That conversation began to ruminate within me, and out came a series of Thoughts. Here they are for your inspection:
We spend money on TRASH. It occurred to me a few weeks ago that the "Household" portion of my budget is mainly taken up with things that I eventually will throw out. That's approxomately $75 of our income every month that ends up lining our trash cans. Wow. Here's the list of things I began tracking, and saw my own hands toss away every month:
- plastic wrap
- trash bags
- Cotton balls
- printer paper (most of it)
- Soaps & Detergents
My goal is to eventually eliminate that list, thereby saving my family money, and causing less landfill-fodder for the future generations. So far I have replaced the following:
- Trash bags---> Instead of paying for a $box$ filled with $plastic$ that will do nothing more than embrace my garbage on its way to the Dump, I now line a small trash can with plastic bags from the grocery store. Yes, I have to empty it every day, but it fits under my sink, and it keeps the stinky stuff from molding after 3 days of room temperature bacterial growth!
- Plastic Wrap---> As often as possible, I store stuff in Tupperware, which I try to keep in good enough shape to last me for years. Or, I use a Mason Jar. Or, I use a ziplock bag. I've started buying the heavy freezer bags so that they last longer, through more washes. Hanging these on the fridge with a magnet after washing enables them to dry overnight. Simply put 'em right back into your drawer when they're dry. Good as New.
- Razors---> My favorite. I bought my husband a nifty old-fashioned safety razor for Christmas, complete with soap, dish, & badger hair brush. WOW, does that thing give a great shave!!! He cut himself a couple times while figuring out how to use it, but it's the smoothest I've ever felt! And, yep, you guessed it. I now use it on my legs! It took a while to get used to; it's very heavy, and VERY sharp. I'm a pro, now, though, and LOVE not having to buy shaving cream (since it works best with a shallow, slippery surface rather than a thick foamy one.) It takes nearly a week before I need to shave again, it's such a close shave. The replacement blades are about $2 for a pack of 5, and they're tiny--so less waste to send to the Dump. So we save on shaving cream, razors, and cartridges with less waste all around!
- Diapers---> This one is a no-brainer. USE CLOTH! I have made up my mind to start with the next child on something like what Denise uses. Oh, it also works to potty train them. Which we have successfully done. :)
I'm still working on the rest of the list. Q-tips (or, Q-cumbers, as Violet calls them) are a real tricky one. Also tampons.....not to get too personal.......but I do feel bad spending $$ on a huge box (Costco) of them knowing that every last bit of them (including the box they're sold in) is going to end up just Costly Trash at some point. I know this may seem a bit extreme to some of you, but I believe that a more frugal lifestyle is going to become necessary (and helpful) to all of us in the future. Cutting back is good for the Budget and the Environment.