What’s In Your Garbage?
Posted by Gail | Filed under SensibleSpending
Can’t find money to save? Hey, maybe it’s time to take a gander at your garbage. North Americans throw away gobs of stuff every year. You need look no further than those ads for Ziplock containers to see some startling stats on just how much money we waste. If you’re wasting money, shame on you. If you’re wasting the money you should be saving, you don’t have the good sense God gave a goose! Time to dive into your garbage to find the clues for where you could be saving.
One-use products: If you’re using paper towels, plastic cutlery, disposable cleaning wipes or plastic bags, you’re not only doing your environment a disservice, you’re wasting potential savings. Yes, single use products may be convenient, but reusable options are cheaper.
Take out containers: Eating take out cost ten times what it cost when you prep your food at home. Meal plan so you have something quick and easy for those busy nights. And cook big and freeze two portions for those nights when you just can’t be bothered to cook.
Wasted food: Here’s one that I think shows a decided lack of imagination. I get that your veggies and fruit may be moving close to their best-before date, but that doesn’t mean they need to go into the garbage. You can put all kids of veggies in a stew or a pot of chili, freeze it and have it ready for the night you just don’t feel like cooking. (Hey, now you’re saving on take-out too! Don’t say I never do nuthin’ for ya.)
Gobs of packaging: Much of the stuff we buy comes in all kinds of packaging. Pre-packaged food is expensive. So are tins of spaghetti or packages of snack foods. The home-made stuff tastes better and is better for you. And don’t get me started on all that packaging that comes wrapped around a small item like a zip drive or a DVD. If you’ve got loads of packaging in your recycling, you may have a wicked case if I-want-it-I-buy-it. Trim back to just meeting your needs for a while, and you’ll be amazed at how much that want-money adds up to in terms of savings.
Commercial cleaning products: They’re easy to use. They’re efficient. But if you’re paying gobs of money for brand-name detergent and household cleaners, you could make your own and save. This is becoming a trend as consumers recognize that home-made cleaners (vinegar and baking-soda) are not only cheaper, they can be better for your health. Don’t want to pass on the great smell? Go with an essential oil in your favourite flavor and you’ll still have money to save.
Single-use water bottles: Still? Really? Because your tap water sucks, or because you’re too lazy to fill a bottle and keep it in the fridge? Get yourself a Britta and you’ll save a ton of money rather than buying cases and cases of bottled water. And if you’re tap water tastes fine (you have tasted your tap water, right?) then let good enough be good enough.