Wednesday, May 2, 2012

10 ways to Save Money, Save your Health and Save the Environment...

These are all changes I have made. So, I know they can be tough adjustments, but I also know they save money!  I hope you can improve your health and the environment while saving money!

1.  Use Washcloths for dish washing and Hand Towels for drying instead of sponges and paper towels.

  • purchase a 12 pack of inexpensive thin washcloths for around $4.00, instead  of  expensive brand dishcloths that come 2 for $5 or sponges which if replaced when dirty can cost a lot.
  •  designate these washcloths for the kitchen

2.  Stop buying "SAD" drinks

  • Skip the juice, coke, energy drinks, alcohol, wine (okay for special occasions but if you suffer from chronic pain/autoimmune disease even one glass may potentially exacerbate your symptoms and/or interact negatively with your medications). 
  • Juice is not good for you for many reasons (high sugar content, preservatives, it's stripped of fiber) 
  • Soda, diet or otherwise, do we really need to go there?  
  • Try herbal tea hot or cold, water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, orange or fresh ginger. Ginger lime is my favorite combination. 
  • Use Stevia as a natural sweetener.  The flavor of stevia takes some getting used to, but didn't you have to get used to drinking coffee and alcohol?  It is no different, you just have to acquire the taste.  The liquid favored Stevia are my favorite.  They are an upfront cost but last a long time so you still save money. 
  • Use a splash of natural mineral water (not chemically carbonated) only on occasion because it is on the acidic side and you want to maintain alkalinity in your body for maximum health.  It can also get expensive if you are drinking the entire bottle.  
  • Take Green tea or Yerba Mate supplements for energy.

3  Cut and Dye your own hair 

  • This is tricky but there are many YouTube instructional videos and you can maintain a simple cut.  I have done this for the past year.  
  • Choose a low or no ammonia dye that is not permanent or harsh.  It won't  lift brown to blonde, but it will cover gray and you can go slightly darker, slightly lighter or a different shade of your natural color.  I chose to do something fun and have been using a cinnamon red/auburn on my wheat blonde locks and bonus... premature gray gives natural highlights!

4.  Buy Simple Wholesome Foods and save.

healthy inexpensive vegetable nut snack
  •  A bag of beans, or split peas can make a filling supper of chili or pea soup.  Packaged foods can actually be very expensive cereal, chips, cookies, candy bars, granola bars, crackers are all around $4 for a package.
  • Try bulk oatmeal and add fresh/frozen berries or banana.  
  • Raw almonds, dried fruit and dark chocolate chips make a great snack. 
  • Get creative and use what is left in the refrigerator and cupboards, don't waste food.  Take inventory of what you have and so a search for highly rated recipes with those ingredients. 
  • You would be amazed what you can do with a bag of potatoes!  This might be my next blog. My favorite way to fix potatoes is homemade oven fries.  You can make your own healthy vegetarian chili cheese fries with this bag of potatoes and a bag of pinto beans! I try and use cheese as a     condiment now it saves on money and is healthier. Don't get me started on factory farms...try and buy dairy that is cruelty free. Kids will also love this meal.

5.  Cook Meals at Home don't eat out

  • There are many recipes that take little prep time and are much more healthy and satisfying than a trip through the drive through and may even save in future medical bills.
  • Make your own coffee and cut back...I love instant coffee and I used to be a coffee snob.  I have one cup a day with creamer (that is one of my "cheats")

6.  Get rid of your cable/satelitte t.v. and watch Netflix $7.99 unlimited, and other channels like,

  • You may have to wait a while for your favorite shows to come on instant streaming but ins't instant gratification what caused some of our financial woes? 
  •  If you have a family you can set these up to play on your television and it will teach you kids patience rather than instant gratification.    

7.  Make your own beauty products using  simple inexpensive ingredients.

  • Witch hazel with a little essential oil (that can be used in multiple ways) is an inexpensive facial astringent. 
  •  For blemishes use tea tree oil at night and apply with a cotton swab instead of expensive lotions and creams.  It really works and you only need a little bit!  
  • Use coconut oil for full body moisturizing. 
  • Combine coconut oil and tea tree oil to make a great anti-fungal moisturizer for your feet.  
  • Be sure and get unrefined extra virgin so it smells nice and has all the heath benefits.
  • Cinnamon essential oil combined with Coconut oil makes a warming rub for sore feet and shoulders (it can burn a little like capsaicin creme so careful!)
  • I love these essential oils that are less than $5 for organic therapeutic grade: Cinnamon, Eucalyptus/Lemon, and Sweet Orange.  Of course, there are many other wonderful scents but they can cost a lot more.  Don't use these directly on children or pets or where they crawl/walk.  Also, make sure you are knowledgeable about essential oils before using them.  Don't use them directly on your skin. They almost always need to be diluted with a carrier oil and don't ingest them)

8.  Use trial Internet Antivirus Software or Free Versions

  • There are so many different companies with even Total Internet security that offer free 30 day trials.  I have been trying every different company from Norton, AVG, McAfee and have had free protection for 8 months.  If is somewhat of a hassle to uninstall the old software and sign up and install the new software but is worth if for premium protection.  
  • There are also many free versions available that offer less features but have decent antivirus protection if that is all you need.

9.  Make your own cleaning supplies 

  • Of course vinegar and baking soda are great for scrubbing chores.  
  • Pour vinegar down a clogged drain, spoon or funnel in baking soda and cover.  Let it sit for about an hour and follow up with boiling water. Repeat until the clog is clear.
  •  Use vinegar and essential oil to make a surface cleaning spray.  I like vinegar and eucalyptus lemon.

10.  Cut out all pricey entertainment and find free fun

Inexpensive entertainment pets children
  • I have cats.  So, I consider them my entertainment.  I play with them and make videos of their funny antics and who knows it may pay off!  The money spent on food and vet bills is worth the trade.  
  • You can also go to a park and play. Sports that consist of one ball are fun and low cost (football, basketball, soccer) 
  • Play board games, make your own if you don't have any! Kids love creating games and it's quality time with them.  Card games are great inexpensive fun, well unless you are gambling!
  • Be did people entertain themselves in the "olden days"
By making these changes, even though some may be difficult, and honestly some have been.   They could potentially save you hundreds of dollars a month and your health and environment will improve as well!   Let me know how it goes!

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