclude a lot of meat in them, and this move is not only good for your wallet, but your waistline as well. If the thought of this seems unattainable, try moving forward slowly with less meat dishes, or perhaps some meat substitute dishes that could include tofu or tempeh.
Joining a CSA
Farm fresh foods like organic fruits and veggies can often be delivered straight to your door with Community Shared Agricultural programs that are devoted to providing the public with quality produce. Some of these organizations will allow you to lower some of your membership costs by having someone from your household, be it yourself, or a teen volunteer devote sometimes as little as 4 hours weekly, especially during the growing and harvest season. Keep in mind that the selection of food available to you will vary depending on what’s available, so keep your staple foods on hand.
Utilize the farmers markets in your area during the warmer months of the year. Regular produce costs in your area will dictate the prices at the farmers market, and sometimes that can be less or more. However, you’ll get farm fresh produce with the taste to match Plan your meals around your purchases once you’ve seen what’s you take home, be mindful of not letting it go to waste.
Prioritize Buying Organic Produce
Purchasing organic produce can be expensive and if you are operating on a strict budget, you’ll want to consider buying only those produce items that you use a lot of. This combined with just sticking to the produce that is known for the large doses of pesticides that are used on them. There are a number of lists available online that identify many of these foods.
Saving Money, Living Green
In order to change a habit or establish a new way of doing something, you must have a source of motivation. At a time when finances are tight, I can’t imagine a better motivating force for adopting a green living lifestyle than the motivation to save money. To actively practice “green living” old, destructive habits must be replaced with newer, more environmentally friendly habits. Gaining wisdom and unleashing your creativity in order to reuse, renew, and repurpose is a change of lifestyle that is beneficial not only to the earth and the environment but also beneficial to your health, your future, and your financial situation.
In the beginning of the living green movement I made the same mistaken assumption that I’ve seen other people make. I thought it was a good concept but not a practice I could engage in because I live on a small budget. However, I really wanted to help save the environment so I began searching for small changes I could make that wouldn’t shatter my budget but would be supportive of “green living”.
Each home, each situation, each family, each work environment, and each person that shares this earth is different. The changes that work for me may not be practical choices for someone else. Everyone must establish their own green living plan. However, there are some general motivating ideas for adopting a green living lifestyle that apply to most of us. Once you get started with the change in lifestyle using some of these ideas, you’ll quickly begin to generate ideas of your own that work in your situation. Just getting started is a step in the right direction.
I believe I’m safe in assuming that everyone spends money on household cleaning products. This is one area that I thought would be a budget breaker if I tried buying environmentally friendly products. But, I found out I was wrong. With such a large push toward buying green, stores are more frequently placing green products on sale making their price very competitive with less environmentally friendly products. I have also discovered that I can save money by making my own cleaning products at home.
It’s easy to find out how to make these products. Book, magazines, or a quick search of the internet offers an abundant variety of recipes for making your own cleaning products. The ingredients are inexpensive items such as white vinegar and baking soda. “Cleaning green” actually save me money.
I’ve change things in my home such as light bulbs and shower heads to make my home more conducive to green living. Changes such as these save me money and help the environment.
I used to regularly purchase bottles of water to drink at home and to carry with me whenever I left home. I am now helping the environment, my budget, and my health by drinking tap water and filling reusable bottles with tap water to carry with me. I even make my own flavored water which is much more economical than buying it in a plastic bottle.
My budget has also benefited from my creative reuse of as many things as possible. Before I go to the store to buy a flower vase, storage container, or any new item for my home, I do a thorough search of my home to see if there is something there I can repurpose rather than spend money on something new.
I’ve taken steps to reduce the amount of junk mail that arrives in my mailbox. That has save me money by stopping the arrival of catalogs that tempt me to spend money on items I don’t need and wouldn’t have thought of buying if I hadn’t browsed through the catalog. Also, I don’t subscribe to any newspapers. There’s plenty of news online.
I have found that I can save money by organically growing my own vegetables. One of my biggest saving come from my herb garden. Once again a quick internet search will provide you with numerous culinary, medicinal, and aromatic uses for herbs that you can easily grow at home. What I can’t grow, I can buy from local markets. Even if the organic foods are slightly more expensive, I believe spending the money is justified when I consider how much better organic food is for my body. Staying healthy eliminates high medical bills that can quickly destroy even a well managed budget.
Living a green lifestyle is good. It’s good for me, for my budget, my health, and my home. I’m still in the transition phase. By consistently making small changes I will, in time, reach my goal of living a totally green lifestyle.