Many people believe that living a more sustainable and eco friendly lifestyle would cost them more day to day but with these handy tips you CAN save money and the environment all at the same time. What’s even better is these tips also save you time… and whats that old saying… time is money…?
Take a look at these easy-peasy tips and try to incorporate even 1 or 2 into your daily routine
Buying in Bulk may seem more of an initial cost however bulk buying always saves you money in the long run. Not just for the equivalent of the products you buy but think about reduced trips to the shop saving parking, fuel, other transport and travelling costs, etc.
If you haven’t worked it out already bulk buying can save you so much time. Less trips to the shops and easier meal planning knowing what’s already available in the kitchen cupboards! So you also save money by reducing food waste. Food waste is not only a waste of food but a waste of resources getting it from source to store, then from the store to your home, then the energy taken to cook or prepare it.
With all this is mind its easy to see how this saves the environment with regards to less trips out and the reduction of food waste meaning less production and pollution, but also the amount of packaging is reduced. The majority of the time packaging on larger quantity bulk packs is far less than the smaller quantities equivalent.
It comes as a shock to no one that plastic bags are dangerous to the environment, and although they may seem the easier and more convenient choice when popping to the supermarket, there are ways to save time and money as well as the environment.
Plastic bags in the UK are all subject to a government imposed charge of at least 5p. But let’s face it, finding a 5p carrier bag is less common nowadays with cheapest options in most stores ranging from 15p to £1.
So I know it can save me money but how can it save time?
Many supermarkets now offer a ‘click and shop’ service so you can scan as you go around the store and immediately bag your shopping. Taking your own bags makes this so much easier. Just pay and off you go!
Don’t forget your reusable produce bags for loose fruit and vegetables. Yes the plastic ones are free but they are plastic! End of Story!
Take a look at the reusable produce bags included in October’s Subscription Box
– Perfect for plastic free seasonal fruit and vegetables
I find it so much easier to plan and take my own lunches, drinks and coffee cups to work with me and here are the reasons why:
Previously I’ve shared the shocking facts about the amount of coffee cups used per year (16 billion, in case you missed it) So not only do I ensure I have my reusable cup, I also use an insulated bottle filled with boiling water to make my hot drinks through the day. This of course saves me a massive amount of money but I don’t have to spend time looking for a coffee shop, then joining the inevitable queue!
If you do want to use a coffee shop (hey, I like a coconut milk mocha as much as the next guy) remember your reusable cups at the following shops to save money off your next treat:
- Caffe Nero – buy five drinks, get one free
- Costa – 25p off
- Starbucks – 25p off (On top of this, they impose a 5p per paper cup charge to put people off using disposable cups. So you’re essentially saving 30p per drink)
- Pret a Manger – 50p off
- Greggs – 20p off
- EAT – 25p off
- LEON – 45p off
- M&S cafe 25p off
- Waitrose – free hot drink (when you take a reusable cup and swipe your Waitrose card at checkout)
- Booths – free hot drink
Making my own lunches saves me a fortune per week, month and year! This is even better when I can make lunch from leftovers, almost zero cost and zero food waste!
You’ll be saving time not stopping at the coffee shop, and you also don’t need to find the local shop or café you are set where you are sat (amen to a more relaxed lunch break!)
Using your reusable lunch boxes, reusable food wraps and bamboo cutlery means there’s no waste to landfill. No unrecyclable sandwich, salad, crisps, biscuit, etc packets or plastic single use drink bottles.
As well as my hot drinks and lunches I make sure I’m prepared to stay hydrated throughout the day too.
Grab a reusable water bottle and enjoy free tap water refills using the Refill App, saving you pounds on water that for arguments sake, is FREE! Get the App here: https://refill.org.uk/get-the-refill-app/
Second Hand Shopping
There are so many options now for second hand clothing from the local charity shops to online sites like eBay and Vinted.
The good thing about supporting your local charity shop is exactly that, you are supporting local so your money is staying within your community and supporting local charities and the jobs that includes. Staying local means less trips out in the car, and possibly no charge to park your car!
In my experience I’ve found some absolute bargains from hardly worn football boots for my son to brand new clothes with tags for myself. Some charity shops get deliveries of “seconds” or surplus items so you’re basically getting brand new clothes straight from the high street at a fraction of the price. So have a good look round to find your favourite.
Second hand clothes online have come a long way since eBay. There are specialist websites just for selling second hand clothing such as Vinted or Depop. Or dig a little deeper and find sites for renting clothes. Perfect for a wedding or special occasion where you buy one outfit and never wear it again as most sites only let you rent 3-4 items at a time.
“Luisa is going travel and because her backpack is not the best place for designer clothing she is showing them to us and renting them out to you.” (credit: Sharealook)
So we’ve shown how this can save you money, which you probably already knew, but it does save you bags of time. Grab your laptop in your pjamas and scroll through the second hand treasures online rather than looking for a parking space in the busy city centre, paying a few quid for parking and wearing out those precious feet going from store to store. If you do need to get out for some hands on retail therapy charity shops are normally nice and compact with a few choices to grab your favourite.
Second hand clothing is amazing for the environment. In a nutshell, there’s no additional unnecessary production and shipping pollution, less trips out get one less car off the road, and as we said before, most clothes are only worn a handful of times, sometimes just once, then end up part of the 350,000 tonnes of used clothing into landfill every year.
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