Living green on a budget?

I’m a mother of 4 boys and want to make sure they have a healthy home. How can I live green when green products cost sometimes double the price of others? Isn’t there an easier way?
You’ve all got some great suggestions. ECOS has some great products:

I already freecyle. I stopped buying Bleach and use the 12lb bag from Sams..(I’m already a fan of BULK)..I pass down all my kids clothes.

ORGANICS are still insane in price. I will get reusable cloth grocery bags, water filters so no waste and I try not to buy things with too much packaging…

I live in Florida so turning the a/c to 80 would be bad since it’s so humid and that would bring the possibility for mold.

I’m trying….Wish me luck!


17 thoughts on “Living green on a budget?”

  1. Well if something is expensive, buy it slowly and look for deals.

    Take CFLs for instance, they cost more right away, but they pay for themselves in the long run in energy savings. But as well, in summertime government and energy companies want us to save power because of the added drain of air conditioners, thus they often give out coupons for buying CFLs.

    They give coupons for other things too, like digital thermostats. When we bout ours we used a coupon from a government or power company program(I forget which), and on top of that it was on sale, so we got a double deal, now we save on power by not running the AC or heating while we’re away or when it’s not as needed, like at night. It just allows you to set different temperatures for day and night, it’s great.

    To buy enviro friendly cleaners, there’s a company called method that has great products that are affordable, and most importantly I love them because they don’t leave an offensive odour like I find regular cleaners can. Check out

    Other than that, one big important thing is the basics, recycling and composting, most importantly teach it to your kids, make sure they know what to do and how to do it. If they’re raised with recycling and composting as a part of life, they’ll easily do it their whole lives.

    Also you have 4 boys, so one great way to live green is to buy used. They go through clothes fast, so there’s used clothing stores that are made for them. I can’t recall the name, but I’m sure you have some in your area. It’s a great way to reduce the carbon footprint of that item, because you’re not buying a new one, and you’ll save money. To encourage your kids to buy used, ask them to take the initiative, you can maybe take them to that store, or one of the higher end thrift stores, and give them a budget. Then by sticking to this budget you can buy them something new as a result, like a video game if they like those.

    Point is you’d likely be buying the video game along with new clothes, but this way they get to pick the clothes, and get rewarded with the video game.

    I guess my big thing is, going green doesn’t have to mean you lose out on green. Look for coupons and sales, do the basics, and most importantly, involve your kids, I mean they’re 4 little helpers in a way, they can all help you go green.

    A couple other great simple green ideas, plant some trees, or look in your yard for seedlings, and stake them, and don’t mow over them, and they’ll grow into trees. The other idea is try gardening, it’s fun, relaxing, exercise, and you can’t get fresher or greener produce than from the backyard.

  2. Making green steps often times saves money. When its time to upgrade appliances, make sure its energy start. Front load washers use a ton less energy and water than top loaders and you can get huge capacity washers that allow you to clean more clothes at once.

    Bring a reusable bag with you and/or plastic bins to put your groceries in. That will save you from using a ton of plastic garbage bags.

    Switch to compact florescent bulbs. Costs more up front, will save you in electricity bills down the road.

    Buy a Brita water filter jug which will help you save water and will clean your tap water so you don’t have to buy bottled water.

    Make your own cleaning products using vinegar and water.

    Buy recycled toilet paper, computer paper, etc.

    Buy "green" garbage bags.

  3. look up homemade cleaning supplies in your search engine. There are MANY recipes for vinegar, baking soda, borax, peroxide, toothpaste, lemon juice, etc. This is all we clean with.

  4. I recommend going to the markets, and growing your own food if possible along with chickens for eggs etc.
    Often living green lifestyles make you more self-reliant and more independant.

    Also prioritise with the purchase of organic foods what you think is most healthy.

    Prioritise with green products, to what you feel is most neccessary to firstly your family’s health and then the environment.

    Prioritise what will save you money in the long run. Heating your water by electricity is about 1/3-1/4 of your electricity bill, installing a hot water system though about 5000 to install will pay itself off in 3-4 years.
    Yet it makes you more independant from any energy increases and dependence on the electricity bills.

    Also always shop around as there are many places that are green but still overpriced.

    I think most of all try to explain to your kids the importance of living green, nature and creativity as well as not being consumer hungry and materialistic.
    (This will save you money down the track as well as strife when they are teenagers)

  5. I’m the mum of 6 and try to live a green as I can. Often living green is cheaper then not. However, you need to think out side the green box,

    I use vinegar and baking soda to clean they do a better job often then the commercially made eco products. They are even cheaper then the non natural cleaners. Vinegar is a disinfectant there was a study and it found that it was as good as the bleach and pin cleaners.

