<a href="http://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

How to save money while saving the planet

Purse with money in it

Credit: iStockphoto

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I've got the super-secret method that will help you save money and go green at the same time! It's worked for me and I bet it'll work for you too. You'll be surprised how easy it is...

It's simple: do the G Magazine challenges each month. Every single one we've tried has led to me saving money, as well as doing my bit to save the environment.

Switching to a reuseable bottle instead of buying bottled water: saves me $3 bucks every time I'm thirsty. Even if you buy a reuseable bottle, it should only take a few weeks to save the money you spent on it.
Making my own coffee at work instead of buying takeaway: saved me $15 - $20 each week.
Choosing nude food: led to me buying food in bulk so there was less packaging, which is cheaper than buying single-serves of everything. It cut maybe $10-$15 off my weekly grocery bill.
Going vegetarian: a bag of carrots is never going to cost as much as a steak. Buying less meat saved me at least $20 a week on groceries.
Switching off at the wall: didn't just save the world from pollution via wasteful coal-fired electricity, it saved me money on my power bills, about $50 a year.
Public transport (or cycling for people fitter than I am): ditching the car will definitely cut back on your petrol budget! It's hard to put a number on this one, because the price of petrol keeps changing, but maybe $10 a week if you switch to public transport, or more if you've already got a bike you can use.
Reducing food waste: by making sure you store and eat your leftovers properly, you're reducing the amount you'll spend on groceries (or takeaway). I cut my spending by about $10 a week this way.

Seriously, if you know anyone who's struggling a bit to pay the bills, why not suggest some eco-friendly actions to them? Even if they'd never consider themselves greenies, they might come around after you've saved them $60 a week. You could just casually mention "Oh, by the way, all those tips I gave you just happen to be good for the environment too, so you're helping more people than just your own family".