10 Green Living Ideas for Frugal Families


Buy Secondhand (and Then Donate Back)

Buying clothes for growing children can seem futile at times. Why bother even getting them the expensive, fashionable shoes when they'll be complaining of tight toes (or outdated styles) within a month? Not that adults have it much better; cheap clothes aren't always the most durable, and it can be hard to find a reasonable style at a good price. Add to that the desire to not contribute to growing landfills by throwing out unwanted or threadbare items, and shopping is no longer a pleasure.

But in times of frugality, there is a beacon of hope. Secondhand stores are invaluable for growing families that badly need another inch added to the hem of pants every three weeks. The clothes at most thrift stores are only lightly used, always laundered and can be an incredible steal. Keep in mind that you aren't just getting cheaper clothes; if you shop carefully, you can also acquire higher-quality merchandise (which will be more resistant to wear-and-tear) at an enormous discount. Less apparel turnaround equals more money saved.

Of course, remember that throwing old clothes away is even less economical, and if you're throwing old clothes into the trash, the Environmental Police might take your Earth Protector badge away. Donate your old clothes back to secondhand stores for another family. Need some cash? Go to eBay or Craigslist and see if you can make some money while you're protecting the planet.

The truth is, we do sometimes need new things. Read on to find out what to look for when buying environmentally friendly appliances and products.