Many people today are looking for ways to save money in their budgets due to a job loss or debt that is out of control. None of you are alone – my wife and I are doing the same, as this site is not earning what it once did, and I am struggling to put in the extra hours at work.
That brought me to the bigger question. How can we stay green and save money? The concept of the three R’s is how; Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
- Most municipalities around us offer free recycling, but not free trash pickup. Try recycling more and throwing away less.
- Don’t buy any material possessions “new.” Yes we all love that new gadget or that new car smell, but you can save money and lower your impact buying used when possible.
- Go to thrift stores first. Most of the time I have found what I’m looking for at one – it may not be new but it will work just the same.
- Start a compost pile – yes they smell bad, but even in winter things will break down. The soil from composting can be used for your plants and garden
- Start an indoor garden, or outdoor if your climate allows, that way you can grow your own organic foods right at home – no need to buy them.
- Slow down, you will get there in time. Driving at 70mph may get you to your destination faster, but it consumes a lot of fuel, and adds extra unneeded maintenance on your vehicle.
- Use cruise control when not in grid lock – your car’s computer is designed to reduce consumption, allow it to do it’s thing. It will be better than you at maintaining your speed, consuming less fuel.
- Clean the dust out from behind your fridge once a month. It needs to breath or it will consume more energy. If you can, keeping it in a spot out of the sun will also help it stay cooler while doing less work.
- Turn off the TV – part of slowing down – and talk, or go for a walk. Not only will you find that you will feel better, but you will save by not running the TV and that box beside it.
- Store your food in storage containers, like the ones your mom had growing up. Not only will it stay fresh longer so you won’t be wasting as much, but bugs won’t be able to get to it.
- Have friends over and eat at home – have them bring a dish with them. You will not only enjoy their contribution but their company as well. Than you will also have the leftovers. Challenge them to only bring organic dishes or items from a local farmer’s market.
- If you have a cell phone, get rid of the home phone. Telemarketers are the only ones that call that number now, anyway. Donate your land line phones to a thrift store or charity.
- Reuse the boxes things you order come in, that way you won’t be buying boxes when you have something to ship out. More money in your pocket, less wasted supplies. If the boxes are too worn or broken to reuse, recycle them.
- Get 8 hours of sleep a day. For one thing it’s extremely good, not only for your body, but also for your mind. You also won’t be using as much energy in your home as you will be asleep.
- Set the heat down when you go to bed. Blankets and warm PJs can help you save energy and money.
- Set reasonable goals for your self, don’t rush into buying anything. If it’s something you think you truly want, give it a week to think about. You may end up changing your mind, saving money and resources.
- Have a water saving rain style shower head installed. Not only is the rain feeling more natural, it is also relaxing, all while saving you water and the energy used to heat it.
- Almost everyone gets fliers in the mail, even when you sign up to be taken off the mailing lists. Look through them instead of just putting them in the recycling bin. Many have coupons that you can clip to save money on items you would have purchased anyway. You can recycle what’s left of the flier when you’re done clipping the coupons. You can also use coupon codes if you order products online.
- Managed to get yourself completely removed from the mailing lists for fliers and coupons? Good for you! You can still save money by signing up for e-mail and daily text deals from your favorite stores. You’re bound to find some thing you’re looking for at a better price.
- Don’t be afraid of refurbished products, the problem has almost always been found and fixed. The failure rate on a refurb is actually often lower than the new product as the weak point has been found and fixed.
With all the options available to us to reduce, reuse, and recycle, applying the same concepts to our budget and mindset will not only give us peace of mind, it will also add savings where it helps the most, our bank accounts.