Save Money, Save the Planet – 5 Simple Things You Can Do Now to Save Money and the Environment

It is an amazing thing that many of the things you can do to save money are also things you can do to save the planet. Simple changes in your life can add up to bigger savings in the bank, and a smaller carbon footprint. Make these simple changes in your household and you can feel good that you are helping the environment and saving money!

1. Use cloth instead of paper.

The corporations are trying hard to get us to use disposable everything. It adds to their bottom line if you use something once and throw it away, and then need to buy more. What adds to their bottom line takes away from yours, so do your best to move away from disposable anything.
About a year ago I started using cloth towels instead of paper towels and cloth napkins instead of paper napkins. I hardly notice a difference in my laundry, but my bank account can see the difference.

2. Walk whenever you can.

I’ve recently moved into a small town and I can walk everywhere. I walk to the post office, I walk to the library, I walk to the grocery store. My car sits in the driveway and I am not using gas. Plus, when I walk to the grocery store I am less likely to buy what I don’t need, I know I’ll need to carry it home! Walking is an all around winner. When I walk I am saving money, saving the environment, and improving my health!

3. Using Baking Soda and Vinegar to clean.

Instead of using toxic chemicals to clean, try using products you can eat! Baking Soda and Vinegar are cheap,and I buy in bulk so there is less packaging to throw away. I know the products are safe for my family and for the environment. Yes, sometimes it takes a little more elbow grease to clean without chemicals, but I see that as a benefit also, I am using more calories to clean!

4. Drink Tap Water

Despite the popularity of bottled water, the truth is, in most places treated municipal tap water is just as safe, or even safer, than purchased bottled water. If you really can’t bring yourself to drink water straight from the tap, then invest in a good inline water filter and use your own refillable bottles.

5. Buy Used

You can get multiple benefits by buying used items. You save money, you keep something useful out of the landfill, and if you buy from a thrift store that supports a charity you can be supporting a worthwhile cause at the same time. I bought all my cloth towels and napkins from a thrift store and they were practically new and cost almost nothing. In fact, 4 cloth napkins cost less than one roll of paper towels!

There you go, 5 simple things you can do right now that will save you money and help the environment!

Shop Smart: Use the Internet to Save Money

I have to say that I love the internet. Mostly because it saves me money. By combining online discounts and using a cash back service I save a few hundred dollars a month on normal household purchase. I am going to walk you through a recent $91 purchase of mine and show you how I saved over 40% shopping online instead of going to my local store.

First off I saved money by not driving to the store. The store is 5 miles away, my car gets 20 miles to the gallon, so going there and back I didn’t use 1/2 gallon of gas, add the wear and tear on the car and I have saved over $2.

Then I started my shopping at Ebates. Ebates is a website that pays you cash back for all you shopping. And I am not talking about a small amount. I don’t need to shop at special stores, and I still get all the other discounts I am entitled to. Ebates sends out checks quarterly and I usually get a check every quarter. In this case the store I am shopping at is being featured and offering 12% cash back! This unusual, most cash back amounts are in the 3-5% range. On my $91 purchase I earn $11 cash back! Very nice.

Selecting the store is important This time I am shopping for common household supplies. Cleaning products, toilet paper, feminine products, soap, etc. With the aforementioned 12% cash back it is an easy decision to shop at Drugstore.com. Even without the Ebates cash back they usually have very good prices compared to my local store. They also have their own incentive program. With every purchase I earn “bucks” that I can spend on a future purchase. With this purchase I earn 4 “bucks” but I will use that on a future purchase so I don’t count it here.

I shop the sales and find some really good deals. I save over $20 compared to what I would have spent at my local store. Once again this is a bit unusual, I normally save around 10%. As usual I make sure that my order is over $50 so I qualify for free shipping saving another $5. (First time customers get free shipping with just a $25 order!)

Total savings $2 car expenses, $11 Ebates cash back, $20 saved over local store prices, plus $5 saved on shipping.
My total savings are $38 or 34% of what I would have paid if I had gone to my local store.

That is just one example, but it is not the only one. Using a combination of Ebates and online store discounts I have also save $35 on a pair of $105 shoes. I bought a backpacking tent for $99 that was selling for over $200 at my local store. (That was a clearance purchase with a 20% discount for first time customers combined with a 5% Ebates cash back. )

How much have you saved by shopping online? I would really like to know!