Save Money by Living Sustainably

There is a common misconception that you have to spend more in order to make sustainable choices. I'm hear to challenge that misconception and give you examples on the amount of money you can actually save on a monthly or yearly basis by just choosing to buy different products - no habit breaking needed. While upfront you may have to pay a bit more for a more sustainable item, in the long run you're saving money, time and energy - trust me!!


When choosing to live sustainably you should shop smarter- buy only what you need, and make sure it'll last, or leave little waste. Get creative and re-purpose old items that you no longer need or use. We tend to have a lot of clutter and unnecessary things laying around that don't really add much purpose or value to our lives, yet we continue to buy into them. Change your mindset from "what do I need?" to "what can I reduce?". Marie Kondo your home first and find the areas you'd like to improve, the areas you may need to do some shopping, and the areas where you have excess. (Can you tell I'm a fan of lists?)


*PLEASE do not just throw things out because they aren't "sustainable" if you bought them - give them away or use them, then choose the more sustainable option.





Baggies

Swap out single use plastic baggies for a reusable alternative.



Plastic Baggies

Cost: $2.19/$6.99/$1.69 for 90 sandwich bags, 80 quart bags, and 15 gallon bags at Target

Lifetime: Single use

Yearly Cost: $65-$130 buying replacements bags bimonthly or monthly


Reusable Baggies

Cost: $45-$87 bundle mix sizes at Stasher (They are having a 30% off sale right now)

Lifetime: Indefinitely with proper care

Lifetime cost: $45-$87





Potential yearly savings: $25-$85 fist year. $65-$130 following years.






Diet

Incorporate more plant based foods into your diet and eat less meat and dairy products. Eating less meat and dairy has not only found to be better for your budget and health, but also for the environment. (Obviously I'm not a doctor so consult your doctor if you have any concerns about if a plant based diet would be a good choice for you) Carbon Brief released a study in 2020 stating, "The meat and dairy industries create 7.1 gigatons of greenhouses gases annually—

that’s 14.5% of total man-made emissions.". While everyone's grocery budget and food preferences are different, a recent study concluded that those who shop meatless spend $23 less a week than those who eat meat. That may not seem like a ton of money but thats $92 per month! You could use that money to treat yourself for a night out or save up for that special item or vacation you've been wanting to splurge on.


*disclaimer - it's easy to get caught up in the "fancy vegan" items like ice creams, cheeses, and other junk food items. If you end up filling up your grocery cart with more of those items and less fruits, vegetables, and other non processed foods - that extra $23 might shrink a bit.


Potential monthly savings: $92






Home Cooking

Make more meals and beverages at home, and take them on the go if needed. Bring your own take out coffee cups and containers with you if you don't want to make at home.



Water

Take out plastic bottle: $1.50 average

Home: FREE

Monthly cost: $30 (1 a day M-F) vs $0


Potential monthly savings $30


Coffee

Take out: $3-$6 depending on what you order

Home: I spend ~$18/month for fair trade coffee beans and 3 cartons of vanilla almond milk from wegmans

Monthly Cost: $90 vs ~$18


Potential monthly savings: $72


Lunch

Take out: $10-$15

Home: $5-$7 (I took my weekly grocery expenses and divided by 21 (3 meals a day))

Monthly Cost: $250 vs $120


Potential monthly savings: $130




Razors

Swap out plastic razors for lifetime razors with replaceable blades.



Plastic

Cost:~$5

Lifetime: 2-4 weeks depending on shaving frequency

Total yearly cost: $60-$120


Leafshave Lifetime Razor

Cost: $80-$113 for shaving kit (razor, stand, and 100 blades equivalent to 33 razors)

Total yearly cost: $27-$38 (starter kit blades will last my 3 years replacing blades every month, after that yearly cost will drop to $14 for another 100 blades that will last another 3 years (thats less than $5 a year) Lifetime guaranteed razor.




Potential yearly savings: $22-93 first three years, $55-115 every additional year)



Bathroom

Swap out plastic bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash for bar alternatives



Liquid shampoo

Cost: $7.50 bottle of OGX at Target

Lifetime: 1 - 2 months

Total yearly cost: $90-$180


Hibar Bar Shampoo

Cost: $12.95

Lifetime: 4 - 6 months

Total yearly cost: $26- $39


Potential yearly savings: $51-$154


Liquid conditioner

Cost: $7.50 bottle of OGX at Target

Lifetime: 1 - 2 months

Total yearly cost: $90-$180


Hibar Bar Shampoo

Cost: $12.95

Lifetime: 4 - 6 months

Total yearly cost: $26- $39


Potential yearly savings: $51-$154


Clothing


You can save SO much money by thrifting, swapping clothing with friends, and just buying less and putting an end to impulse shopping. Limit your wardrobe to only things that you love. Buying second hand allows you to get items you may normally want to buy that are out of budget that are now within your budget. Depop is one of my favorite apps to shop from and I always check out what is on there before purchasing new. I also wrote a blog listing some of my favorite second hand shops. They are small and have their own style to them so your not searching through a whole lot and get overwhelmed (or bored) by the mass amount to look through.


If you haven't already, check out my shop where I hand paint second hand jackets to give them a new life and hopefully a new home! I've also upcycled fabric scraps that normally would be thrown away and made some super cute scrunchies. Subscribe to my site to stay in the loop of upcoming design and new product releases this year.



So tell me.. what changes are you going to make in 2021 and how much are you planning to save? ☺️