Can your shopping habits be both budget-friendly and eco-friendly? Yes, believe it or not, it’s possible to save money when you shop and also keep the environment in mind. Start by looking for digital coupons and using money-saving apps. Also, read on to find out how you can remain true to your eco-conscious principles without spending a small fortune.
Go for quality over quantity
Instead of buying cheaper products that you’ll have to buy (and trash) again and again, invest in higher-quality items that last longer. Yes, they may cost more initially, but in the long run you’ll buy much less stuff. Search online for clothing deals, as well as discounts on shoes and accessories, to stretch your dollars as far as possible without sacrificing quality. You can find promo codes, coupons, cash back offers, and other discounts on websites like Rakuten.
Use cash back credit cards
Generally speaking, when you are trying to save money, it doesn’t make sense to use credit cards at all because you’ll end up paying so much more in interest. For example, U.S. News indicates that if you have a $5,000 credit balance with an 18.9% annual rate and only pay the bare minimum payments, you could end up paying over $19,000 in interest and charges before paying it off in 30 years. But in some instances, it actually makes financial sense to use a credit card. If you have a cashback card, consider using it on everyday purchases. However, this comes with one big caveat – you must be disciplined enough not to go over you monthly budget and to pay off the card as soon as you receive the bill to avoid any interest.
Buy local whenever possible
Shopping from local merchants helps put money back into your own community. However, it’s also good for the environment, too. When you buy goods that are shipped from other parts of the world, natural resources are often wasted and potentially damaging gases are emitted during transport. When you buy products that are created, harvested, or manufactured locally, you can eliminate this issue. Plus, by shopping local, you’ll save shipping costs, too.
Use reusable bags
One of the most obvious ways to go green with your shopping is to stop using plastic bags. Instead, invest in a few durable, reusable shopping bags that you can use time and time again at the grocery store and everywhere else you shop. According to ConservingNow, approximately 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are consumed worldwide each year, billions of which end up as litter. Fortunately, these days many retailers are beginning to charge customers extra if you don’t utilize reusable bags. Therefore, ditching your plastic bags is a practice that is both eco- and budget-conscious.
Host a clothing swap
At least every six months, clean out your closet and get rid of the things you don’t need. This will help you live a more minimalistic and eco-friendly lifestyle. You can donate your belongings, or host a clothing swap with a few families in your neighborhood. This will allow you the opportunity to rid yourself of unwanted items while also finding “new to you” clothing for yourself and your family without spending any money at all.
By researching for discounts and deals, you can save money on everything from grocery shopping to Christmas gifts. For clothing, furniture, and other items, it’s typically in your best interest to pay for higher quality items that will last longer rather than cheap ones that will break quickly and need to be replaced. By shopping smart, you will end up buying less – which is good for the environment and for your wallet.