This month we published our Green Guide to Saving Money and The Planet. With 100 eco-friendly tips to save money, it's certainly worth a read.
But if you want some really quick guidance on how to save money fast, this month, without having to think too much - this post is for you!
Reduce your food waste - saving up to £60 month
Shower for 1 minute less, bathe less frequently - savings average £15 a month for a household
Take a reusable coffee cup and water bottle out every time - savings from £15 - £45 per person per month
Pack lunch for work or day trip - savings up to £4 per person per day
Use reusable wipes - average family savings £3 per month
Reduce Food Waste
The average household wastes £60 a month on food that could be used. And with food prices rising - one estimate is over £270 a year for the average food bill.
We’re not talking egg shells or chicken bones, it's perfectly good food that is thrown away instead of being eaten. Food that has gone off or spoilt, out of date, bought but not wanted, leftovers from your meal, bread crusts, veggie scraps.
The best way to save yourselves this £60 a month is to keep food out of the bin!
- Buy only what you need - write a list and stick to it, don't be tempted by offers of getting one free if it is something you won't use! If you can, buy loose fruit and veg, that way you will only buy exactly the amount you want.
- Use a meal planner - make sure to include everything you have bought before it goes out of date (important with meats, everything else just has to pass the 'sniff test'!)
- Store food correctly - cucumbers last longer out of the fridge! For this and lots of other tips, like keeping salad leaves fresh please look at the expert's A-Z Guide to Food Storage from Love Food hate Waste.
- Make your fridge and freezer work for you. To keep food fresh for longest, turn down your fridge temperature to 4 degrees C. If your food or drink is in danger of going off before you can use it up, freeze some or all of it for another day. You can freeze milk, cheese, bananas, even wine! Check out this freezing guide from Hubbub for what and how to freeze.
- Don't let food become waste - keep your older fruit and veg separate on a shelf or in a bowl and make sure to use it up first - even if that bunch of fresh asparagus is tempting you to eat it first - use those wilting greens! Have a few recipes you can adapt. Celery makes a perfect soup with veggie scraps stock (see below!) So does lettuce! Stir fries, soups and stews are great ways to use up any old veggies! Zero Waste Chef even has a recipe for Shop The Fridge Soup!
- Use your scraps! You can save any peelings, ends of carrot, celery, onion skins, etc in the freezer, until you have enough to make a vegetable stock. Simply pop all the scraps in a pan of water and simmer for around an hour. Strain and use in soups, gravy, sauces or anywhere you would use a stock cube. Full of taste and nutrients, it will save you buying stock pots or cubes. Potato, sweet potato, beetroot and carrot peelings can be crisped in the oven whilst you are cooking a meal. With a sprinkle of salt or herbs and a dash of oil, these can be a good alternative to packets of expensive root vegetable crisps.
- Eat your leftovers- pasta, rice, roast dinner- most meals can be turned into lunch for the next day or a yummy treat like bubble and squeak.
- Think outside of the box! Even if you always throw away your crusts or strain tinned vegetable or chick peas, there are ideas and recipes to use up these seemingly unusable bits of food. Love Food Hate Waste have a brilliant 'Recipe Finder'- you can pop your food 'waste' item into the search bar and one or more recipes will be suggested.
- Look out for 'Wonky' or 'just past it's best' in your supermarket. As long as you know you are going to be able to use or freeze these items, you can make great savings as well as preventing food waste in the supermarket.
Saving: £60 a month
Bathe and shower less
- Bathe babies less frequently. In recent years it’s become the norm for babies and children to be bathed every day. But young children don’t sweat like adults do, and experts suggest bathing them 2-3 times a week is healthier, providing they have a daily ‘top and tail wash’. It is estimated it costs between 30-90p to run a bath, so by dropping down from nightly to twice a week can save you between £75 and £223 a year – plus of course reducing energy and water waste!
Shorter showers. An 8-minute shower costs around 11p for energy, so a daily shower for a household of four will cost around £160 a year, plus water rates. An easy way to reduce this is by showering for one minute less, which will knock off £7 per person per year. Alternatively, consider showering less frequently than everyday.
Saving: Average Household £15 a month
Take a coffee cup and water bottle out every day
- Download the Refill App and keep your water bottle topped up all day for free with this great app that will show you where refill stations and public water fountains are near you. They could be in petrol stations, shops and cafes as well as parks and high streets. Your nearest one might be closer than you think!
- Take a reusable coffee cup. You will save money on takeaways at quite a few well-known places: Costa, Pret, Starbuck, Greggs, M&S. Up to 50p off per cup. The Refill App will also show you your nearest. Check out your local independents too.
Saving: £15- £45 a month
Pack a lunch for work or day trip
Savings of over £1000 a year have been quoted for taking a packed lunch 5 days a week. We estimate you will save approximately £4 for each day that you pack a lunch from home, even more if it is leftovers from last night!
Saving: £4 for each day used
Simply replacing your single use bathroom, travel, hand and face wipes for reusable material wipes will result in savings. One pack of reusable wipes can be used for all of the above and another for baby wipes. Machine washable and durable they will mean savings over many years.
Saving: £3 a month
We hope this has given you some ideas for 'quick wins' for saving money in an eco way. For a more in depth read, and a great checklist to keep guiding you, head over to the Green Guide to Saving Money + The Planet.