We saved +$250 our first month zero waste living....
I felt convicted to do something, to take action. Like I’ve mentioned before, my husband is a natural minimalist, compost-loving, tree-hugging kinda guy. He jokes about “my wife the city slicker” I grew up in the city, I don’t particularly seek out natural or eco-friendly living. But my husband has been begging (in a kind way) me to declutter, simplify and compost.
All that to say, I felt convicted this month, of course in December with two little kids to start this journey.
I’ll share a few ways to get started here.
So you all know we have a ton of allergies and a very restrictive diet, and I’ve used that as my excuse to not jump on this band wagon sooner, plus it just sounded so hard. But here’s what I’ve learned, in our first month.
1. I go to the grocery store more, mostly because I didn’t plan out our meals. I’ll improve on this and won’t have to go so often.
2. This approach, paying attention to packaging really helps me restrain myself from impulse buying. I look at how the product is package, in general I want to buy things with no packaging (fruits and veggies), items from the bulk section put into my own cloth bags or containers and things in glass.
Why glass? It is 100% recycleable and usually ends up back on store shelves within a month after it is recycled. Plus you personally can recycle and repurpose glass for MUCH longer than plastic. Check this article out for a comparison about which packaging to choose and why.
3. Our typical monthly grocery budget is $600 per month, this may be high to some of you, but I KNOW with all our allergens and the city we live in, it is on the low end for a family of 4. This month I not only paid very close attention to what I bought but ALSO dug through our freezer and pantry to find items that needed to be used up and got creative with what I was cooking. The only complaint from my husband was that we needed more snacks for the kids. Yes, I stopped buying applesauce pouches and fruit snacks, which were kind of his go-to. So I wrote on the whiteboard on our fridge several snack ideas that would be easy for him to grab and serve, after that problem solved.
This month, we spent $350 of our regular $600 budget.
A few failures I want to be transparent about…..well no, I’m all about the positive perspective so let’s call these learning opportunities for myself…..NOT FAILURES
It is the middle of the holiday season and STRESS was my #1 trigger for opting to buy something not sustainable, ethical or eco-friendly, my own convenience. Now this is not evil, absolutely sometimes we just feel overwhelmed by life and need convenience.
I didn’t give myself enough time to shop the way I wanted, do the research, find the right product, or have the uninterrupted time in the kitchen to make that item myself. My best advice, to myself, and to you if you’re like me is to allow margins to live the way you want to. Don’t book yourself end-to-end where you are so stressed you only option is take-out or convenience foods.