Budgeting is hard, especially since it so often involves difficult compromises. The good news is that you can make it a lot easier by reducing the number of resources that go to waste. Below, you’ll learn more about how reducing waste can lead to a significant windfall in savings.
Reducing, recycling, and reusing household items can save you thousands per year. Think about it this way: do you know how much gas you waste daily just by idling in traffic? It’s often hard to visualize the number of resources being wasted due to your daily routine.
In the sections below, you’ll find advice on how to tie up the loose ends of your budget, including guidance on transformative ways to reuse everyday household items.
What Are The Benefits Of Reducing Waste?
You can cut costs significantly by reducing waste. There are many benefits to reducing waste, especially in terms of the overall comfort of your home or workspace. For one thing, you’ll spend a lot less time at the store opening up your wallet.
Some of the most common sources of wastefulness include fuel use, home utilities, and the disposal of food that would otherwise be repurposed as wonderful leftovers. You are encouraged to continue below to learn more about this budget-friendly lifestyle.
Cut Costs By Recycling Materials At Home
By repurposing or recycling materials at home, you can dramatically reduce the amount of money spent on re-upping your supplies. There are many examples of items that you can repurpose at home.
- Containers and jars: Clean these out, and you can reuse them to store leftovers. You can use old containers as pots for plants and vegetables.
- Plastic bottles: These work well as homemade ice packs if you fill them up with water and place them in the freezer.
- Empty coffee cups/aluminum cans: These can be used as desk organizers for pens and pencils.
Lower Disposal Service Fees
Garbage companies generally tack on additional costs for residents who generate more trash. This is typically in the form of stickers, which must be bought and placed in trash bins. You must also consider the costs of the receptacles themselves.
Homeowners usually pay $300-$500 per year on trash pickup alone. Rates can vary widely by jurisdiction since pricing is generally not regulated by any government agency. Those who reduce their waste output may notice savings of hundreds per year on trash collection fees.
Trash pickup may also cost the consumer more than recycling, primarily since some cities are known for offering financial incentives to homeowners and businesses who recycle.
Cut Down On Food Waste, Save Money On Groceries
Not only will learning how to cook with leftovers help you reduce waste, but you’ll also be eating into your grocery bill. By producing less food waste, you’ll also attract fewer pests into your home.
The following are some tips for getting the most out of the food you buy:
- Food containers: You can find microwave-safe food containers that’ll also keep food safe in the fridge.
- Plan your meals: Those who put together a meal agenda also avoid buying too much food.
- Buy a microwave: Even a small countertop microwave, like the one found here on Amazon, will be of great help when it comes to making use of leftovers.
Avoiding Pest Control Costs
Having excess trash around the home is a surefire way to attract unwanted guests. Not only does having bugs around eat into your psyche, but it also causes pest control costs to add up.
You’ll be spending less on all of these pest control solutions:
- Fly control: If you have persistent problems with flies, it could be due to trash.
- Spider Removal: Spiders and other insects are attracted to cardboard. Try to avoid allowing cardboard to accumulate around the home.
- Exterminator costs: Pest infestations often require the help of a professional exterminator, who will likely need to visit your home or business multiple times before the problem is eradicated.
- Cleanup & Repair: You may have to pay for the repair of vital components of your home’s construction due to damage caused by unwanted guests.
You are also encouraged to buy garbage bags that lock in odors. This will make the inside of your home or business a more enjoyable place to be, and it’ll help detract flies and other pests, which follow the scent of garbage.
Lower Your Utility Bills By Up To 50%
Research shows that some homeowners could potentially lower their energy bills by as much as 10-50%. One of the primary drivers of lowered utility bills is home weatherization, which keeps comfortable air inside the home. Another driver of lower energy costs is reducing waste.
One primary source of waste in both homes and businesses is the lights. It can cost more than 100 dollars per year to power a traditional incandescent light bulb. LED light bulbs last 50 times longer than traditional lights, registering an expected lifetime of 50,000 hours.
- Turn off the lights: Keep the lights turned off whenever you are away from a room.
- Unplug & recycle old appliances: Any electronics or appliances that are not being used should be left unplugged. You might consider recycling or donating any items that you don’t use anymore.
- Reduce water waste: Take care of any faucet drips or leaks immediately. A toilet that runs incessantly can usually be remedied with a simple fix inside the tank.
Move To Paperless Billing
The many benefits of paperless billing are often overlooked. In today’s day and age of online accounts, there is no reason to be enrolled in paper billing. Plus, there are many incentives for those who make the switch.
- No postage fees: Many companies now add on additional postage charges.
- Less Clutter: Paper billing leads to excess clutter in the home. It’s much more convenient to click through your online statements than it is to open up a filing cabinet.
- Reduced need for paper shredding: All your paper bills will eventually need to be shredded for security reasons.
