Saving Money Through a More Sustainable Lifestyle
When you think about sustainable living, the first thing that may come to mind is spending more money. From specially marketed eco-friendly products to organic produce, trying to live sustainably might result in an unsustainable budget. However, there are a few ways you can actually save money by making better lifestyle choices.
Create a Budget You Can Stick To
You have probably heard you need a budget if you want to save money but creating one and sticking to it can be easier said than done. That’s why you’ll want to make one with realistic expectations in mind. For example, if you spend $600 a month on food for your family, it’s not realistic to expect to cut that down to $200, especially if it’s the first try.
Gather receipts and look at how much you’re already spending in each category. Then, gradually reduce how much you spend on each one and see how low you can realistically expect to go. If you want to quickly save money off your monthly expenses, look into things like refinancing debt. You can refinance your existing student loans into new ones with the help of private lenders. You can use a student loan refinance calculator to understand what you’ll pay each month.
Spend More Time Doing Food Prep
You might think that living sustainably is more expensive because of the cost of purchasing better food. However, there are other ways to save while still making sustainable choices. Instead of serving quick meals you can grab from the freezer, consider doing a bit of meal prep each day with fresh ingredients. When you put more time into the process, you’ll be able to save more time. Consider setting aside a few hours each week to do meal planning and preparation and freeze any leftovers for future dinners. Part of this time should also include tracking leftovers in the fridge not to go to waste.
When you make the shopping list, try to make it reasonably specific. After creating the meal plan for that week, look through the fridge and pantry to see what you already have on hand and then put the things you’ll need on the grocery list. You could create a master list of recipes and dishes you enjoy and then pick a few of those to serve each week. If your local grocery store offers sale ads, you could do your meal planning based on what’s on sale that week.
Use Only One Type of CleanerYou can find a range of cleaning products designed to be more eco-friendly, and they are often specialized for certain surfaces in the home. However, by picking one cleaning product for multiple areas, you’ll be able to save money in the process. Try mixing up some water, rubbing alcohol, and essential oils to create a spray for the bathrooms, counters, showers, and other areas. It sanitizes the area and will get rid of grease and other spills in these places. Plus, it’s relatively cheap to make.