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Going Green at Home on a Budget

written by: Cheryl Gabbert•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 7/30/2009

To most people, the thought of going green means spending a lot of money, but that doesn't have to be the case. A greener lifestyle has more to do with what you don't spend than what you do. Here are some tips for going green at home on a budget. You'll be surprised at how easy it can be.

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    A Simpler Life

    A greener life doesn't have to be expensive. It can actually be the result of a simple living. While some people are buying expensive natural products and organic items, going green at home can be easy and affordable. Living a simple life can be just as positive for you and the environment as spending money on extra products. As a matter of fact, a simple and green lifestyle can even help you save money.

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    Buy Local or Grow Your Own

    Buy locally grown produce. Your food will travel less miles to your table. Local growers offer great deals on fresh, high quality fruits and veggies. Buy what's in season, and look for growers who don't use chemicals, yet may not be certified organic. There are probably uncertified growers in your area. Road-side stands, farmer's markets, and flea markets are great places to find good deals on locally and naturally grown produce.

    Growing your own produce that is free of chemicals and pesticides is another way to save money going green at home. Grow your favorite fruits and veggies, then can them for the winter. You'll save money on food, and eat high quality, naturally grown produce all winter.

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    Cook At Home

    Just think of the ways you can help improve your health and the environment by cooking more meals at home. Fast food is tempting at times, but a lot of paper and plastic is used packaging these foods every day. Just think of the garbage you can help save by cooking more meals at home. You'll also save money. Freeze a few meals for days when you just don't feel like cooking. Then, just heat and serve for a quick, healthy dinner.

    Make your own baked goods instead of buying pre-packaged sweets that are full of preservatives. Baking cookies is great fun for the kids, and you control what goes into home-baked goodies. These treats taste much better anyway. Freezing extras ensures that you have yummy snacks whenever the craving hits. You will definitely save money making your own. A package of cookies can easily cost over $4. If you keep staples like butter, sugar, and flour handy, you can have homemade treats anytime for less money.

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    Save A Little Energy

    Going green at home can be as simple as saving a little energy. This will also translate into less money spent. Turn your thermostat down a little in the winter. Open a window on cooler summer days instead of running an air conditioner. You'll save energy, and your power bill will be less. Save on gas by planning out your day. Think about where you need to go, and do it all at once instead of making several trips. Be sure to winterize your home. Adding insulation and newer windows might be a good move if you live in an older home. Little improvements like this can translate into a lot of saved money and energy.

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    Reuse What You Can

    Make it a rule of thumb to reuse what you can. Get together with friends for a swap. Take 5 or 6 items you don't use that are still in good condition. Invite other people to do the same. Now choose the items you need, and let your friends choose items they need or want. What's left over can be taken to a charity. This is a great way to reuse items, and save money at the same time. Do this with kids' clothing, toys, or other items for more ways to conserve money and reuse unwanted items in your home.