    Even if you can only do a small window garden or container gardens. You can grow your own "organic" food. I do a garden it is definitely organic and saves me a lot of money.

    I hang dry as much of my clothes as I can it saves energy and money.

    I also make as many things as I can from scratch. Like bread, meals and deserts. I also make my own soap, cheese and clothes which is in my book is very eco friendly and very cheap….but way over board for most people lol.

  6. Even if you don’t get the green brands just living thrifty can be green and save you some money too. Buy in bulk when you can – less packaging and more economical. Make sure clothes are handed down and then if still wearable when the last one is through freecycle it or give it to a local thrift shop. You can freecycle just about anything you no longer need – that keeps it out of the landfill. Or find things on freecycle as well. Got to farmers markets if they have them to buy produce.

  7. sunshine_today

    You might be surprised. I got some "green" dishsoap and it lasted 3 times as long as the stuff I usually buy. So it cost more, but it lasted longer so I think in the end it evens out.

  8. I am actually paying less the more green I live (which started about two years ago). Let me explain:

    1. I turned my thermostat down four degrees, that saves energy and money

    2. I joined the Compact (1) which is all about not buying anything new… this has saved me a lot of money!

    3. I joined Freecycle (2) and started getting things I needed used from local community members.

    4. I stopped paying for yard waste removal and made a compost pile. Savings: $17.00 a month

    5. I started using a reusable water bottle, saving about $3.00 a day

    6. I’ve always had a garden, but I started a container garden too, expanding my veggies to broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, tomatoes, celery, squash, cucumbers, beans, peppers and onions.

    7. Stopped taking my SUV out and about for errands, out on the towns, and started using my commuter car that I used to only drive to work. (This is saving me a lot of cash right now).

    8. Started using reusable bags at the store… my grocery store gives a $.25 credit if you use their "branded" canvas bag or $.05 credit for any other reusable bag.

    9. Switched all of my bulbs to CFL’s – a total of 37- except for my three way bulbs.

    10. Cost of recycling with my waste removal company? Free.

  9. SouthParkRocks

    well not really i cant list all of the products that would be afforable and green at the same time but for laundry u can go to costco and buy this one brand called ECOS with 210 oz of deteregent (its huge) it should cost like around $10 this would last u for a long while plus it has built in soy based fabric softener so u dont have to spend money on softeners.
    for other green products like dishwashing liquid, multipurpose cleaners and such Trader Joes have great prices on those ranging from $2.69 to like $5.
    Baking soda is great for cleaning around the house and its like $1 for a pound box (they list the uses in the back of the box)
    hope some of these ideas helped

  10. Yes actually there is!
    You don’t need those over priced cleaners and organic crap to live green. Buy food at local farmers markets and stands. You can even try to growing your own vegetables. Clean with vinegar and baking soda.

    Honestly living ‘green’ is mostly propaganda shoved down our throats by corporate America in an effort to cash in on a trend and make a buck. You can save money by living simply.

  11. Eat organic when you can afford it. The top two things you can do are eat organic dairy products and produce products. Teach your sons to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

  12. Yes they cost a fortune. You could make your own by using baking soda, vinigar, lemon, toothpaste is good for cleaning the sink or pots and pans, use mexican block soap to help wash your clothes and they also make a bioderadeable washig powder called Foca, tea tree oil disinfects.

  13. -You can make some of your own cleaning products (there are websites that tell you how)
    -Turn the temp on your thermosdat up in summer, down in winter–every degree helps
    -Wait to do laundry (or dishes) until you have a full load
    -Turn down the temp on your hot water heater
    -Use carpeting in winter, and bare floors in summer (tile/wood).
    -Keep blinds/shades/drapes closed in summer where the sun is shining in
    -I assume you do reuse clothing–pass it down!
    -Use cloths instead of paper towels–for windows and mirrors, use newspaper instead of paper towels
    -Turn off electrical appliances when not in use (including lights)
    -Turn your computer off at night–and when not in use
    -If any of the boys are still in diapers, use cloth instead of disposable
    -Use the sleep timers on your TVs and stereos
    -Buy giant, economy sized products–they save on packaging (and having a big family, I’m sure nothing will go to waste)
    -Bring reusable bags to the stores, rather than taking home paper or plastic

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.