By Tammy Taylor
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With Earth Day happening this week it’s only natural to talk about how saving money oftentimes goes hand-in-had with helping the environment. Hey if I can save money and help the environment at the same time, how could I not be on board with that? Of course not every example will work for every family but you’ve got to start somewhere, eh? Pick & choose items that might work easily for your home and sit back & enjoy the savings, both environmentally in your bank account.
Cooking from scratch may be one of the largest money savers in the budget since eating out too often can rack up quite a bill in no time flat. If you don’t know how to cook start small with a beginning cookbook or internet search for easy recipes. Maybe learn to make desserts or one of your family’s favorite meals, then add to your skill little by little. I promise you it will make a HUGE difference in your budget, your health and your sense of accomplishment. To make that home-cooked meal even less expensive, try buying your staples in bulk. Many people report saving oodles of money purchasing groceries through Amazon. Be sure to check *Amazon Here to compare grocery prices, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Now that you’ve learned to cook from scratch it’s time to look at convenience mixes. You’d be astonished at how easy it is to mix up some amazing spice mixes or seasoned bread crumbs. Pour them into a recycled spice shaker, apply a label and you’re ready to go! No need to run to the store.
There are other ways to provide for yourself other than meals and spice mixes. I recently posted about how easy it is to make your very own homemade yogurt. I was astonished when I found out how easy it was to do, and by reusing 1/2-pint canning jars I’ve already placed them in single servings for quick grab-n-go access PLUS I’ve reduced landfill trash bunches. Don’t even get me started on how much healthier it is!
Finally, look at your use of disposables. So many of these things don’t really save you any time and they CERTAINLY don’t save you any money! Real plates and flatware makes a meal seem more special and there are no disposables to haul to the landfill. Cloth napkins are easy to make but if you’re sewing-impaired (like me) they are also inexpensive to buy. Since I throw them in the wash along with a regular load of laundry they literally cost nothing else to use. It seems so much more elegant to use a cloth napkin for our meals.
Here’s another easy idea: I have a small covered *Pyrex take-out container that I leave in my car. When we do enjoy an occasional meal out I grab my “take-out container” and bring it into the restaurant with me. Since the typical serving sizes at most restaurants are beyond massive I immediately place 1/2 of the meal in my Pyrex container. This keeps me from having to accept the awful styrofoam containers they typically give you (which is not recyclable in my area). When I get home I pop it in the fridge and the next day I can pull it out and heat & eat out of the same dish. Now I’ve gotten twice the value from my one meal out. When the dish is empty I simply wash the container, place the lid back on and put it back in my car. It’s always there when I need it. Why yes… I think I’m clever – why do you ask? LOL.
There are many, MANY other ways to save money & the environment at the same time. What are some of your favorite ways?
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