Go Green and Save Money

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I’ve been trying to find different ways for my family to be more 'green' but the main issue is that being green can sometimes cost a lot more.  So, I went looking for ways to be both nice to the environment and nice to my wallet.  Let’s be honest, most of the population isn’t going to change their lifestyle if it is going to cost more. 

I’ve come up with five easy changes that will not only help reduce excess waste but also save the average family a decent amount of money each year.

 

1.  Ditch the paper napkins and paper towels: 

Think about how many napkins and paper towels you use in a day or a week?  It’s a lot.  The problem with giving up paper napkins and towels is how convenient they are when you need them.  I have come up with a doable solution.  You know the fabric sleeves that a lot of people use to store plastic bags in?  Hang one in the area that you keep your paper towels.  Now you can either buy some cloth napkins to keep in there or cut up old T-shirts to stuff in the holder.  If you have a spill or need a towel quickly just pull one out!

2.  Paperless Billing: 

The average household has four or more bills that they receive and pay each month.  That’s eight or more envelopes, checks, and stamps used.  The cost can add up quick.  Instead of sitting down and filling out each individual check and envelope sign up for electronic bill pay!  Almost all financial institutions have online banking and they offer bill pay as a complimentary service.  Also log onto the website of whatever company is sending you a bill.  You can more then likely pay your bill directly through the website.  Take advantage of it!  You can even set most of them up to do it automatically.  So not only are you cutting costs, but you are also saving time and a lot of paper!

3. Stop buying bottled water: 

More then 38 billion plastic disposable water bottles get thrown away every year.  Buy a reusable bottle or pitcher.  Most water bottles are purified water and not spring water now-a-days.  You can purify your tap water.  Buy a Brita.  If you are on the go carry a reusable water bottle with you instead of a throw away one.


Water

Image: JaredFrazer via Flickr

 

4.  Join a Co-Opt/pick your own produce:

I found a local farm/co-opt that for a set price we can get 8 lbs of fresh produce a week for 18 weeks {longer depending on the weather and farming conditions}.  The cost comes out to about id="mce_marker"5 a week.  It would be even cheaper to have your own garden, but in my family we are all lacking in green thumbs.  We will get fresh produce, save money, and support local farmers. 

There are also a lot of farms that offer “pick your own” services.  You go into the field, pick what you want, pay by the pound, and leave.  You know exactly where your produce is coming from.  If you would like to find out if there is a co-op near you or a farm that you can pick your own at you can search at www.localharvest.org and www.pickyourown.org.

5.  Make your own coffee: 

Buy a reusable coffee cup that looks just like the cup you would get a Starbucks and brew your daily cup of coffee.  You will save so much money and think of all of the disposable cups you won’t be using.  Even if you don’t want to brew your own coffee, invest in the reusable coffee cup.  Almost all coffee places will fill your cup for you and offer you a 5%-10% discount.

{BONUS} 6.  Ditch the diapers!

OK so this one only works if you have a baby, but consider switching to cloth diapers.  We did and I love them so much more then disposables.  Confused about cloth and all of the options?  Check out this post which explains it all.

~Natalie

www.growingupanjwife.com
"This blog is my journey of becoming a wife and mother.  Can I navigate this new road smoothly or will it be a bumpy ride?"

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