"Stop pouring money down the drain": 10 easy ways to save cash and be more sustainable.

Living more sustainably often comes with the perception of a lot of linen, a minimalist home and a huge price tag, when in actual fact it looks a lot more like the doona you already have, an eclectic mix of furniture and a smaller price tag.

Here are a couple of ways that you can save the planet and a hell of a lot of money at the same time.

Watch: 7 eco-friendly habits that aren't so green... Post continues below. 

Video via Mamamia.

1. Cut down on new clothes.

Australians are the second largest consumers of textiles around the world - on average a female in their mid-20s will drop $3,500 a year on clothing. 

Cut down on your clothes spending, shop secondhand or go without altogether. I quit buying clothes for two years and here’s everything I learned

Even going without buying anything for a month will save you almost $300. 

2. Use up the food you have.

Each year the average Australian household throws away $2,000-$2,500 worth of food! That’s not just the odd slice of mouldy bread, but one in every five grocery bags. 

Make a conscious effort to use up everything that you have in your fridge. 

Make a list before going to the shops so you don’t buy double-ups and make some fun recipes using your “older vegetables”. A couple of great low waste options are homemade pizzas, frittatas and soups or curries. 

3. Sell your stuff.

Rather than just saving money, why not make some money?

Have a look around your home, in particular in the depths of your cupboard and turn your trash into treasure. 

Facebook Marketplace is a great place to sell old furniture, artworks and larger items whereas eBay is great for pre-loved fashion and appliances. 

In most cases, council clean-ups and kerbside collections will send your items straight to landfill, so you’re better off selling your things online or simply giving them away to someone who will keep them in use.

4. Shop secondhand.

On that, shopping secondhand is a simple way to save even more money. 

Instead of buying new, look for a pre-loved item which 9 out of 10 times will come at a fraction of the cost. Shop far in advance so you aren’t rushed into making last-minute purchases. 


Here are six ways to find new clothes without buying new.

Want more affordable style advice? Listen to Mamamia's fashion podcast, where we share tips on dressing like a celebrity - on a budget. Post continues below. 

5. Go reusable.

Bringing your own reusables wherever you go won’t just help you say no to single-use plastics, but it will help save some loose change. 

Some cafes will even take 50c off when you BYO, pretty much paying for a reusable cup. Responsible Cafes is a great guide that shows which cafes in your local area offer a rebate. 

6. Turn off the lights.

It’s simple, but if you’re not in a room, make sure the lights and appliances are switched off. Better yet, use a timer on your devices so they don’t drain energy when they’re not in use.

Switching to energy-efficient LED bulbs can help you save up to 85 per cent on your energy bill, plus in many cases, they last longer too. 

7. Make a DIY cleaning spray.

Turn your scraps into an all-purpose cleaner - simply place all of your used citrus peels into a jar of white vinegar and leave them in a dark place for three weeks. 

When time’s up, strain the liquid, add the same amount of water and decant it into a spray bottle. Voila - a DIY surface cleaner.

8. Read more, save more.

Join your local library and feed your book worm for free, especially if you’re someone like me who only reads a book once then they collect dust. 

If you’re not a big reader, many local libraries also allow you to download audiobooks and e-books for free, while still providing authors the royalties they deserve. 

9. Stop wasting water.

A leaky tap that drips just twice a minute will waste roughly 260 litres of water a year. 

If we were to compare that to a bottle of water, it would be around $900 worth of supposedly clean drinking water that’s gone to waste. 

Fix your taps and stop pouring money down the drain.

10. Choose plant-based options.

It’s no secret that vegetables and tofu cost a whole lot less than meat.

You don’t have to ditch meat altogether to reap the planetary benefits. 

Go planet-based for one day of the week - Meat-Free Monday has a nice ring to it - or pick one meal a day to help cut down on your meat and money consumption.

Lottie Dalziel is the founder of Banish, with a mission to help Australians reduce their waste with the right products and information. Follow Lottie on Instagram for more great tips.

Feature Image: Getty.

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