As some of you may know, I love to save money. I will do almost anything to save a dollar. And, if I can do something that is good for the environment, and that will save me money, well, there is just about nothing I wouldn’t do to achieve it. That got me thinking about all of the Zero Waste hacks that I use that also help me save a dollar – and I thought I’d share 3 with you.
Pot Luck Dinners
We usually meal prep most of our meals for the first half of the week on Sundays, and by Wednesday, we usually have a bunch of leftovers in the fridge. So usually, Wednesday night is our pot luck night, where we simply eat the odds and ends left in the fridge. Sometimes, we will add some pasta, rice or bread, depending on what we already have, but we make sure everything that we have already cooked gets eaten before it goes bad.
We also cook pot luck meals at the end of the week, where we use up any fruits or vegetables that are going to go bad and make a soup, casserole, or stew dish for dinner. Those kinds of meals can basically take any kind of vegetable that you have left, and we usually make a dessert with the fruit.
Restricting your budget
I think a budget is one of the most important tools to help you with your finances, and with your Zero Waste journey. Many people I have spoken to recently say that they do have a budget, but once bills and savings are taken out, they simply give themselves permission to spend the rest. If you are trying to reduce your spending and reduce the number of items that come into your home, then a zero-based budget might be the thing for you.
A zero-based budget simply means that no dollar is left unallocated in your budget. If it isn’t used to pay a bill, allocated to savings or allocated to be spent on something specific, then it should go into a fund for unexpected expenses. If you leave all of your remaining money in your account, you are more likely to spend it on impulse purchases.
Use it up challenges
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you might have already heard me talk about ‘use it up’ challenges. This is where you vow not to purchase any more of a specific item until you use up what you have. This works really well for cosmetics, pens, notebooks, basically any of the little things that we tend to always think that we need more of. Coming from a former stationary-a-holic, this has really saved me a lot of money over the past few years. For example, in the last two years, I still have not run out of pens or notebooks, and I estimate that this has saved me up to $100 in stationary I would have purchased otherwise.
Do you think living a low impact lifestyle saves you money? I would love to hear how Zero Waste or minimalism has impacted your spending habits on your journey in the comments below.