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How to Save Money (and Mother Nature) When You Shop

How to Save Money (and Mother Nature) When You Shop
Featured Guest Blogger:  Maggie Berry

You have to spend money - there’s no way around that. After all, you’ve got to eat and pay your bills, and you can’t wear the same thing every day. But when your budget looks a little on the lean side, you have to learn how to juggle your dollars and dimes. It’s not always easy, but there are ways to meet your needs without driving up your debt-to-income ratio. Shop smart and you’ll reduce your carbon footprint in the process, too. If you need some help getting started — and it’s a lot easier than you might realize — then check out this guide, presented courtesy of Swell Vision.

Online Shopping to the Rescue  - First things first: if you aren’t already using online discounts and promo codes to save money, you’re missing out. You can find discounts on everything, including home décor and home appliances. Spend a few minutes browsing through available deals, and you might even find cashback opportunities. While we don’t recommend buying a new rug or piece of art just because they’re a good deal, if you’re going to have to make a purchase anyway, it makes sense to keep more money in your pocket that you can spend on other necessities. More to the point, buying home furnishings that will last means less waste to clutter up the landfills. If you are going to shop online, be mindful of the number of shipments you have sent to your home. Although you may be saving your gas by not driving to a store, you are replacing that spent fuel with transportation costs. But as The Good Trade reports, some of the benefit lies in fewer returned goods ending up in landfills. It’s a delicate balance, so shop strategically.

Shop Local - One way you can help the environment and your community members is by shopping locally. Local stores tend to source locally, which means a smaller carbon footprint for shipping, and an increased amount of revenue going back into the community. You will often find many local businesses grouped in areas with high walk scores, which means that you can park and walk to many different shops, restaurants, and cafes instead of driving. These areas are great for building connections within the community, plus they are better for the environment because of the lower demand on fuel.

Coupons, Anyone?  - We’ve all seen the exasperated-looking woman walking around the grocery store with a binder full of coupons. She wipes out the shelves and meticulously compares her coupons to what’s available in the store. While these extreme couponers have mastered the art of newspaper clipping, they do so at the expense of their free time. Fortunately, you don’t have to go to these lengths to reduce your grocery bill. The Penny Pinchin’ Mom blog suggests getting to know how to use coupons. There are usually two places to find these money-saving certificates. Your favorite store’s website is one. Most major supermarkets offer savings you can preload into your shopping cart. This makes it easy to browse through their site during your free time so that your coupons scan instantly at checkout. If you live near a local newspaper distributor, you might even try calling and asking if they have any old newspapers they plan to trash. These often have coupon inserts and, once you have what you need, you can recycle the rest. When you get a great deal on your essentials, stock up. It might just save a trip to the store later. Each gallon of fuel you don’t burn means 20 fewer pounds of CO2 in the air.

Quality Over Convenience  - One of the most important things you can do to save money in the long run is invest the money you’ve saved into quality items. Remember, there is a reason that some products sell for much less than seemingly similar competitors. That is because these bottom-barrel items are made with poor-quality materials. Sofas, mattresses, shoes, tools, auto-parts, and professional clothing are all examples of goods that are best purchased with quality instead of price in mind. When you buy things that last, that’s less power, water, and fossil fuels needed to make and transport them from the manufacturer to your favorite store. You will find local stores and companies tend to focus more on higher quality goods, and even more are working towards smaller carbon footprints. Look for businesses that have a green agenda. Some may even publicly work with local and state officials on green initiatives. You’ll also see efforts through their marketing and website that illustrate power conservation, the use of sustainable goods, and limited printed materials.

Saving Money and the Environment - Saving money does not have to be a full-time job, but with a few tweaks to your shopping habits and some smartly timed excursions, you can spend wisely every time you have to head to the store. And when you shop with the future in mind, you can rest easy knowing that you aren’t adding undo strain to Mother Nature’s already-heavy load. Do your best to save money on essentials, but invest strategically in eco-friendly and local products that encourage sustainability and local commerce. You won’t regret the choice. Swell Vision promotes sustainable living through the development of a green fashion culture. In every step of the process, we are partnering with you to improve planet Earth. Call 866-SWELL22.






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