How You Can Save Money SEVEN Times In ONE Day (and be sustainable at the same time!)
Being eco-friendly often helps you save money – they go hand in hand as sustainable living teaches you to be less of a consumer and more conscious of the choices you make. I have 6 in-depth steps that I follow to help me save a bag of money in just one day, and they’re listed in order from morning till evening, to help guide you.
This post contains affilaite links
1. Bring A Packed Lunch
The problem: I was spending at least £50 a week at one point on just lunch! Working in Central London just means expensive, expensive, expensive. I knew that the most efficient and healthy way to curb my spending was to bring a packed lunch as I love healthy foods, but eating remotely healthy in the city is means half your salary – snatched.
The solution: The trick to a successful packed lunch is to prepare from the night before. I could never organise myself to make breakfast and a packed lunch in the mornings so planning what I’d like to eat on Sunday afternoon, then preparing my dishes before I go to bed every night really helped. My wallet also thanked me.
2. Wake Up Earlier To Prepare Breakfast
The problem: I used to lavish around in bed when my alarm went off, and ended up rushing around to get ready for my train to get to work. This meant that I didn’t have time to prepare breakfast and would end up stopping at Pret whilst rushing to work in the morning to get a croissant. Not only is Pret-a-Manger expensive, but the amount of packaging I would throw away everyday was just ridiculous and it made me uncomfortable.
The solution: Now I wake up a bit earlier to take the time to make a breakfast sandwich in the morning and I can eat it on the train or wait till I get to work. I’m trying to train myself to get up early enough to eat at home, but it’s a start at least! (BTW, don’t eat your egg sandwich on the train, you’ll get some stares)
3. Public Transport Is Key
The problem: Let’s be honest, driving cars in a city is just unreasonable. The traffic, the driving stress, the parking charges and tolls… Not only is expensive, but the carbon emissions is a lot to handle. There has been more coverage on the fact that ir pollutions in cities is going up, and this is having an awful effect on citizen health, especially the young, old and sickly.
The solution: It goes without saying that public transport is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and save money. As a Londoner, I’m a great advocate for public transport especially with the introduction of hybrid buses. If you’re about personal space, how about investing in an electric car? They can be expensive but governments usually give out grants to encourage people to buy, you don’t pay road tax, and the cost of running is peanuts in comparison to a standard car. Not only that, but because there’s no engine, the ride is smooooth.
Bonus – Annual Travel Cards
Getting an annual pass is another additional way to save money on your transport. If you can’t afford to pay the lump sum in one go (like me), if you sign up for a service like Commuter Club, they’ll buy your annual pass, whilst you pay them monthly. There is a small interest rate (5% I believe), but in the grand scheme of things it nothing in comparison to what you’ll pay if you didn’t! Their customer service is absolutely phenomenal (they were so patient with me on the phone, read their amazing reviews) If you sign up using this link you’ll get a £20 bonus! They also don’t increase the price of your ticket once you’ve bought it, even if the rail fares do go up (which they did).
4. Don’t Online Shopping Browse
The problem: The commute to work can be boring, and using our phones is a good way to entertain ourselves. However, online shopping seemed to be my go to, as I love exploring products and trying new things, but by the time I’d reached my destination, I’d always manage to convince myself that I absolutely must have this new thing, and it will be next thing I buy! Most of the time it was something I wouldn’t even have known about if I wasn’t browsing, searching for a way to relieve my pockets. It was almost as if I subconsciously wanted to spend money and be broke all the time! Not only is it bad for your wallet, but online shopping isn’t the most sustainable way to shop with the amount of packaging and miles your parcel needs.
The solution: The trick to solving it? Stop shopping! Unless you have a specific item you want to buy, there’s just no need to window shop. I spend my commutes in the pursuit of knowledge, reading about topics I’m interested in and curious about, the news, and self-care. I love reading through my favourite blogs about how I can improve myself, be a better lover, be a better family member, set myself up for success in the future and more sustainable ways to live. Here are two of my favourites that you need be subscribed to that I check every morning;
Mind Body Green – a blog dedicated to helping you achieve great mental health by eating well, meditation other holistic practices.
Career Girl Daily – great for articles on how to organise yourself, and push your career to great heights
5. Have Lunch Later
The problem: As a girl who likes to eat a lot and is ready to eat all the time, this one made a huge difference to me. I found that I would get hungry towards the end of the working day, and would always be tempted by a vending machine, supermarket, café, station food store… you name it. Snacks don’t seem expensive, 60p here, £1.20 here, 90p here… but when you add it up, snacks is an expensive way to satiate your hunger.
The solution: The trick to solving this was to eat my lunch later, at around 1:30/2pm instead of 12. If it sounds like a fair way from 9am, you’re right, because it is. However in the mornings I have a hearty breakfast and it keeps me happy till that time. Lunch only seems to keep me happy for a few hours, so I’m practically kicking down the front door by the time I get home for dinner.
6. Buy unpackaged food
The problem: When doing your groceries, be sure to keep an eye for excessive and plastic packaging. It’s not possible for all of us to get to a farmers market at short notice, especially living in a city. Supermarkets often wrap their fruits in plastic bags, (which confuse me because that’s the whole point of the skin of the fruit) and it can be scarily unavoidable.
The solution: Often the single sold fruit and veg is cheaper and not wrapped in plastic and they tend to be riper too. Next time you head to the shops, check out the counter – they tend to have fresher, cheaper options that come in reduced or even paper packaging.
7. Invite Friends For Dinner Instead Of Eating Out
The problem: It seemed that the only way to catch up with my girls was to invite them out for dinner and drinks. Whilst that’s all fun, it’s a pain on my wallet and unless you’re going to restaurants that make an effort to be sustainable, it’s not exactly eco-friendly. I used to work as a waitress, and I saw the disturbing amount of food that was thrown away each night. A bakery from next door would throw away still warm bread into the food bins. What a waste!
The solution: Cook! Invite your friends around for dinner and they can chip in by bringing the wine. It’s so much more fun and relaxing to eat in a non-formal setting and you can be as loud and carefree as you want! You’ll save a lot of money by entertaining each other this way and appreciate your time spent together sharing a home cooked meal.