Tuesday, August 27, 2013

How to Make a Budget to Save Money with Your Trash Can

It is not new or shocking news that not wasting food saves money. But have you considered what other budget busters might be hiding in your trash can and recycling bin?


howtosavemoneymakeabudgetwithtrashcan


Here is a photo of four days of my household trash and a week and a half of recycling.



weekoftrashrecycling
This isn’t a perfect green or budget minded life, but an honest one. 
My apologies for the big clog of dirt from the sweeper – ick!

By monitoring our trash, recycling, and compost (I keep a list instead of sticking my hands in it – ew!) from time to time, I know there are some times of the year when we are more trashy than others. For example, many of the bags in this photo are from decanting my staples from their bags into repurposed jars as part of a kitchen reorganizing and ant proofing project you can read about here.

By looking at my trash and recycling in these photos, there are some exampls of items I could eliminate to reduce my trash and my household budget:


  • The takeout container - eliminate going out for dinner or substitute going out to lunch instead because lunch menus are often less expensive than dinner menus. 
  • The single serving fruit snack package - Buy a larger bag and put it in a reusable container for lunches, or do the same thing with apple slices I made in my dehydrator.
  • The cereal bag - Make granola more often rather than buy hippie colon blow cereal.
  • The energy bar - I could probably make those too and keep them in the freezer for Husband after his workouts.
  • One of us is more diligent about using our cloth shopping bags at the store than the other (ahem) especially at the stores who give a discount or incentive to do so. If we get one we use it for household trash. All of the other soft sided bags from whole wheat hamburger buns, etc.we use for doggie duty. It is a perfect Zero Waste solution, but it is our reality. Lacey isn't very good at holding it for now until forever. This is our compromise.

Are you up for the challenge?

My friends My Zero Waste and The Rubbish Diet are challenging folks to reduce their household food waste (food peels get an exemption) to as close to zero as possible during Zero Waste Week September 2 – 8, 2013.

The idea behind Zero Waste is to reduce the landfill bound trash in your trash can to as close to zero as possible by composting, recycling, reusing, refusing, donating, etc. If need a little incentive to use those leftovers as ingredients or clean out your cupboards, Zero Waste Week is perfect for you!

Now before you scream it is impossible go Zero Waste all day every day, I’m going to agree with you. What works for one family may not work for another based on location, family size, preference, budget, etc. We can’t just stop buying all of the stuff we need either.  But getting a handle on what you buy verses what you really use by doing a Zero Waste week, isn’t such a bad thing either. You might be surprised. We always are. Little experiments like this give us a better idea on where we can trim our household budget if and when we want to save for something big or to sometimes spoil Lacey.


Thank you for taking me to my first patio restaurant. 
I like this kind of socialization training!

What do you think? Are you in?


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