10 Green Living Ideas for Frugal Families


Eat Green

Gone are the days when eating "healthy" meant carob chips and endless lettuce. As we become more aware of how our living habits help or harm our environment, there's been a glut of information on how ecologically responsible eating is both good for us, our wallets, and even our taste buds.

An easy way to cut down on cost and environmental harm is to start limiting meat. No fear; that doesn't mean a strict vegetarian diet and Tofurkey at Thanksgiving. If your family can simply cut out meat once a week (or once less a week than you're accustomed to), you're not only saving the cost of expensive products, but you're making a significant impact on the environment. In fact, geophysicists have calculated that if Americans reduced their meat consumption by just 20 percent, it would have the same impact on the environment as if every one of us drove a fuel-efficient Prius instead of a standard sedan [source: Bittman].

Another way to introduce environmentally friendly ideas into meals? Cook those meals yourself. By avoiding eating out, you're not only saving money (estimates say that an average family spends $4000 a year eating out) and often waste, but you're controlling the ingredients and sources of your food [source: Daily Green]. On that note, consider growing a vegetable garden. A few cents for seeds can save you a hefty produce bill.

Not yet giddy with saving the planet and your paycheck? Next we'll see some ways you're not just holding on to money, but actually getting more cash in hand for things you no longer need.