Many utility and medical service providers also offer specific incentives for customers who turn to paperless billing. These may come in the form of promotional items, discounts, or even gift cards in some cases.
Reduce Gardening Costs By 30% Or More
Perhaps your dream garden has never been attainable because of the associated costs. Developing sustainable gardening habits can help you reduce gardening costs by 30% or more.
Start A Compost Pile
This is an excellent way to introduce much-needed minerals and nutrients to your garden without using fertilizers. Compost piles are also a convenient way to get rid of the bulk of your organic waste.
Use Plastic Cartons/Containers As Pots
Your leftover plastic cartons and containers should spend a second life as pots for plants and seeds, and they work especially well for seedlings, which will later be transferred to larger containers. If you’d rather use decorative pots for display, that’s perfectly understandable, although there are things that you can do to touch up old food containers for visual appeal.
Don’t Bag Grass Clippings
If you bag grass clippings and yard waste, you can reduce the amount of money spent on yard waste bags by learning how to mulch.
- Many lawn mowers come with a mulching option. This will spread the clippings evenly across the surface of the grass as you go.
- Alternatively, you can ensure that grass clippings are evenly spread by using a rake.
How Recycling & Repairing Electronics Could Save You $330
Studies show that American households could save on average $330 per year if they learn how to repair or recycle their existing electronics. The average home has 24 electronic devices, contributing to roughly 2.37 million tons of devices ready to be disposed of. Luckily, there are several simple solutions for resolving this problem.
Most people keep their cell phones for 2-3 years and laptops for 2-5 years. Exceeding this range can be difficult, though not impossible by any means. The secret to saving $330 per year on electronics is learning how to take good care of the equipment you already have on hand.
Repairs Can Be Done In Just 30 Minutes
Cell phones and similar gadgets can often be repaired in as little as 30 minutes at a local repair shop. Costs depend largely on how easy it is to find a replacement part, although many common issues could be chalked up to the accumulation of dust and debris. Regardless of the cause, electronic cleaning and repair kits are affordable alternatives to buying new devices.
If you are handy, then you might consider purchasing this computer repair kit. For a small price, you’ll finally have access to all those small tools that you never seem to have on hand in time for those urgently needed repairs that could theoretically be done at home.
This computer cleaning kit comes with 11 different brushes, a pack of cleaning cloths, and the tools needed to reach the parts of your laptop that most often accumulate dust. Given that brand-new laptops tend to cost more than $500, why wouldn’t you want to protect your investment with routine cleaning?
Protective Cases & Bags
Accidents are bound to happen, whether it’s spilling coffee on your brand new laptop or dropping your cell phone onto a parking lot. The best defense against human error is protective cases, which can be credited with saving the lives of many cell phones while also cutting down on replacement costs.
Some of the top protective cases on the market include cases like these:
Stop Using Plastic Grocery Bags
Another common source of wastefulness is plastic grocery bags. Only 10% of single-use plastic bags were recycled in the US in 2018. This wastefulness impacts consumers’ bank accounts since making new plastic bags requires the use of petroleum materials.
Single-use plastic bags are also not very reliable. They have a tendency to rip and tear, therefore damaging whatever was inside of the bag at the time. How many times have you broken a carton of eggs because the plastic bag (even the heavy-duty brown ones) just couldn’t hold up?
You are encouraged to bulk up on reusable grocery bags, which carry more materials and are nearly impossible to rip or tear, even through many years of use. Take, for example, these reusable grocery bags, which can hold up to 45 pounds and are conveniently fitted with long handles.
How To Cut Down Gas Costs By 40% Or More
There are many ways to get more out of your paycheck by cutting down on fuel use. Research by the US Department of Energy shows that drivers can save 10-40% on fuel just by developing better driving habits.
This includes maintaining consistent speeds, removing excess weight, and avoiding constant idling, among other driving behaviors. Combine these with the positive habits below, and you should have no problem reducing fuel waste.
Start A Carpool
One solution is to start a carpool with some of your coworkers. Studies show that even just a two-person carpool can potentially lead to savings exceeding $1,500 per year. Combine this with a switch to a more fuel-efficient vehicle, and you can start to eat away at your transportation costs.
You might also consider taking a look into the public transportation system in your area. This is a big boon for those living in and near major cities since you will also save money by not having to pay parking fees.
Plan Your Errands
You can also save money on gas by spending a few minutes planning your errands for the day before you head out the door. This will help you figure out a route that doesn’t leave you retracing your steps. Also try to make the most out of every visit to the store, so that you don’t have to come back for several short trips during the week.
You can significantly reduce costs by maximizing your recycling superpowers. Examples include: finding ways to cook with leftovers, cutting utility costs by 50% or more, reducing fuel use, and many more sources of savings included in the sections above.