By Tammy Taylor
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With Earth Day happening this week it’s only natural to talk about how saving money oftentimes goes hand-in-had with helping the environment. Hey if I can save money and help the environment at the same time, how could I not be on board with that?
Of course not every example will work for every family but you’ve got to start somewhere, eh? Pick & choose items that might work easily for your home and sit back & enjoy the savings, both environmentally in your bank account.
Cooking From Scratch The EASY Way
Cooking from scratch may be one of the largest money savers in the budget since eating out too often can rack up quite a bill in no time flat. If you don’t know how to cook, start small with a beginning cookbook or internet search for easy recipes. And aim for Cook-Once, Eat-Twice meals. That way a homemade meal is as close as your freezer.
The key is to start small though. Learn to make one of your family’s favorite meals first or maybe a favorite dessert. Then add to your skill little by little. I promise you it will make a HUGE difference in your budget, your health and your sense of accomplishment.
To make that home-cooked meal even less expensive, try buying your staples in bulk. Many people report saving oodles of money purchasing groceries through Amazon. Be sure to check *Amazon Here to compare grocery prices, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Now that you’ve learned to cook from scratch it’s time to look at convenience mixes. Try mixing up some amazing spice mixes or seasoned bread crumbs. Pour them into a recycled spice shaker, apply a label and you’re ready to go! No need to run to the store.
There are other ways to provide for yourself other than meals and spice mixes. I recently posted about how easy it is to make your very own homemade yogurt. It was astonishing to find out how easy it was. And by reusing 1/2-pint canning jars I’ve already placed them in single servings for quick grab-n-go access. PLUS I’ve reduced landfill trash bunches. Don’t even get me started on how much healthier it is!
Disposables Are Costly – Money & Environment
Finally, look at your use of disposables. So many of these things don’t really save you any time and they CERTAINLY don’t save you any money!
Real plates and flatware make a meal seem more special. And there are no disposables to haul to the landfill. Cloth napkins are easy to make. But if you’re sewing-impaired (like me) they are also inexpensive to buy.
Since I throw them in the wash along with a regular load of laundry they literally cost nothing else to use. It seems so much more elegant to use a cloth napkin for our meals.
Lowering Your Waste When Dining Out
Here’s another easy idea: I have a small covered *Pyrex take-out container that I leave in my car. When we do enjoy an occasional meal out I grab my “take-out container” and bring it into the restaurant with me. Since the typical serving sizes at most restaurants are beyond massive I immediately place 1/2 of the meal in my Pyrex container. This keeps me from having to accept the awful styrofoam containers they typically give you (which is not recyclable in my area).
When I get home I pop it in the fridge. The next day I can pull it out and heat & eat out of the same dish. Now I’ve gotten twice the value from my one meal out. When the dish is empty I simply wash the container, place the lid back on and put it back in my car. It’s always there when I need it. Why yes… I think I’m clever – why do you ask? LOL.
But occasionally we go to a fast-food place for a burger & fries or maybe Mexican food. I can even lower my waste there. In the glove compartment of my car I carry a trash-fighting dining out pouch. No more do I need plastic utensils or paper napkins, or even plastic straw. This is a handy, convenient (and let’s be honest, luxurious-feeling) way to fight the trash monster.
There are many, MANY other ways to save money & the environment at the same time. What are some of your favorite ways?
Other Low-Waste Stories
- Our Low-Waste Coffee
- No-Waste Citrus Juice For Recipes
- Don’t Waste Those Onion Trimmings
- Ditch The Plastic – Using Glass In The Refrigerator
- 5 Zero-Waste Products We Love
- Food Waste in America: What Do Those Dates Mean?
- Zero-Waste Hygiene – Using A Safety Razor
- Buying Products Used: Good For Your Budget & The Environment
- Eliminate Plastic Produce Bags
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