5 simple Zero waste habits you can adopt today that save money!
You may wonder how this relates to Nutrition or Health. There are several reasons why I chose to write this blog post. Firstly, a lot of typical commercial products are packed with chemicals that are harmful to health and prevent optimum nutrient absorption. In addition, saving money means that you have more more cash to spend on food or invest in healthcare products. Being a millenial who loves food and travel, I am always trying to find ways where I can save money whilst living a comfortable life. These ideas are based on my own living situation which is a country cottage on the west coast of Ireland. There may be very different options available to you. I am by no means a zero-waste minimalist expert but I have become much more conscious in the last couple of years.
The all or nothing approach has never worked for me. I know people who haven’t eaten sugar in 7 years. Or people who never buy or use anything wrapped in plastic. I still love donuts and I eat food on airplanes despite the fact that it’s wrapped in plastic. However, I have made an effort to educate myself about what I put on and, in my body, and what effects it has on others and the planet. Since making these changes, I was surprised to find out that I saved money! None of the products I refer to in this post are sponsored. I am not paid to write about them. I am simply sharing which products I personally find good. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
1. Use shampoo bars:
For those who have never heard of shampoo bars before, they are basically soap bars but for your hair. There are sooooo many different brands and options out there. You don’t need to buy one online that will most likely come wrapped in plastic! Or one that costs like 20 euro for a little bar of soap. The brand that works for you will depend on your location and hair type. It might take a few tries before you find the right one. I personally have quite fine, straight hair so I really didn’t want a shampoo that would make my hair all lank and floppy. I did a bit of research online about soap bars and people’s experience with them and found that there are actually quite a large amount of different soap bars available in Ireland and even in West Cork. In my local organic shop, there are 3 different kinds of soap bars available!! I picked the one that looked the sturdiest and that it would work the best. There were a few things that I really liked about the bar. Firstly, it lathers just like bottled shampoo. For me, it’s really important to have that soapy feel when washing my hair. I’ve tried so many “alternative” shampoos which leave my hair looking and feeling sad and greasy. The second thing that it smelled great and when it dried my hair wash fresh, soft and shiny just like my favourite bottled shampoo. Super score! I’ve washed my hair 5 times with it and my hair comes out great every time. I still use bottled conditioner but I am experimenting with conditioner from a refill store. It’s hard to find one that actually works though.
How much money will I save?
1 bottle of my typical shampoo = 6-euro x 5 (I buy on average 5 bottles a year) = 30
1 shampoo bar = 4.5-euro x 5 (I expect I will only need 4) = 22.5
Total money saved = 7.5
2. Use a Deodorant cream:
Literally so shook at the crazy ingredients they put in deodorants. Like who said putting aluminium into your pores is ok? Plus, a lot of them smell kind of cheap and floral. I’ve tried so many different kinds of natural deodorants. I have really sensitive skin and if I use one that doesn’t agree with me, I get a rash which is really uncomfortable. I tried salt crystals, natural deodorants, aromatherapy spray deodorants, the whole shebang. What I found was A) natural alternative deodorants are really expensive and B) when it actually comes down to it, they don’t actually work. They just combine with the smell and make an icky, flowery, sweaty cocktail. Which as someone who sweats when they are nervous is not good. First dates with the arms pinned to my side haha. Anyways fast forward to the day I discovered Warrior deodorant cream. Oh, my goodness, so worth the 13 euro I spent on it. I’ve had it for 3 months now and I am never ever going back. First of all, it smells amazing. I bought the geranium and green tea one. Secondly, it actually stops you from smelling which is amazing. Not a single chemical in sight my friends. I’ve tried it in the sweatiest of situations: long haul flights, the gym, hot summer days, job interviews and it works a dream. It doesn’t stain your clothes with deodorant streaks. Annndddd It’s lasted me ages. I mean I’ve used it every day for 3 months and I’ve only used less than 1/2 of the tin. You only need to put a tiny bit on to make it work. All in all a great and wonderfully smelling decision. You can bring the tins back and refill them which is awesome.
How much money will I save?
