#Frugal | 5 Simple Swaps to Make this Year

I care about the environment. I care about my savings account. Can you do both at the same time?

Yes, you can! One of the ironic things I’ve found through going through our house habits one-by-one, in 2012, is that the more we looked to be frugal with our lifestyles, the better it was for the environment. Who woulda thunk!?

Here’s five things to think about swapping 🙂

1. We swapped paper towels with cloth kitchen towels and cleaning rags.

There are no exact figures on how much this has saved, but I do know I buy a large pack of paper towels twice a year now, instead of every month or two. Paper towels can be pricey, so going from 6-12 purchases down to 2 has got to save! In addition, we create less trash.

By washing and re-using our towels (separate for cleaning kitchen/bathrooms vs. food cleanup, counter and hand use) we save some change and add less to the garbage pile.

2. We swapped loofah sponges with wash cloths.

Eww, I never knew how much bacteria grows on those fluffy cute loofah sponges. Eeeekk! Not that I’m a germaphobe, but I definitely like to be clean after my shower. We now use higher quality wash cloths to soap up.

I’m sure it helps save a few bucks – loofahs aren’t that pricey – but it also saves the environment from regular loofah replacement garbage and who knows how much from the factories. I guess if we replaced it more often than we have, it would have been more costly. I’m glad to just be rid of them!

3. We swapped high priced cleaners for vinegar.

Vinegar has like a bagazillion uses. Yeah, I made that up, but I’m sure you can find all sorts of ways to use it. With having a baby and a dog, there are always messes to clean up. It’s nice to use something non-toxic around the house that kills odors, too. My mom introduced us to it for doggie accidents instead of the pricier neutralizers.

We do buy green cleaners, a lot less often, but we’ve slowly switched over to vinegar more often than not when cleaning up. It is far cheaper per ounce, and with refilling our spray bottles, we save a bit of garbage from the landfills, too.

4. We swapped disposable wipes with cloth wipes (and diapers!).

I can’t even begin to share how much time and savings there are using cloth diapers and wipes. It takes a little getting used to, but once you’re in the game, it’s a piece of brownie fudge pie. I don’t like cake. Don’t feel you need to switch to cloth diapers, but using cloth wipes for number ones is easy peasy!

I think I bought a box of sposie wipes back in April and have yet to go through them. Instead, when we are at home, we use the cloth wipes with homemade solution of olive oil, almond castile soap, water and lavender oil.

We also use coconut oil a ton, yum! And love cloth swim diapers, teehee. Sure, we use the sposies we’ve been given as gifts or leftovers when we need to, but we’ve not bought any ourselves! Hooray!

Also, even a wet wash cloth goes a long way compared to the more expensive face/hand organic wipes we’ve gotten. Silly new mommy me, I bought into every.crazy.thing!

5. We swapped meat-filled dinners with meatless meals more often.

We used to eat out a lot pre-parenthood. Not because we didn’t love to cook, it was just more fun. While I was pregnant, I couldn’t stomach many smells, so we stuck closer to home. From there, we found we could live on $40 a week for our food budget!

Yes, I said $40 a week – breakfast, lunch, dinner for two.

We also discovered a local farmer’s market, Golden’s, on Rt. 9 in Lakewood. Best fruit and vegetables I’ve ever bought and for a fraction of even Wegman’s prices (they don’t sell meat other than fish). Now, we shop at the market and build meals from our goods. It surely saves a lot and adds to the excitement of cooking each night. Plus, we know Miles can have any of what we make 🙂

After baby, our food budget is around $50-$75 a week, formula is tipping the scales on that one.

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We’re not perfect and we will use other things in a pinch, but just taking a moment to look at our habits and modify them has really made our regular shopping list that much shorter and the bill a bit smaller. What habits might you be able to change this year?

Doesn’t my homemade cream of broccoli soup and toasted pumpernickel bread croutons look yummy?

Equipment used: iPod Touch 5G

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