But I just think I’m green…

Ok so I have to admit I am slightly obsessed! I really hate waste. I hate the feeling of throwing something away – where is away anyhow? I’m not exactly loaded either and so it really galls me to buy something ‘disposable’ – why buy something disposable when there is always a reusable option. It’s not just nappies either,  Disposable bibs? Disposable wipes? Cotton wool? It’s about looking at what you are throwing away and finding its washable alternative.

My parents are really responsible for this frugal behaviour and although I nicknamed them The Wombles a while ago, they wear this badge with pride.

Jen Harris Exeter Babies

Here are some examples of my thriftiness…

I don’t use cotton wool to take my make up off, or baby wipes on my kids…

…instead I use beautifully soft fleece squares. You can buy fleece from the fabric shop for around £3 a meter, but I cut up my old fleece dressing gown which made me about 30 wipes. They are much kinder to your skin when taking make up off. when it’s dirty you just wash it. After dinner when my kids are covered in food I rinse a fleece square in warm water and wash hands and faces, the cloth goes straight in the washing machine. Easy. I have different fleece squares for different things. Some old pink ones for cleaning the bathroom. White for nappy changes. Dark pink in the kitchen. It sounds complicated but it’s not. They dry super fast (but who cares as I use them wet anyway!)

Make your own wipes
Make your own wipes!

I don’t use cling film…

…instead I use a cereal packet bag, I open it out and give it a wash!

Ben’s sandwiches are wrapped up as if you were wrapping a present, I then either tie them with string (I tried pretty ribbon but it’s not really a bloke/builder look!!)  To cover a bowl of food I lay the plastic sheet over the top and use an elastic band to anchor it down. They last much longer in the freezer like this too.

Cereal Packet
Use this instead of clingfilm

Especially with a…

…Home made elastic band!!

I get dry skin from washing up and drying my hands so I reluctantly have to use rubber gloves. I get though them fairly fast. Mum showed me how to make the best elastic bands!! They last for ages, are REALLY stretchy and you can make them as wide or narrow as you like. They are great around frozen veg bags in the freezer but work exceptionally well on the cereal packet bags.

An old Rubber Glove
How to make brilliant elastic bands!

I try not to use tin foil too…

…although I know it can be recycled, if the chicken is getting a bit too brown in the oven I just put another tin on the top. I think I’m still using the same roll we had when we moved house over 5 years ago.

 

Rag only…

If clothes are truly past it, and too embarrassing to give to the charity, I bag them up and take them to the charity shop letting them know that these are ‘for rag only’ they get money for their weight and so are happy to accept them. You can put them in the green recycling but charities are grateful for the cash.

 

Mooncup…

…is saving me close to £1000 too – ask me how if you don’t know what one is! I sell Mooncup at Nappuccino  as well as washable cloth sanitary towels, yet another fab way of diverting waste from landfill or being flushed down the toilet where it could end up on a beach or in the sea.

 

Saving money as a family…

I’m sure all these small things are saving us money and I can see the results when I put the bins out, our bin consists of very little waste. Bones from meat, small bits of packaging which can’t be recycled like polystyrene and toothpaste tubes.

If we all do our bit to stop filling up holes with rubbish now – our kids wont have to deal with it later!

 

Saving money on your bills…

I’m also a distributor for Utility Warehouse, We have saved money on our Electricity, Gas, Home Phone, Mobile and Broadband by switching them all to one bill. Ask me how or visit my Utility Warehouse website (it’s shockingly easy!)