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Reduce, reuse, renew. We have all heard or read the phrase, and most all of us can agree that it is a wonderful concept for our planet’s future, but many of us don’t stop and think about the personal benefits of this policy. Truth is, reducing waste and reusing products and resources can save the average home quite a bit of money! Let me give you just a few examples of how recycling can save money.
It may sound very selfish to think about personal plights and benefits in light of a movement which is meant to help the entire world, but let’s face it-many of us do. After all, improving Earth as a whole needs to start small, with one life improved at a time working towards this grand-scale change.
So, how exactly can we save money by reusing things? The most obvious answer is that you will cut down on how often you need to buy certain items. However, you can really amp up your savings if you find creative new uses for things that aren’t so obvious, such as using a soda bottle as a decorative piggy bank instead of going out to buy one.
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Save Money by Reusing Everyday Objects
Most households of 4 spend around 13 dollars a month to restock on freezer bags, sandwich bags, cling wrap, and aluminum foil alone. All of these items can be washed and reused at least twice! This means, that if you reused these items the least amount of times possible, you would save $78 a year. Reuse these items three or four times, and that amount can quickly double. I reuse sandwich and freezer bags at least seven or eight times and have never had a problem with freezer burn or even holes (I know many people who can make these bags last for months). Using old bread bags to store food such as fruits and vegetables, sandwiches, or cheese can save at least $30 a year by eliminating the need for cling wrap. Who likes fighting with that stuff, anyway?
Another example is Tupperware. A set of 4 small Tupperware containers costs $15 or more. Why spend that when you can reuse butter, whip cream, sour cream, cream cheese or other containers to store leftovers or anything else many times by simply washing them? This is instant savings which can build up very quickly in a family of four, and you won’t freak out when you or someone else leaves it in the break room and it disappears!
Reusing things that you might not have thought of can save money throughout the year too. Instead of throwing away the empty containers of shampoo, conditioner, and hand soap, you could actually save them. Then the next time you go shopping, buy a bulk container of each product (which saves money per oz), and use it to refill those containers over and over.
I make liquid soap, shampoo, and conditioner from home, and love to get empty containers from friends and neighbors who were just going to throw them away. Finally ,I sat down and figured out just how much money this was saving me per year and was excited to see it was $98 dollars! This method could save those who don’t make their own beauty products the same or even more money.
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Save Money and Make Gifts!
Simply following these simple steps could save a household $191 dollars a year at least. That money could be put into a savings account, it could be squirreled away for a family vacation, or it could be wasted on “disposable" products. Personally, I prefer to keep as much of my money as possible!
The possibilities really are as endless as the effort and creativity you are willing to expend. Making gifts from recycled materials, such as mosaic lamps or pictures from broken glass and china or plastic swim bags from plastic grocery bags , generally saves me another $50-$200 per year over buying these gifts. That’s not even figuring the gas I’d have to use to get to the store and buy this stuff, so you can see how it really starts to add up. Pinching pennies doesn’t have to be hard or embarrassing when reusing things around your home –especially when you are saving the planet as well!