1 bottle of my typical fancy sensitive skin deodorant = 7 euro x 3 = 21
1 tin of deodorant cream 13 euro = 13 x 2 = 26
It’s costing me 5 euro more per year to use the deodorant cream but I feel it’s well worth it because it works!
3. Grow your own vegetables:
This will cost you hardly anything. Especially if you can get cuttings from other people or from your own leftovers. We currently grow potatoes, peas, beans, lettuce, kale, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, apples, cabbage, pumpkins, beetroot, courgettes, fennel, mint and sprouts. We will install a geodesic dome very soon. Hopefully this week weather depending where we can grow things all year round. I would love to grow some lemons and avocados. Would be so amazing. At the moment, we have enough produce to last us through the summer and some of the winter which is a huge saving on produce. Of course, we still buy in some things like cucumbers and spinach and eggs but it does save us a good chunk of cash. And, of course, it’s very exciting to be able to eat things that you have grown yourself. You can even grow lettuce and sprouts in a city in the corner of your room.
How much money will I save?
This is a difficult one to judge as it depends on your individual needs and what you are able to grow. My partner and myself have saved on average 5-10 euro per week by using vegetables from the garden bringing our weekly groceries cost down to about 30 euros total. Which is not bad at all. As young professionals, we have a lot that we want to save up for: a car, renovations on the house, further education, holidays etc. So, an extra 10 euro that we can put in our savings account each week makes a huge difference.
Here is a little video I made with my mother of our vegetable garden earlier this summer.
4. Share a car, carpool and use public transport when you can
My future dream car ❤
At the moment, we share a car with my parents which is a huge saving for us. Obviously, it’s not always ideal because sometimes we want to use the car at the same time as my parents but the amount of money that it saves us is so significant that this small inconvenience goes out the window. I actually saved up for 2 years to buy a car and had almost enough to purchase it however as I young driver, I got quoted a shocking 3500 for the car insurance! So sickening. No way I could afford that on top of everything else even in instalments. So, the car dream went down the drain for a while at least. At first, I was really sad about this until I realised that we were saving a significant amount of money. Having to share a car meant that I had to rethink how many times I went to the shop, went out to eat, went to the gym etc and try to plan as many things as possible into one outing which over time saves quite a bit of money. For example, by reducing my shopping trip from two times to once a week while carpooling with my parents it costs us about 5 euro total which we divide between us, halving the fuel cost. Of course, this option will not be available for everyone. I happen to live close enough to my parents that I can use their car and they are nice enough to let us use it. But I have other friends who share cars and it’s definitely something to consider especially if you live in a town or city and don’t use your car that often. I also use public transport or walk when I can when I travel which saves me money and allows me to discover new places I would never have noticed in a car.
How much money will I save?
This is also very individual but I have certainly saved an enormous amount of money by sharing a car.
Insurance on my own 3500 euro versus what I actually pay to be a named driver on my mother’s insurance 100 euro!!!!
Fuel: ½ of what I would usually spend because we split the fuel costs when carpooling and I only make trips in the car when necessary
5. Use a menstrual cup:
Don’t use tampons! Use a menstrual cup instead
Ok, so I saved the best one for last. This is one is for the ladies. This is hands down the best thing that I have ever bought. For those of you who do not know what a menstrual cup is, welcome to the wonder of hassle-free periods. It is a small cup shaped item that you insert into your lovely lady part to catch the blood when it’s that time of the month. When it is full, you just pull it out, empty the contents into the toilet, give it a little rinse and put it back in again. After each cycle, you can sterilize it by boiling it in a pot for a couple of minutes. No more smelly tampons and pads that you need to dispose of. There’s nothing worse than going to a person’s house and having to figure out what to do with used tampons ugh. Also, they are not bleached like tampons are. I mean who wants to put bleach up their vagina? Not me. Best part is, you can use it again and again. I’ve been tampon-free for over 5 years and it’s saved me so much money.
How much money have I saved?
Cost of moon cup: 25 euro. Total cost for period paraphernalia for the last 5 years: 25 euro
Cost of tampons and pads each month: 4-euro Total cost over 5 years 240 euro!!!! Yup that’s right. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and get yourself a menstrual cup today. p.s. this is not sponsored content, I just want to share my love of this product!