Five budget-friendly tips that are also kind to our planet
There’s no doubt that times are a little tough out there. The cost of living feels like it has skyrocketed recently, with grocery and energy prices going through the roof, and interest rates climbing, making it trickier to pay the bills.
We’re a relatively big family, with three growing boys (who’s appetites are growing at an increasingly rapid pace), so I’m always looking for ways to save on our every day expenses. But I’m also passionate about reducing waste, and choosing eco-friendly options as much as possible. There’s a perception that eco-friendly is more costly than the alternative, but in my opinion, that doesn’t always have to be the case.
Here are five of my top tips to save money on everyday household expenses, that also happen to be eco-friendly.
Bulk up meals and reduce waste at the same time
Do you have leftover fruit, vegetables, bread or other perishable food? Cook it up to bulk up meals, and reduce food waste (a huge greenhouse gas contributor) at the same time.
For example, I regularly cook a bolognaise pasta sauce for my boys – I use the food processor to blitz together any vegetables that are starting to look a bit sad, and throw them in with the sauce. The kids don’t notice it, and it massively increases the volume I make, so I have lots leftover to freeze for extra meals – win win!
Use a reusable cup for a discount on your coffee
This is one I’m super passionate about – I really can’t stand single-use coffee cups that can’t be recycled. But I also know how imperative that morning coffee is for parents.
So it’s great that many cafes offer a small discount if you BYO cup – another great reason to remember your reusable cup when you head out to get your coffee.
Look after clothes so they can be handed down
I know, easier said than done (and I really do know with 3 messy boys to look after). I wash clothes super carefully, to keep them in great condition, so I’ve been able to hand down so many clothes down through all 3 boys, and now I’m even handing them down to my little nephew.
My tips? Use a spot stain remover, then wash on a gentle cycle in cold water. And the most important tip of all? Don’t use the clothes dryer – it uses so much energy (super expensive right now), and is so tough on clothes. The best best best option? The sun! Hang your clothes in the sun and watch the stains disappear, and those white clothes brighten up – I promise!
Say yes to hand-me-downs
I recently had a lovely friend gift me a stack of amazing, designer branded clothes for my boys that were hardly worn and in perfect condition. It helped me realise I have done the same – often the clothes you gift to a friend or family member are the beautiful, expensive clothes that you were saving for a special occasion, and inevitably the children grow out of before you can use them.
So don’t say no to hand-me-downs - they’re often in amazing condition and you’re reducing clothes ending up in landfill, as well as reducing your household spending on new clothes.
Reduce reliance on wrapping paper
Do you have little ones in pre-school or the early years of school like me? If so, you probably have loads of parties on the calendar, and presents to buy for them. Gift wrapping can be expensive, wasteful and is so often thrown straight in the bin.
My tip? Hold on to gift bags when you receive gifts in them, as they’re a perfect alternative to new gift wrap, and the same applies to ribbons and decorations you receive on gifts. Another favourite of mine is to buy a big roll of brown kraft paper from a stationery shop – it’s loads cheaper, and better for the environment as it’s easy to recycle. Decorate with ribbon and a hand-made card, and you have a beautiful gift.