As we shared last week there are a few products you can make at home that would help save you money. Today we’re going to focus on items you can buy that are more eco-friendly and can either save you money or break even (in which case the earth still wins)
Cutting down on plastic bags (particularly ziploc bags): The use of ziploc bags to store snacks and leftovers has become such a habit that it can be hard to break. Thinking through the main two uses there are different ways to cut down on using them
1. Snacks on the go: Yes it is easy to grab a ziploc throw some snacks in and give to your child, or yourself for on the go. But it is estimated the 4 trillion bags are thrown out worldwide every year
Solution 1: Invest in some reusable snack bags for around town. These for example on Amazon cost $15 for 5 bags and can be reused countless times saving both money and the environment.
Solution 2: If you need to have throw away bags for convenience, consider finding compostable snack bags like these on Amazon, or at your local store. They cost $5.00 for 50 or 10 cents per bag. This may be slightly more than ziploc bags but I often use the same ones multiple times. These would likely be net zero savings but better for the environment
2. Leftovers- you likely already have some tupperware containers you use. If not head to your local store and stock up on a variety of sizes. Want to save even more? Reuse containers you already have (jam jars, sauce jars, large yogurt containers, etc) that can be washed and reused at zero cost.
Reusable water bottle and coffee cup
Takes some initial purchasing but then no more buying paper towels and napkins! I store all the dirty ones in a wet bag like this and wash them once a week. Invest now in these items to cut down costs and waste!
It’s hard to avoid the daily barrage of articles about climate change and the environment. It’s also daunting to think of all the ways to cut down on waste and help do your part. I’ve made adjustments little by little to our lifestyle to cut costs AND cut waste.
Today I’ll share 2 ways to make eco-friendly cleaning products at home (with very little time as well) to help save on household costs.
Homemade eco-friendly products
Everyday cleaning spray-- Buy an empty spray bottle($1 at Dollar Tree) and make your own cleaner. Buy a gallon jug of white vinegar at your local grocery store (~$3). Fill bottle half way with vinegar and fill the rest with water. Voila! Antibacterial cleaning spray. Note: The vinegar smell dissipates after it dries. Want a nicer smell just add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice.
For $4 you get essentially 2 gallons of cleaning spray. Comparable eco friendly cleaning spray (ie Method) costs about $4 for ¼ gallon bottle. I use about a bottle a month.
Cost Savings Breakdown
12 bottle of brand name products= $48
Homemade spray= $6
Total Yearly Savings=$42
Laundry soap- This was has been a huge cost savings for us with 2 very dirty boys in the house. Especially when we were cloth diapering. Plus you can just forget about buying it as often. I’ll let this article do all the explaining but in quick summary it costs about $20 to make 80 gallons of laundry detergent. Comparable ecofriendly bulk laundry soap costs about $20 for 2 gallons. I use about 3- 10 gallon buckets a year.
Cost Savings Breakdown
Cost of name brand ecofriendly laundry soap (for 30 gallons)= $300
Cost of homemade soap(30 gallons)= ~$10
Total yearly savings: $290
In addition to the savings and using environmentally friendly products, you also cut down on packaging by buying materials in bulk. For the above you are also saving about 25 plastic bottle. Win-Win-Win.
Stayed tuned for the next post about other easy ways to save the environment and money!
FinGoal = Financial·Goal
FinGoal= End·Goal (Fin is French word for end)
The year 2016. We just had our second baby and at the same time bought a house whose mortgage was significantly more than our previous rent was. In keeping up with the kids and expenses of purchasing a house, we realized we had $6,000 in credit card bills. We were stressed out knew we had to pay this off as soon as possible.
We had never really set a budget before. We had decent jobs and low rent and spent within our means. We had no reason to track our spending. Or so we thought.
We sat down and put down all the recurring expenses we had ( mortgage, car payments, insurance, utilities, childcare etc) and then estimated what we spent on everything else (groceries, kid stuff, entertainment, etc). We also signed up for the Mint app to track our expenses against these budgets.
To our surprise we were spending more than we thought in certain areas (groceries for example). It took at least 6 months to a year to really know where we were spending our money throughout the year. We adjusted our budgets for monthly expenses. We started budgeting for things we wanted to save for gradually (home improvement, vacations) And lastly, to budget for unanticipated expenses (car repairs, home repairs)
That is how we got a hold of our spending. But to do all that we learned how to cut corners and save within those categories. And to really think about every purchase made. When you are consistently seeing your transactions and having to assign them to budget categories it puts in another checkpoint of “do I really need this?” or “is there a cheaper way to do this?”
Is there a cheaper way to be doing this?
It’s that second question that we are really prioritizing here at FinGoal. We’re not here to tell you not to spend money. We want to help guide you to smarter spending so you can take advantage of deals, advice, tips that us and others may have that you never thought about. Small savings here and there that can enable you to reach other financial goals you may have ( paying off credit cards, saving for retirement, that big vacation, a house, etc)
While your personalized FinSights will give you specific and actionable advice targeted just to you, this blog will provide more general cost saving practices to better help you spend your money.