This post is sponsored by Mint.com, a good place to find a budget calculator and many other free financial tools.
Yazmin’s post yesterday on three green habits that are pricey – eating organic food, using organic beauty products, and installing alternative energy sources – got me thinking about green moves that DO save green. Here’s my list.
- Shopping for clothes at swaps, thrift stores, and garage sales. Expect prices to be a third of discount chains like Ross, and a fifth of main stream retail. I found the most fabulous dress at Ross yesterday for $13!
- Donating possessions to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or other charities, then remembering to record the tax deduction.
- Drying clothes outside on a drying rack or clothes line. In the summer heat my clothes dry in two hours. Thick towels take about 3-4 hours. The dryer is getting lonely. More tips to save in the laundry room.
- Collect gray water in the tub before the hot water comes on and in the sink when washing vegetables. This saves you a few gallons every day. Rain barrels will collect storm run off, too. Here are even more ways to reduce your water use.
- Growing vegetables and fruit at home or in a community garden. But watch out, it’s easy to spend more on a garden than what you would pay in the grocery store. Another benefit to gardening is peace of mind.
- Carpooling or riding your bike for in-town errands.
- Recycling cans, bottles, and newspapers is a no-brainer, but did you know you can make a lot of money from recycling electronics?
- Eating vegetarian more often that you currently do. Protein from eggs and vegetables is so much cheaper than meat, and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
Plus, check out these reader tips:
LisaL knows a way to make solar panels affordable:
Solar panels do not have to cost tens of thousands of dollars…. many companies will do a lease for little or NO money down. I just got solar for my whole house through SOLAR CITY (no I don’t work for them!), I will pay approx. $35/month for electricity to the solar company for the lease of the equipment for the next 30 YEARS–it will never go UP (which DWP can’t guarantee). Also, it’s their equipment so if anything breaks, they will fix it. This is a fraction of my monthly energy bill AND I will still use CFL’s and conserve energy, too. I think it’s still frugal…
DeniseinArk shares natural beauty secrets that are cheap:
Organic skin care products do not have to cost more than the non-organic ones, if you’re even a little bit inclined toward DIY. Mostly it takes research to figure out what does what, and a trip to the grocery store. Glycolic acids are a great example: AHA ingredients in cosmetics are fruit acids: juice from citrus and papaya, (or powders can be found in the vitamin/supplement aisle) lactic acid is found in dairy products such as yogurt and milk. BHA is salicylic acid – aka aspirin (can you say CHEAP?) Fruit and seed oils are well known antioxidants – olive, sunflower, grapeseed, etc. Fresh avocados do the same thing. At age 50, my oily skin is coming under control by using (SURPRISE!!) a couple of drops of grapeseed oil with a drop of ylang-ylang essential oil mixed in my hand and smoothed on my face after cleansing and exfoliating. I also keep a bottle of grapeseed oil in the shower and apply it the same way you’d apply baby oil after a shower, because the rest of my skin is very dry. It soaks right in very quickly and leaves my skin soft with no white lines. Each morning, I pour a little of my freshly brewed green tea into a tiny spray bottle and use it as toner and a little extra moisture spritz throughout the day. None of these items are expensive at all. It makes me wonder why the skin care items supposedly made from all natural ingredients have to be so expensive.
DeniseinArk, have you read Return To Beauty? It is a gorgeous book with dozens of homemade beauty recipes. Sounds right up your alley!