I’ve been settling into my new home and have been working on more ways that I can spend less and save more. As I have always considered myself to be a fairly green person I have tried to start adapting this home into that system so that I can feel more comfortable with the resources that this home is consuming.
There are many green ideas that I have been using for years that save money. I don’t own a dryer, to be honest I don’t even own a hair dryer. Why…because things dry by themselves, one of the first projects I completed when I moved was to install 2 new clothes lines. I dry outside when the weather is nice, these lines are actually across my front porch so I can use them all the time, things just take longer if its damp out. I also use clothes drying racks inside for items I don’t want flapping in the breeze or if its really wet and the moisture wont allow things to dry outside.
I try to use as few paper disposables as possible. Paper towels and napkins are great, I will admit I still buy them, but I try and use dish towels as often as possible for cleaning and wiping my hands.
Reusing items is a great way to get multiple uses out of something you are supposed to throw away. I will admit that I used to make fun of my mom for doing this, but I now reuse a zip top bag until it has holes in it or until its just too disgusting for me to keep cleaning and reusing. I also avoid using zip top bags as much as possible by packing my lunch in reusable containers such as lock n lock or Tupperware. For free versions of these I also reuse store containers such as butter and whipped topping tubs. These make great storage for leftovers, and as I mentioned they are free! Glass jars get repurposed as vases or storage containers in my craft area, and the rest go in the recycling bin.
I have also been working on not buying as many disposable waters and drinks, instead refilling a water bottle out of a filter pitcher or even your sink saves tons of money in the long run and I make a gallon of powdered low calorie drink mix and put it in a reusable water bottles as well.
Cleaning products have all sorts of nasty things in them. I’ve recently started looking into making a few of my own. Its way cheaper and has a lot less effects on the environment.
A great multi purpose cleaner is Dawn dishwashing liquid and vinegar. It cleans pretty great and is super cheap. Also there are tons of ideas out there to make your own dishwasher detergent, clothes washing detergent, hand soap, etc. etc. My cousin and I have been talking about these recipes for weeks, her family loves the new clothes detergent she has made, and the recipe made TEN gallons for about the cost of what one normal store bought jug would cost. As I work on making some of these I will share my specific instructions and costs with you.
I replaced my propane heating system with a new energy efficient heat pump. I felt that my budget just couldn’t sustain filling up a receptacle bimonthly for hundreds and hundreds of dollars. Even with the heat pump I still try and be as thrifty as possible. I turn my thermostat back during the day when I am gone, and even when I am home, I keep it as low as possible. I will throw on a long sleeve shirt and will cover up with a blanket if I am sitting and watching television or whatever. Its not uncomfortable just economical. In warmer months I utilize the ceiling fans as much as possible to help with lower A/C costs. Having your home insulated well and having energy efficient windows are both things that help with heating and cooling costs as well. Change your filters every month! Proper air flow to your heat pump and A/C is crucial for efficiency! Filters are not expensive and will save you money in the long run.
Some people also choose to put there hot water heaters on a timer so that it only runs when they are home or close vents in rooms or areas that aren’t commonly used. As well as unplug fans, lamps, small appliances in the kitchen, spare room televisions etc. in rooms that aren’t being used.
Fix dripping faucets and toilets that run. Your not only wasting a valuable resource your wasting money. If your unable to fix that drip immediately collect that water to use on your plants or to water your dog. Outdoor water collection systems can be used to water gardens as well. I plan on making a rain barrel soon.
I could go on for days, but I hope these few tips can offer a common sense approach to saving money by being greener.