Frugal Green Living: Save $1000 Using These 6 Tips

Image credit: thievingjoker @ flickr

Convince your boss to let you work four (slightly longer) days a week

Working four ten-hour days instead of five eight-hour days is not only a great way to have a longer weekend, but it'll save you some cash, too. You'll save 20% on whatever you spend for commuting, coffee, lunch, and any other daily expenses you incur by dragging yourself to the office. Let's say you do it on the cheap, and don't drive yourself, pay for parking, or spend more than a few bucks on lunch. Even if you spend $2 on the bus or public transit, $2 for a coffee and $6 for lunch, you can easily save several hundred bucks by working four days a week. Get the nitty-gritty in our guide for How to Go Green: Commuting.

Alternately, you can telecommute on the fifth day of the week; it'll cost a bit more in energy and food expenses, but it'll still save money in the long haul.

Annual savings: $500+ for a four-day workweek (that's $10 per day, one day a week, for 50 weeks a year -- you get two for vacation, right?); slightly less for telecommuters.

Photo credit: nasv @ flickr

Walk or bike on one trip that's two miles round-trip per week

40 percent of urban travel in the U.S. is two miles per trip (or less), so hop on your bike (or take a walk) once a week, save some wear and tear (and gas) on your car, get a little fresh air, and save some bucks. Learn more about greening your ride in our guide for How to Go Green: Cars and take the savings to the bank. Ready to really make a change? Take the two mile bicycle challenge.

Annual savings: $56.26 -- 104 miles (2 miles x 52 weeks) at 54.1 cents per mile, the average cost of driving per mile, according to AAA

Image credit: blair christensen @ flickr

Make your own all-purpose cleaner

Rather than dropping four bucks on individual green cleaning products and five or six bucks for a green toothpaste at the grocery store, you can easily swap out products you (probably) already have at home to do the same job. For cleaners, take 25 cents worth of baking soda, 25 cents worth of white vinegar or lemon juice, maybe a touch of essential oil, and voila! Small variations can yield toilet bowl cleaner, tub scrub, and toothpaste Plus, baking soda can clean most anything, including your hair (and it can strip paint, too!). By substituting baking soda for many of your cleaning needs, and adding a little elbow grease, the savings will add up.

Annual savings: $50 -- give or take, depending on how much you clean (we figured six tubes of toothpaste at $4 each and one each of five cleaners -- all-purpose, toilet scrub, tub scrub, window cleaner, and floor cleaner -- at $5 apiece).

More money-saving strategies from TreeHugger and Planet Green
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Top Three Gadgets That Can Actually Save You Money

Tags: Biking | Energy Efficiency | Heating | Laundry | Vegetarian | Walking


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