This is a post I did elsewhere about two years ago. I am re-posting it here because I believe they are still very relevant ways to save money while reducing the impact my family has on the environment. Now, I do not believe I am "crunchy" by any standards, as I still have a lot of learning to do and changes to make before I ever get to that level. Still, this is part of my ongoing experience to help my family get healthier, as well as support my local community while getting rid of bad habits.
1. Start shopping at a grocery store where you need to take your own recyclable bags (or boxes).
2. Take advantage of passive solar lighting opportunities.
3. If I need something and its used and in good condition, I’ll buy it. It’s better than paying retail.
Now, my perspective on buying retail is skewed because we have quite a bit of information about import/export trade, and how the price of an item goes steadily up until it finally reaches a store. That knowledge in itself makes us extremely unlikely to make a purchase, even if an item is deeply discounted. I was once employed by a retailer who regularly posts what would seem like very good discounts on their items. I did some homework on that and found out that they still make an estimated 80% profit on those "clearance" items.
Some knowledge that is even more interesting: very few of those internet "daily deal" events are actually worth it, at least not to us. I was at a trade show with my husband earlier this year, where I saw nearly all of these same items being sold for far less than their advertised 50% or more off internet price tags. Go figure.
Learning how to sew and make my own things. This has the potential to
save money on clothing, gifts, and decorating your home too.
I wish I had more time for this one. So far I've made a few crocheted pieces, and finished a few knitted items I had laying in the basket unfinished. I still try to steal a few minutes here and there for my obsession anyway!
also trying not to buy prepackaged food if I can help it. I recently
found out how much price difference there is in the cost of prepackaged
versus fresh foods. It is not worth paying for the convenience when all
you get is extra fat, sodium, and harmful chemicals.
Unfortunately, many of the coupons and savings out there are for things that I'd rather not feed to my family, so I use them sparingly. I'm am not one of those people for whom the pounds just melt off, so I made the choice to eat less bagged or boxed food.
Lessons & tips: This is just a
small list, but even the smallest changes, when enough people do them
can have a positive impact. Try to reduce what you put into the Earth
by reducing the amount of chemicals you pour down the drain or onto the
ground. All of this makes its way right into the ground water. Take an environmental science course, andparticipate in citizen science, wherever you are.