Worth it for your pocket and the planet
Buying less ‘stuff’. Sounds obvious but often easier said than done. I love shopping, a bit too much actually, bit of a shopaholic. This flys in the face of my eternal efforts to be green. However, now that I’ve got small people to think about I’ve really had to get a grip and just stop spending. Here’s some of the ways I’ve cut back on spending:
I’ve already got a lot of nice stuff, I really am set. I really don’t need to refresh my wardrobe every season with the latest fashions, tempting as it may be. Except for the odd item here and there, as stuff wears out or the occasional treat scored for a bargain price on eBay I don’t need to buy new clothes. See my post how to have a green wardrobe for more info.
You have to have lots of good quality, healthy food in stock for your growing family, and you should never cut back on that. Luckily it tends to be the unhealthy food that is the most expensive. We’ve really cut back on processed food (such as veggie fake meat products) and treats like chocolate, crisps etc. We still have some of that stuff, we’re only human but much, much less than in previous years. Check out my post organic food on a budget
Make up, hair and beauty products
I’ve cut right back to essentials only, use multi-tasking products and spend hours searching for products that are organic, high performance and yet reasonably priced! Tricky, but I have found some real gems. See my eco capsule make up bag
This has taken care of itself since having children, as I’m sure any parents can identify with! When we do venture out with the kids we favour free activities most of the time (park, beach etc), with monthly or so visits to local attractions that have ‘pay once visit all year’ policies.
This is an area where I haven’t cut back and belatedly realised that I’ve wasted loads of money. Now before you think I’m some sort of evil Scrooge I’m not talking about totally eliminating toys from my childrens’ lives, I just mean cutting back from the crazy deluge that I’ve showered them with so far.
We’ve really splashed out on our kids birthdays and Christmases, a natural reflex I think – you just want to treat your kids and make these special occasions perfect. However, at ages 1 and 3 they really have been too young to appreciate this extravagance and I now know they would have been happy with half as many toys or less! The additional fallout from this is that my house is full to bursting with toys (annoying) that mostly don’t get played with (although of course I would never be allowed to get rid and of any of them!)
We still have our moments (probably a bit too frequently) of shopping madness, we’re just a bit like that, but I am really proud of how far we’ve come getting control of our spending.