Even as an individual, our choices have a huge impact on the future of this planet. The more we choose a sustainable lifestyle, the better we feel, the more money we save, and the better we leave our planet for future generations. 

The goal is to live in a way that is healthier for you and healthier for the Earth. 

Sustainable living is doable and easy when you know how! Here are 7 ways to start sustainable living on a budget.

1. Invest in Reusable Items

The amount of waste that ends up in landfills is mind boggling. Do your part to help the planet and invest in reusable items rather than one-and-done items. If you can replace something that goes in the trash with something that can be reused, you save money and help the environment.

Here are a few examples of everyday items that can be replaced with reusable items.

Paper towels – Replace paper towels and cleaning sponges with a Swedish dishcloth. These are eco-friendly cleaning cloths that are effective, sturdy, washable, and reusable.

  • Sandwich and storage bags – Replace plastic sandwich bags with reusable snack bags or reusable beeswax food wrappers. 
  • Water bottles – Replace store-bought water bottles with reusable water bottles.
  • Face wipes – Replace makeup wipes you toss after use with reusable face wipes, such as the MakeUp Eraser.
  • Straws – Replace plastic straws with glass straws.

You can find different varieties of all these eco-friendly, reusable products on Etsy.

2. Before You Buy Something New, Use What You Have

Have you ever bought food at the grocery store to replace food before you are actually out of it? Ever bought a new black shirt when you have a few others at home? 

Instead of buying more and more, use what you have! Be conscious of what you already own and what you truly need when shopping.

When you do this, you reduce your consumption. Next time you head out to the store, see what you have in your pantry, cabinet, drawers, and closets to avoid buying things you don’t need right now.

Use $5 Meal Plan for More Efficient Meals

Cooking at home is great, but many say planning dinner every night is the worst! If this sounds like you, there is a simple solution: The $5 Meal Plan. You won’t have to worry about what to cook, what ingredients to buy, or how to cook the meals. 

The $5 Meal Plan is a weekly service that sends you the recipes, a detailed shopping list, and recipes. They do the thinking for you, so all you have to do is follow the plan. Each meal will cost around $2 or less.

When you follow the plan’s grocery list, you will buy and use what you need. Get started with a $5 Meal Plan so you can eat better for less.

3. Make Superior Coffee at Home and Save

Do you regularly stop for coffee on your way to work? What happens to the paper cup after you finish your coffee? Do you use K-cups at home each morning? What do you do with the individual K-cups after you make your coffee? 

Most of these coffee products end up in landfills. You can reduce the amount of waste in those landfills when you makel more sustainable choices when it comes to coffee. 

Invest in a reusable, insulated container for your coffee.

Consider roasting your own beans. You can find a wide variety of green coffee beans on Etsy. It is better for the environment and your pocket to make coffee at home. 

Replace your traditional K-cups with a reusable, refillable K-cup.

Free Workshop – Join our free Simplify Money Workshop

The *only* way to save money is to spend less than you earn. That means you need to decrease your expenses or increase your income.

We want to help you do both.

Join our FREE Simplify Money Workshop to learn the fundamentals of growing wealth. Because when you can spend less than you earn, your money has no choice but to grow. You will build your savings and pay down debt. 

What’s more? We’ve got a bunch of free money-hacks to share with you:

  • Hacks to lower your monthly bills
  • Hacks to spend less on debt
  • Hacks to start investing
  • Hacks to increase your income by $20/month (with no extra effort)

This workshop has everything you need to accomplish the cardinal rule of personal finance: keep your income over your expenses.

Join our free 5-day Simplify Money Workshop, and start growing your wealth today.

4. Reuse or Repurpose Everything

It’s easy to simply toss things when we are finished with them. But, these items just end up in the trash and, ultimately, landfills.

Make a point to consider how to reuse or repurpose items before you throw them away. 

Here are some examples:

  • Toothbrushes – When you are finished using a toothbrush for brushing your teeth, reuse it for cleaning small spaces in bathrooms or between tiles.
  • Wine bottles – There are many ways to repurpose empty wine bottles, such as DIY candles or vases.
  • Old clothes – Use old clothes, such as T–shirts and socks, as cleaning cloths. Take clothes apart and reassemble pieces to make something new, such as a T-shirt blanket. Or, donate them to a thrift store.

Before you get rid of furniture or home décor, think about what it might look like with a fresh coat of paint and a little pizzazz. 

5. Visit Local Farms and Sign Up with a CSA 

Produce and meat purchased from grocery stores have typically traveled many (many) miles. Instead, look for opportunities to get your food from your local community. 

Start your weekends at your local farmers’ market. Or, sign up with a Community-Supported Agriculture program to own a share of what local farms produce. You will get boxes of their harvest delivered regularly.

Find a local butcher who works with family farmers who raise animals for beef, chicken, pork, lamb, goat, and bison. The quality of the meat will be so much better than what you can get from multinational food processors.

Save on Food (and More) with Ibotta, the No. 1 Cash-Back Grocery App

It’s no secret that grocery prices continue to creep higher. We cannot negotiate with the manager at a local grocery store for lower prices, but we can use the No. 1 grocery app to get some cash back. Shoppers all over the country rely on Ibotta to get free money when they shop at their favorite grocery stores. 

Download the app, connect your loyalty programs, select items to buy, and then snag a quick pic of your receipt using the Ibotta app and watch your cashback total grow. Ibotta has paid out more than $680 million to shoppers just like you. Download the app today and get a $20 welcome bonus.

Want to hear even more ways Ibotta can save you money? Check out our Ibotta explainer video, here!

6. Stop Buying Multiple Cleaners 

If you look under your kitchen sink or bathroom counter, is there an assortment of cleaning products? Do away with the clutter, save money, and help the environment and opt for a DIY solution that can clean it all. 

Here is a natural all-purpose cleaner recipe from Brown Thumb Mama.


Refillable, reusable glass cleaning spray bottle

1/2 cup white vinegar or citrus vinegar

1 teaspoon Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds

15 drops tea tree essential oil or OnGuard essential oil blend

1 ½ cups filtered water


Add all your ingredients to your spray bottle in the order listed. 

Label the bottle and shake gently to mix.

Start cleaning.

Along these same lines, take a look in your shower. Do you have a bunch of different shower products in plastic bottles? Consider swapping these products for bath bars, such as shampoo bars and conditioner bars that eliminate the plastic. You can find these on Etsy

7. Make Conscious Fashion Choices

Did you know 84% of our clothing ends up in landfills and it takes hundreds of years for them to decompose [source].

With this in mind, make an effort to buy quality clothing that will last instead of cheap, fast-fashion items you’ll wear a few times and discard quickly. 

Another sustainable option it to shop thrift, secondhand, and consignment shops, or you can rent outfits for specific occasions.

Small Changes Today Mean Lasting Impacts Tomorrow

Here are 3 quick ways you can start living sustainably today: 

  • Invest in quality, reusable products.
  • Think before you toss.
  • Embrace DIY repurposing and upcycling. 

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