Last week I talked about ways my family saves money other than using coupons. Since its Earth Day, I thought I’d mention a few more things we do that not only benefits my pocketbook but the environment as well.
Reduce paper towel usage-Notice I said reduce not eliminate. Paper towels do have a convenience factor, so we use them occasionally. We used to go through a crazy amount of paper towels-a 12 pack from Sam’s Club in 1 month! We now use less than 2 rolls per month. Last month we used less than 1!! Sorry, it’s the little things that make me happy.
Raise thermostat in summer, lower in winter-I am always cold, so lowering the temperature in the house a few degrees doesn’t make a difference to me in the winter. In the summer we keep the temperature set a little higher and use fans. We also close vents in unused rooms.
Wash full loads of laundry in cold water-I try to only wash full loads of laundry and most loads are washed in cold water. The exception is towels and sheets. I feel like those should be washed in warm water. It’s just one of my quirks.
Reuse some baggies-I reuse some of my freezer bags such as for beans and stock. I also reuse baggies for things like cheese blocks-the same thing will just be going right back in. Why throw it away and get a new one tomorrow? I also saved all the foil from the Brown Bag Burritos I made at the beginning of the month. Open my freezer and you’ll find a pile of labeled, used baggies in the door.
Caulk-We caulked everything when we moved into our new house. I can’t even count the amount of tubes we went through. Not only does it look better, it helps seal around windows and doorways reducing energy loss.
Unplug electronics-We unplug electronics that aren’t in use. The cell phone charger, toaster oven and lamps all stay unplugged.
Use sun at windows to our advantage-I use the sunlight to my advantage to help heat the house. I open curtains in the winter when the sun is facing towards the window and close the curtains in the summer during those times to help keep the house cool.
Reuse and Recycle-I mentioned this with the baggies, but I try to reuse whatever I can. I use reusable shopping bags for groceries, but I also use plastic bags from stores to pack my hubby’s lunch. Yes, I could use a cooler or other lunch bag but he loses them. I also refill Gatorade and juice containers for him to take to work. I purchased enough crystal light last summer for next to nothing that lasted until March! The containers that make it home eventually get nasty and are thrown in the recycle bucket. I save glass jars (will be attempting jam) and some plastic containers. Also, when I’m at the last 2 pieces of bread, I use the bread bag to send his sandwich in.
There are so many ways to reduce your budget while helping to save our planet; I couldn’t possible mention them all.
What are your eco-friendly money saving tips?