saving money with heart

I LOVE love love this article. If you are a frugal shopper, always couponing, looking for the best deal, pinching every penny, AND are concerned about the impact of your money-saving choices on the world around you and your family’s health, read it:

Buying Ethically and Shopping with “Values” {on Money Saving Mom – by guest blogger Carrie from Frugalistic Mom}

I appreciate how she shares the importance of following your convictions by supporting particular businesses and farmers (and not supporting certain practices/showing concern and acting in love for those who are abused and taken advantage of around the world), by making some healthier choices here and there, all while not completely giving ourselves over to an extreme lifestyle change. I also think it admirable how she clarifies that not everyone shares the same convictions – her choices don’t have to be yours, and we shouldn’t judge the choices of others who may not choose the way we would or do. However, it is interesting and helpful to hear ways that others have found to implement their own human rights, environmental, and frugal spending convictions all at the same time. What are some ways that you do that? Please comment!

Here are some ways that I do:

• To get more organic produce into our diet without breaking the bank, I buy frozen organic fruits and vegetables. They last longer than fresh, are less expensive than fresh a lot of the time (especially if you buy store brand), and they help me make use of our extra freezer. 🙂 I get berries, sweet peas, broccoli, and edamame from Harris Teeter all the time at a really good price on sale.

• Anything else that I buy organic, I buy only on sale, or try to buy things that tend to be less expensive all the time – things like dried beans, some bulk grains and seeds (yeah Whole Foods!), produce like apples, bananas, carrots… nothing exotic or impractical. I really like what Carrie said about looking at the actual price per pound/amount & making sure that it’s doable, rather than just comparing the organic price to the non-organic equivalent and choosing to by cheaper. I need to start doing that.

• In the summer I grow a lot of organic herbs. Buying a bunch of herbs doesn’t seem that expensive, but rarely do you need that big ‘ol bunch for just a recipe or two. I’m not gonna use cilantro in breakfast, lunch & dinner for the entire week just to use it up before it goes bad, ya know? You can spend the same amount on a packet of seeds (or a little more on a small plant at the Wake Forest HerbFest – buy local if you’re in WF). It’s also a great incentive to implement more fresh healthy herbs into your cooking. I love finding new recipes to use things I’ve grown.

• IF you don’t want to grow organic herbs, or just have a black thumb, you can grind up your leftover fresh herbs in your food processor or blender (oh how I love my Ninja), and freeze them in ice cube trays with a little bit of water or broth. Here’s a little how-to.

• I’ve been buying gently used kiddo clothes at the KidsExchange and Once Upon a Child since Rhys was born, and lately shopping for myself at Plato’s Closet.

• I use Pinterest a TON to find great ways to reuse what would otherwise be trash – cereal boxes, styrofoam egg crates, empty milk cartons, glass jars and bottles, old worn out clothes, etc. – to use for home decor, kids activities, gifts, jewelry, and more! It’s money-saving, environment-saving, and fun-making. Here’s my ‘reuse it’ board. (Until Pinterest, I had no idea there are so many cool ways to reuse toilet paper rolls.)

• Cloth diapers. Need I say more? Actually – there’s a lot to be said about the benefits (and challenges) of cloth diapering. But that is for another day…

I think it’s really important that we care about how our choices impact the world – the people and all of creation – even our own bodies by eating organic when possible. As easy as it is to fall into complacency or deceive ourselves into thinking that a simple small choice or change won’t collectively make a big impact in the long run, it’s as easy to do the opposite and teach ourselves to make small, but better choices every day. Ok, it may be a teeny bit challenging, we might have to make a LITTLE bit of an effort. But it’s worth it. I want to be intentionally loving, like Jesus is and asks me to be, even in the little things, and I encourage you to do the same. And seriously, I would really enjoy hearing ways that you use to ‘save money with heart’. Do share!

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