10 things I don’t spend money on

Spending money is easy and generally lots of fun. I love spending money as much as the next person. What I really hate is waste; especially wasting money on items you don’t need and make no real difference to your life and are often bad for the environment. Here is a quick list of 10 things I don’t buy and spend money on plus my alternatives.

tin_foil_subsituteTin foil, glad wrap or any other type of wrap of any kind – these products are super wasteful in resources and money. It is possible to survive without these products. Use my tin foil substituent to stop your food from burning. Use glass storage containers to store food in the fridge or cover food with a plate rather than sticking a snappy over it. For kids lunches you can use very cool cloth wraps or lunchboxes with dividers rather than reaching for the plastic.

cloth_mama_padsMenstrual products – There is no getting around this one if you’re a woman of a certain age you can choose to waste a lot of money and worlds resources and create a lot of waste or not. Three years ago I bought (so I did spend money on these but I haven’t since and you could make your own so that would cost you nothing) these bamboo cloth mama pads and haven’t looked back. There are many other alternatives like cups or sponges.

green_kitchen_nzPaper towels – I couldn’t tell you the last time I bought paper towels. They ran out years ago and I have refused to ever buy any again. There really is no need for ever buying paper towels sure they are made of paper that you could compost and you could buy recycled paper ones but why bother? I use kitchen dishcloths my MIL made me a few years back for all spills on the bench and floor, etc. We use cloth napkins when we eat which we then wash when they are dirty. We use flannels for dirty faces and hands. I use Dutch (pure cotton) tea towels for drying the dishes and Dutch hand towels for drying hands.

cloth_eco_nzNose tissues – Yes bits of paper you buy to blow your nose in and then throw in the bin. Talk about a waste of money and resources. A few years back I made some nose tissues/ hankies ie squares of cotton fleece that I overlocked. We’ve saved a bunch of money and waste by not buying paper tissues. John always has a hanky in his pocket he is well known for it. So cute.

Along with nose tissues I don’t buy baby wipes. Not only are most of the store bought ones full of dangerous chemicals that shouldn’t be anywhere near a baby’s delicate parts they are expensive and wasteful. I use cloth bamboo velor ones I bought for John over three years ago. They are still going strong. I make up a wipes solution that I use with the wipes. I also never buy make up pads I have wonderful bamboo ones I have been using for years as well. Actually I don’t buy most single use throw away items. I use cloth for most of these single use items.

rapid_wholemeal_breadBread – We haven’t bought store bought bread in over six months. Not only is store bought bread very expensive. Depending on the brand you buy it can be full of chemicals/ additives and items that shouldn’t be found in bread. Check out Food babe’s report on what’s really in your bread. We make our two hour rapid bread regularly; it only costs about 80c to make! Sometimes we make our mixed grain bread or Mr Ecohick makes yummy flat breads.

homemade_yoghurt_nz Processed food –  Buying processed food is not only bad for your health and is killing thousands of people every year, it is expensive and wasteful. I know ready meals/ takeaways can be so easy and quick but they are often full of chemicals, additives, bad fats and lacking in nutrients. We cook from scratch; we eat a wholefood plant based diet; this saves us a ton of money and is so much better for our health. Cooking from scratch requires more work and forward thinking but really is so much better for you and your wallet. {I have to say on the odd occasion we’ve been known to buy BK when on a long drive but hey no one is perfect}.

We’re also vegetarian so you won’t find me buying meat either. Very very occasionally Mr Ecochick will buy meat but it will always be free range. We also have chickens and quails so we don’t buy eggs either but again when we do they are free range and from the farmers market. Plus we have a huge garden so grow a tuck load of our own food saving even more money and waste.

I should also add I refuse to buy any products that are tested on animals. I hate animal testing almost as much as I hate animals in cage. So I never buy these types of products either.

cloth_waste_nz Wrapping paper – Wrapping a gift and unwrapping are part of the joy of buying and opening gifts but do you really need to be spending money on paper that is used once and thrown out? There are plenty of alternatives to reduce your holiday waste; cloth, paper bags (if you reuse them), metal tins.  

save_phone_nzLandline – We all want to keep in contact with each other and most of us are in constant contact via mobile phone and the internet. Landlines are kind of just another thing you pay for and might use only some of the time. Years ago we changed from a landline to VOIP and save ourselves a heap of money every year.

no_tv_home Cable/ TV connection – TV is a great money and time waster. You can save yourself a fortune by not subscribing to a cable connection. We are a TV free home but choose what programme we watch when. There are many great alternatives how you watch TV shows like Netflixs, Fatso or borrowing dvd sets from the library or friends.

save_money_billsLate fees on bills – I really REALLY hate wasting money. If you pay your bills on time you generally get a discount for paying them before the due date. It is so worth paying early and getting this extra discount. Why would you pay more than you have to? Even better set up so that all your bills are paid by direct debit and you never have to worry about paying a bill again. The company just takes what they are owned and you don’t have to worry about anything. To make sure we have enough to cover all our bills every month we’ve set up a separate bank account (labelled bills) and put money in this account every payday and all the bills come out of this account so I don’t have to worry about finding money for up coming bills. Occasionally I pay a one off bill but I do this through internet banking saving me time and a trip to the bank.

So these are just ten things we do to save us money. Granted some of these things don’t save us a huge amount of money but they help to reduce our waste which is also important. How do you save your family money? I’d love to hear your family’s tips for saving money.

We do many other things to save us money. Check out; why haven’t I spent any money on my second child?long hair saves me money, Cloth, making your own yoghurt, we use milk powder, we have a chest fridge and freezer, how we save money on shopping, 10 ideas that will save you thousands. Just to make a few other posts.

eco_living_nzLinked to Small footprint family, Natural living Monday,

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