There were far too many ideas to put in the first post on saving in 2016, so here are a few more simple things you can do to save money while being eco-friendly. If you have a limited budget, start with the free ones and then try and add another step as you can afford them. In the long run, the savings will far outweigh the initial cost!
Go Green to Save Green in 2016!
Money Saving Gardening Ideas
- ·Plant a vegetable, herb, or container garden. This will save lots of green and is a very green thing to do!
- · Plant deciduous trees on the east and west side of your house to keep sun out of house, thereby reducing AC bills. In the winter, the leaves will fall off the trees and allow the sun to come into the windows to provide warmth.
- · A cheaper, quicker way to provide shade now is to grow an annual vine in front of windows to provide shade in summer months. Hyacinth beans grow quickly and are beautiful where I live. (And a bonus, the hummingbird visited the vines.)
- · Shred paper (to protect against identity theft) and use it in the compost pile.
- · Start a worm bin with your kitchen scraps (vermicomposting) for use around flowers, herbs and vegetables. Save money not spending money on expensive chemical fertilizers that are not environmentally friendly any way.
- · Mulch, mulch, mulch. You can use things like leaves, grass clippings, straw and compost.
- · Collect rain in rain barrels to water the gardens.
- · Use the boiled egg water, water from the dehumidifier, or water that ran off your vegetables when cleaning them, to water plants.
- · Plant native plants for your area, they may need to be watered less.
- · Choose plants that can thrive with other plants with similar needs.
- · Plant for wildlife. Planting the right plant can attract birds, butterflies and bees.
- · Build healthy soil with the use of organic matter. Compost with things that you may have on hand such as grass clippings, leaves, and old kitchen scraps such as lettuce leaves, old banana peels, etc. (No meat or dairy)
- · Check out what the neighbor is putting in his trash too but check to see if they use synthetic chemicals.
- · Compost healthy garden wastes.
- · Composting for fertilizer and increasing soil health is not expensive and very eco-friendly.
- · Composting attracts earthworms, so let them aerate and fertilize your soil. No need for tilling, the earthworms will do it for you.
- · Join a garden club for seed swapping or plant exchanging.
- · Control disease and pests through natural cures first. Last year I used the Cornell recipe for powdery mildew on my roses and it worked!
- · Water during the early morning to prevent diseases that spread when leaves are wet and to prevent evaporation during the heat of the day.
- · Mulch to suppress weeds and hold in moisture.
- · Use newspapers in your compost and also as mulch. Don’t use the shiny kind of papers just the dull paper.
- · Use cardboard for composting and also can be used before laying down the mulch. (Make sure their isn’t any tape on the box it won’t break down.)
- · Check with places like Craigslist or FreeCycle for things you need for the garden or other projects. Talk to your neighbors and friends. Remember to rethink, remake, reuse and recycle. Recently, I found things that I had been looking for the coming garden season. Of course my price had to be free and close to where I live. In the winter, people don’t want to get out because of the cold so the odds are greater that you can actually pick some of this unwanted stuff up. One neighbor saves coffee grounds and filters for my worm bin. The other neighbor redid her windows-so now I have old windows for some cold frames. On Craigslist.com I found bags of old leaves, old stakes and chicken wire for my peas, and 5 dozen Ball canning jars. Last year I picked up a bunch of old bricks for walkways for free. You can also find plants and flowers. I went and dug about 9 currant bushes for free. Also, picked up around the corner from where I live enough rocks to use around my new pond that I am building to encourage wildlife. All of these things were free, eco-friendly and will be reused or remade into something!!!!
- Bicycle or walk short distances instead of driving.
- Change your automobiles air filter every 10,000 miles can reduce gas mileage as much as 10%.
- Check your tire pressure once monthly.
- Drive the speed limit, the faster you drive the more gas your vehicle guzzles.
- Don’t accelerate and break swiftly, uses more gas.
- Remove luggage rack and bike racks.
- Don’t need to use premium fuel unless automobile manual states to use it.
- Turn off engine if you are idling for more than 30 minutes or more.
- Get a tune up and oil change as manual states.
- Change your fuel and air filter on your automobile as the manufacturer states for optimum efficiency.
Save on Groceries
- Use coupons for items that you would normally use. Some stores offer double or triple coupons. Be sure that the item you would have bought wouldn’t have been cheaper.
- Calculate savings using the price per smallest possible unit. Usually found below shelf item on tag-calculated ounce, pound, etc.
- Read grocery circulars.
- Write up menu for the entire week before shopping. Stick to the menu and what you need for each meal. You can use items that were on sale that week for some of the meals.
- Don’t buy prepackaged foods, such as pre-cut lettuce. You will pay premium price for this.
- Plant a vegetable garden. This can save you lots of money and give you the assurance of how the food was grown.
- Plant fruit trees, and bushes.
- If you plant a garden, an economical way to preserve produce for all year would be to can, freeze, or dehydrate your food for later usage.
General Money Saving Tips
- Don’t buy your coffee out every morning, make your java at home- serve in a coffee travel mug.
- Pack your lunch for work.
- Recycle your printer cartridges. Many places like Staples Office Supplies will give you credit when you recycle your printer cartridges through them.
- Use the correct size pan on the stove for the cooking job, use lids when cooking.
- Make your own safe cleaners using baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. See our home section for some of these cleaning ideas.
- Don’t buy bottled water, buy a reusable bottle and fill at home. If you are concerned with water contaminants purchase a water filtration system.
If you can think of ideas-feel free to add them in the comments!