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Photo by Andrea Chiu

Some politicians will tell you that being green means spending more money. Not true if you ask me. In fact, becoming a little more environmentally-friendly is often the way to save yourself some green.

In a recent Treehugger post, Frugal Green Living: Save $1000 Using These 6 Tips, writer Colin Dunn suggests the following:

  1. Hang your laundry out to dry
  2. Eat more veggies and less meat
  3. Set your thermostat wisely
  4. Convince your boss to let you work four (slightly longer) days a week
  5. Walk or bike on one trip that’s two miles round-trip/week
  6. Make your own all-purpose cleaner

For a breakdown of how Dunn came to the $1000 figure, you’ll have to read the whole article. Obviously, not everyone will come away with the same results. If you already pack your lunch, you probably won’t save the $10/week from working four days a week. If you live in a climate like I do, winter forces you to put away your bikes and turn up the thermostat.

Commenters on the blog have also pointed out that meat is actually cheaper than many fruits and vegetables. I suggest replacing meat with beans instead of vegetables all the time. They provide protein, are filling and are much cheaper than meat.

My favourite way to be eco-friendly and economic is to carry around my Sigg water bottle. At $25, it wasn’t cheap, but I haven’t bought a single bottle of water since I got it months ago. It also stops me from buying juice or pop. I estimate this simple act has saved me $2/weekday. That’s $10/week and $40/month.

What are your favourite ways to cut costs and your carbon footprint?


Photo By: Frexcelsior

I’m just getting started on this journey into the black. It’s not easy but I’ve been able to do a few things I think will make for a healthier financial future. Here are five things I’ve done to save money in the past month:

  1. Contribute to a high-interest savings account: I took my tax return and put it into a high-interest savings account. This serves as my emergency savings so instead of relying on credit the next time I scratch the side of my car, I can get it fixed with my own money. Let’s hope I won’t need to use it…
  2. Park the car: Instead of driving, I’ve been walking and biking more often than before. In the past month, I’ve only filled up at the station twice ($86). It’s still a lot of money but I have 3/4 of a tank remaining which will last me well into August.
  3. Cook more: Better for my health and wallet, preparing my own meals instead of buying them has worked pretty well so far. I’ve already told you that I save about $200/month now that I’ve reduced dining out. How much would you save if you reduced dining out by two or three times a week?
  4. Switch grocery stores: This is something I’m still transitioning to. Instead of going to Loblaws where the store is bigger, cleaner and well-stocked, I’ve been going to cheaper alternatives like No Frills and the ethnic-friendly T&T. What’s the point of buying bread at Loblaws if it’s the same price as the convenience store downstairs? I’m looking forward in reducing the weekly grocery bill.
  5. Track money: People seem to find this a lot scarier than creating a budget and I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty horrifying if like me, you’ve been ignorant to your spending. But facing your expenses is possibly the most important thing you can do when trying to get control of your finances. If you know where you’re spending, you’ll know where to cut down. Now I know…and knowing is half the battle.

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Photo By: Anderson Mancini

The first thing, and possibly the best thing I’ve done to save money so far is cook. I’ve always loved being in the kitchen but up until a few weeks ago, I let laziness get the better of me. Instead of cooking, we would order delivery from nearby sushi places, Swiss Chalet or pizza twice a week. As I’ve pointed out before, laziness costs money. But laziness also made us eat unhealthy meals that were often less satisfying than something homecooked. I was also feeling guilty about the horrible amounts of waste takeout and fast food containers create.

This all changed when we committed to meal planning. Every weekend, I search my favourite food websites, cook books and magazines for healthy, uncomplicated and tasty dishes to make. The grocery bill ends up being longer and more expensive, but for about $40-50/each, we end up with a full week’s worth of meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Some might say that $50 in groceries is a lot for one person and they’re probably right. I’m working on being more frugal at the supermarket, but that said, I’ve sill managed to save a lot of money. Here’s a chart I created to compare what I was spending on food each week and what I’m spending now:

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