The best fruit and veg to grow to cut down costs
Garden or no garden, here’s how to produce some nutritious fruit and veg on a budget.
The next time something breaks or starts to feel old, instead of replacing it with something brand new, could you reuse or recycle it instead? Secondhand clothes, appliances, furniture and computers will generally cost less, while extending their life and putting less pressure on the planet’s resources. Vinted, eBay and Facebook Marketplace will have plenty of options, or for a real bargain, scour Freecycle and Freegle for free items locally (and save on carbon-hungry shipping miles too).
Recycle your own goods and you could make some cash at the same time. A damaged 64GB iPhone 6 could raise up to about £30 on eBay (based on a May 2023 eBay search of sold items) – but also try envirofone or Compare and recycle. Even dead printer cartridges are worth something: printercartridgerecycling.co.uk pays up to £3 for each one.
Overpackaging sucks up resources – yours and the Earth’s. Take the time to plan before you purchase:
Warmer weather means lower heating bills, but the price of energy remains steep. Using less will also reduce emissions. Some easy wins are to wash clothes less often and at 30ºC, which saves 38% on the energy used when washing at 40ºC, says Which? (2022).
Retire the tumble dryer, at least for the summer when it’s warm enough to dry clothes on a rack. Open your mind to microwave cooking – it can do a jacket potato for just 7p, against 37p in the oven, according to Sust-it. Finally, a five-minute (non-power) shower should be cheaper to heat than a bath, but always time yourself to make sure you don’t linger.
Reducing your food waste is a no-brainer. If you split the total edible food wasted between every UK household, each home would save £491 a year, according to The Eco Experts (February 2023). It also contributes to around 8% of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions (Energy Savings Trust). But there are some quick ways to reduce it.
Your personal carbon footprint is the sum of the emissions created as you go about your daily life. Lowering it will benefit the planet and could save you cash. NatWest’s handy Carbon Footprint Tracker can be found in the NatWest app, criteria apply.
Designed with experts Cogo, it could help you tackle your spending, change your lifestyle and have a positive eco impact. It analyses your monthly transactions and matches them to their industry category (eg travel, food bills), then provides tips that could lower your total footprint – and hopefully your spending.
Our App can be used on compatible iOS and Android devices. You'll need a UK or international mobile number in specific countries.
This content is for information purposes only and shouldn’t be regarded as financial advice. While we’ve taken every effort to make sure this information is as accurate as possible, it has not been independently verified.