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Going Green On A Budget

I’ve always maintained that going green doesn’t need to cost the earth or cost your wallet.

For various reasons, we have found ourselves in a financial tight spot this month, and it would be good to try to save some extra pennies. This happens to everyone and I think we need to talk about it more than we do. It’s easy to find yourself in a middle-class culture of saying ‘yes’ when all you want to do is say ‘no’ because you can’t afford it.

What we already do

We already save money by using cloth nappies and wipes, and using second hand clothes at every opportunity – free where possible, cheapest ebaying when necessary!

We always take our own lunches to nursery and school, and my husband is an advocate for working through lunches so doesn’t often eat much (I don’t endorse skipping lunches as a rule of thumb). Packed lunches usually consist of leftovers or a variety of bread and cheese…I call it fridge boxes as we usually have a bit of everything that’s in the fridge (cheese/ham/cucumber/pepper/tomato/boiled egg).

Birthday and Christmas presents are usually also second hand hand-me-downs or from the charity shop, ‘home-made’ or at the very least kept to a minimal. I don’t believe in heaps and heaps of presents, I personally don’t think it helps give children an appreciation of the cost of things, or the care they should take in looking after them.

We try to make do and mend where possible such as homemade present bags and deciding that actually, we don’t need the latest ‘thing’ whether it be a gadget, a toy, or a phone. (Talking about phones, it is my intention when my trusty samsung eventually is no longer usable, to purchase a Fairphone mobile which is both ethical and repairable so lasts for a lot, lot longer than phones currently for sale. )

We mostly shop at Lidl as it is our nearest supermarket but also is very cost effective. We buy a veg bag from Bellfield Organic Nursery which both ensures we have a healthy, balanced diet, and supports buying local. Our veg bag costs £11 per week and more than does for our 2 adult, 2 small children (age 2 and 4). I can make this stretch for providing meals for other people too, as our church regularly supports those who are going through hard times.

I tend to try and make our own fakeaways as take aways can be quite expensive, and from a vegetarian point of view, can be really quite disappointing anyway!

Even if I don’t use many of the recipes, following Feed Your Family for 20 quid always inspires me to keep thinking about the money I spend, and how I use the food I have.

We are big fans of Martin Lewis Money Saving Expert and try to use the information to save money on all things that don’t have an obvious ‘eco’ option.

What we are going to do as extra money-saving measures

Now I am going to try to put into action a bit more my theory of ‘thrifty green’ a bit more by attempting a thrifty three weeks! I’ll be posting about my endeavours and attempting to give you a cost price per item. The areas I hope to save money on are: walking more and using the car less, cheaper meals for ourselves and others, cheap presents (we’ve just been blessed with a new niece/ cousin), another cheap birthday event (Youngest turns 2 in a couple of weeks), and possibly a few other things.

Do let me now what it is that you do to save money, especially if it is something in line with ‘green’ living! I would love to chat!

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