7 Tips To Save Money & Make Less Waste

It may seem impossible in our modern, cellophane-wrapped lives, but there are people out there who succeed in creating ZERO waste in their lives. Thatís nada, nil, zilch.†That means food, furniture, packaging, clothing — anything and everything avoids the landfill.†It takes a lot of thoughtfulness and planning to adopt such a lifestyle. While creating no waste is something to certainly strive towards, some people may deem it too difficult or impossible for themselves, depending on their†local resources (or lack thereof). But with a few key tips, you can help reduce your trash footprint easily and significantly.†Here are a few tips to help you†live a little more sustainably in your†day-to-day… † † † ††

Stop buying single-serving items. Items that are individually wrapped or bottled are not only more expensive per unit than bulk items, but they create more waste as well. Items include yogurt, snacks, nut butters, carbonated drinks, beer, and chocolates. As often as you can, buy foods with as little excess packaging per serving as possible. If you do opt for a 6 pack of beer instead of a refillable growler, make sure to recycle the bottles and cardboard, or use one of these. ††

Limit/give up processed foods. Most things that are heavily packaged are processed. Not only is the packaging wasteful, but processed foods are, more often than not, less healthy than their plastic-free counterparts. Fill your grocery cart with wholesome foods like fruits, veggies, bulk items, and proteins, and supplement with a few of your favorite treats — †being sure to recycle as much of their packaging as you can. If you can’t buy items in friendly packaging, like certain condiments, try making your own and storing them in mason jars. That finicky ketchup bottle is always more trouble than it’s worth, anyhow. ††

Buy in bulk. Dried beans, nuts, spices, grains, flours, granola, treats — all of these can be found in any good bulk section of your local market. Some markets also have bulk nut butters, cleaning supplies, oils, and vinegars, so you can bring in your own bottles and fill up! Bonus: in the long run, buying in bulk is significantly cheaper because you aren’t paying a premium for all the packaging. † † ††

Use your own bags. If there is one change you should adopt today, itís this one. Bringing your own reusable bags saves millions of plastic bags from the landfills each year. Take it one step further by bringing your own reusable bags and bottles for bulk items as well. Or, if youíre like me, you can save all of those plastic bulk bags and reuse them rather than buying Ziplocs. They are great for baking: freezing baked goods, chilling dough, or gifting treats to friends and family. ††

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Bring your own water — EVERYWHERE! You and your canteen are going to become best friends, if you arenít already. Carrying a reusable, BPA-free water bottle around not only reduces plastic water bottle waste, but it also encourages you to stay hydrated throughout the day, which is great for your health. And come on, who really wants to pay a buck for a couple of gulps of plastic encased water when you could have it for free?†

Ditch paper towels. Use dish or microfiber towels for the kitchen — they are washable and can be much more attractive. Plus, paper towels are pretty pricey for how long they last. You could get one decent dishtowel for the price of one 6-pack of Brawny. Which one do you think will last longer? Also look into natural bristle and wood scrubbing brushes or natural material sponges for cleaning dishes. ††

Recycle, repurpose, and compost. Most of what you throw out can probably fall into one of these categories. One-sided mail can be used for notes and lists. Shipping boxed can be reused or brought to a recycling center. Food scraps can be broken down into a nutritious fertilizer. To start, keep a separate bin in your kitchen for recyclables and a covered bucket for compost. (If you donít have a garden, contact a local farm to see if they are interested in donated compost.) Odds are, if youíve followed the above tips, your trash can will be significantly less full by the end of the week. † † ††

In reality, it is great to strive to live without making any waste whatsoever, but that doesnít mean you must live zero waste make any difference on the planet. If you are interested in adopting a zero waste†lifestyle, check out Zero Waste Home. But by making some thoughtful changes and reducing unnecessary consumption, you can easily both reduce your trash impact and save money without breaking a sweat. † † † †

What other tips do you have for reducing waste? † †

113 comments

Ron Holis
Ron Holis1 years ago

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Melania Padilla
Melania P2 years ago

Sharing, I do all except composting :(

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Serena A.
Serena A.2 years ago

I’m sure that frugality is a lifestyle. You can’t be frugal just for a few days and think that it will make you wealthier. It’s important to value your money and not to throw it away on things you don’t need. To my opinion, the biggest problem lies down in small expenses. You think that a few dollars doesn’t mean anything for your budget but you’ll be surprised – they do! There are many simple hints we can use in daily life to save our money, the most important is to pay attention. Today you might be using PersonalMoneyService.com for financial assistance but incase you’ll be savvy then already in a month you can put money to the emergency fund to build your own savings.

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Magnus Anderson
Magnus Anderson2 years ago

Living in Sweden as I do means living up with recycling most of your items. But since a while ago I also strive against buying items that are hard or impossible to recycle. All should be possible to recycle and most of the rest should be compostable. As I started doing this and also made sure as much as possible went in to the compost I was utterly shocked about how little waste there actually was left.

We now fill up 1 bag of waste for the household, of two people, in 2 weeks.

In Sweden we are able to recycle very much at locations distributed in every town. There you recycle batteries, metal, glass, plastic, cardboard and newspapers. During the past few years it's also been adopted by towns to have a composting service where you put your compost and it's picked up with the garbage.

Every little thing that are recycle are for the benefit of our world.

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Angela K.
Angela K2 years ago

Thank you

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Stardust Noel
Stardust Noel2 years ago

People who live alone can't buy in bulk, whatever it is in bulk , for me, would go bad before I could use it all.

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Sharon Stein
Sharon Stein2 years ago

I have become more careful!

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Donna T.
Donna T2 years ago

thank you for posting

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feather w.
Feather W2 years ago

we need to change to plastic made from corn husks and corn cobs..

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Kathryn M.
Kathryn M2 years ago

Thank you!

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