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Looking for ways to make some extra cash or cut down on expenses? Don’t have time to take on another job? Or do you simply want to live more sustainably? Whatever the case, here are some tried-and-true ways to save a few bucks while being kind to Mother Earth.

1. Buy second-hand
sale assortment denim collection on the stand in a stylish boutique shop selectionNot only does second-hand shopping save money, it’s also sustainable. Every item you buy second-hand is one less item you’re buying from the fast-fashion industry. Not to mention, thrifting is a great way to get creative with your wardrobe and still be on trend. I’ve found vintage T-shirts for as little as $2 and Levi’s as cheap as $8! Talk about a win-win for yourself and the environment.

2. Sell your clothes
Take a day to clean out your closet. Chances are, there are at least a handful of items you haven’t worn in forever (or forgot that you owned entirely). Why let them sit and take up precious space? Sell them! Online platforms like Poshmark or Depop are great for this. Or you can take your clothes to a place like Plato’s Closet or Buffalo Exchange and get paid cash on the spot.

If there are any items that you’re struggling to sell, donate them. They’ll be going to a good cause.

3. Learn to cook
Cutting vegetables for healthy vegetarian salad in kitchen, closeupThis is perhaps the #1 way I’ve been able to manage my expenses. Why spend $8 on a Birdcall chicken sandwich when you can spend $8 on four fresh chicken breasts and cook them to your liking? That’s at least four meals right there. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also be in better control of what food you’re putting into your body.

Better yet, get into meal prepping, which can save money and time. Store the leftovers in your fridge for a convenient meal later in the week and reduce food waste by purchasing only what you need for your week’s meals.

 

4. Opt for drip coffee and bring your own cup
Hot coffee on wooden tableDon’t get me wrong—as a barista, I understand the appeal of coffee shops and the luxury of sipping a perfectly crafted latte. But if you’re buying a $5 drink every time you visit your favorite cafe, those expenses are adding up.

Next time you grab coffee with a friend or sit down in a shop to do some work, get a drip coffee instead. This will save you money in the long run. To add an element of sustainability, bring your own cup. Some coffee shops even offer a discount for doing so!

 

5. Cut down on utilities
The less electricity, water and heat we use, the better for the planet and the better for our bank accounts. Take shorter showers, turn down the heat and sleep with an extra blanket or unplug any devices you’re not currently using. Again, these small steps add up to a great deal of difference.

Give these tips a try, and in doing so, you’ll help out both Mother Nature and yourself!

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