One of my first thoughts when I first started looking into going waste free, or at least wasting less was amount of money it was going cost. ‘I can’t afford to waste less, it must cost a fortune!’.
But I can honestly say that I was wrong. I have found that I’m actually spending less, and here’s how:
I have committed to only buying clothes from charity shops or second hand
For a friends party I treated myself to a dress which cost a whopping £2! I also had a lesson in patience the other week when managed to get a £50 Topshop dress I had longed for a couple of years ago for a fiver in a charity shop.
I always look to buy second hand
If I need anything for the house I buy it second hand which is always cheaper. We recently inherited a dining table, and I managed to bag 5 dining chairs for £19 from a car boot sale. That’s definitely cheaper than Ikea.
I make a packed lunch
I work in the town centre and I was sometimes spending nearly a fiver on my lunch. Now I make a sandwich or salad and I’m saving a fortune.
I stop and think before I buy
I’ve always been guilty of seeing-wanting-buying. But now I stop and think, ‘do I really need that? Is that purchase going to have a negative impact on the planet?’ The answer is usually, no, I don’t need it and yes, it is going negatively impact the planet. So I talk myself out of buying most things.
I make meals from scratch
Packaged food is really quite expensive! So I recently made 18 veggie burgers (talk about bulk cooking – there’s only 2 of us in our house!) for less than £5, using beetroot, carrot, sweet potato and any other bits I had lying around. I’ve frozen them and that will do us for 9 meals. Winner.
I stick to the veg
While I’m on the subject of vegetables – being vegetarian has saved so much money!! Vegetables are so super cheap, versatile, come loose without packaging so you can just buy what you need. They are, quite literally, a gift from god!
I invested in reusables
I haven’t bought a bottle of water in goodness knows how long! And if I forget my reusable coffee cup I don’t allow myself a coffee. Cruel, I know.
I’m (in the process of) making changes to my beauty routine
While I’m still figuring out my waste free beauty regime, I am faced with a depleting make up supply. I have basically stopped wearing so much make up in order to ration it. Make up costs a bloomin’ fortune, so I will inevitably save money by wearing less or none at all.
It’s the little things
There are so many other little things that I’m not spending money on; cling film, snacks, hair product etc, it all adds up. And I might use these savings to buy something that helps me save even more. I bought my lovely coffee cup as a reward to myself for spending so little and saving so much. Investing can help you spend less in the long.
Unfortunately it can be the case that the eco option is a little bit more expensive, so for example, if you decide that making your own cleaning products isn’t for you and you opt to use products such as Method or EcoCover, these can be more expensive. But look out for when they’re on offer and stock up or bulk buy!
It’s not about the money
I’m not doing this for the money, but it’s certainly a nice little side perk. I would have gladly spent a bit more in order to waste less, but if I’m actually saving money, then there really is no question. I’m inevitably going to face hurdles, but I enjoy being creative and discovering new ways of being thrifty and still waste less.
Have you found that by wasting less, you’re spending less? Share your tips for being trifty while wasting less below.