11 tiny changes to earn £5,700 extra year – and they are good for the planet too

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SAVING the planet can actually save you money too – up to £5,700 a year in fact.

You don’t need to spend thousands of pounds strapping solar panels to your roof or only eating organic food either.

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It’s not always true that going green is more expensive[/caption]

Here are the small swaps you can make to your household products that are better for the environment and cheaper to run.

From ditching loo roll to ignoring the best before dates on your food, here’s how going green can cut your bills:

Buy secondhand furniture and homeware – £3,000

Furnishing your home is expensive so heading to your local secondhand store will save you money – but often it’s not the style that you want.

One thrifty mum from Bromley reckons she saves £3,000 a year by buying old and used furniture and then “upcyling” it.

Pippa Selby, 31, of Bromley, greater London, hunts for bargains at auctions, car boot sales and online before doing them up so they look new.

She keeps most of her creations to furnish her family home, but she has also managed to sell on what she’s revamped for a profit.

Clothes swap – £1,000 a year

Brits spend over £1,000 a year on clothes, according to fabric experts Ariel, which works out at around £84 a month.

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Swapping your clothes with friends over a year could save you £1,000[/caption]

But you can curb your spending by “swishing”. This is where you swap your unwanted clothes with others for free.

Find out where your nearest clothes swap is by checking out swishing.com. Events are normally free or there’s a small entry fee of around £2 to cover the cost of hosting.

Or you could host your own event with pals – and even sell unwanted clothes online to make some extra cash on the side.

Would you give up buying clothes for a year? It would be hard work but you’d save yourself a huge £1,000.

Ignore “best before dates” – £700

It’s estimated that households in the UK throw away a shocking £700 worth of food a year, some of which is perfectly okay to be eaten.

Unlike use by dates, many “best before dates” can be safely ignored. This is because it indicates the quality of the food and not when “gone off” food could make you ill.

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You could save hundreds of pounds over the year by bringing your own shopping bags to the supermarket[/caption]

The East of England Co-op is the first UK supermarket to sell food that’s past its best before date at a flat rate of 10p, in a bid to stop food waste.

And Sheer Luxe has revealed 13 foods you can safely eat past their use by date, like bread, milk and biscuits.

Switch to green energy – £289

Some green energy providers that rely on wind and solar power offer competitive rates which can save you money as well as put the environment first.

Renewable energy provider Octopus could save households £289 a year compared to a standard variable tariff with one of the Big Six.

For example, a dual-fuel standard variable tariff with one of the Big Six providers costs around £1,367 a year, compared to £1,078 with a renewable energy supplier.

Swap to reusable nappies – £395

Disposable nappies can cost parents £395 a year, according to the Money Advice Service, and it takes between 200 and 500 YEARS for one nappy to decompose reports Which?.

So swapping to reusable ones can help you save cash and the help the environment.

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Parents spend £395 a year on disposable nappies per baby[/caption]

The Go Real nappy information services estimates that it costs around £80 for a basic set of reusable ones for your baby, plus another £1 a week to wash them.

Over a year, it would cost you £132, which is £263 less than disposable ones.

Save on delivery cost – £233.48

Are you a serial online shopper who orders goods one by one? You can seriously reduce your carbon footprint – and your delivery costs – by ordering everything in one go.

Instead of hitting the pay button straight away, try saving goods to your basket until you have enough in there for free or reduced shipping costs for fewer delivery trucks on the road and less packaging.

For example, Amazon charges up to £4.49 per item for delivery but it’s free when you spend at least £20 on items shipped directly from the retailer.

Over a year, you’ll save £233.48 on delivery costs by placing an order over £20 once a month compared to less once a week.

Swap your shower head – £185

Households with a power shower can save cash and energy simply by swapping he head to a more eco-friendly one.

Makers claim that the shower heads can reduce the amount of water it uses by up to half while still keeping the same amount of pressure.

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An eco-shower head can save you £185 a year on water and heating bills[/caption]

Eco shower heads could save a family of four £70 a year on energy bills and £155 a year on water costs, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

They cost between £20 and £30 from hardware stores but make sure you check that your shower is compatible before fitting it, otherwise they’ll overheat.

Bring your own cup – £130.50

Many high street coffee chains charge you extra for using one of their paper cups, while others reward you by slashing the bill when you bring your own.

Bring your own cup to any Pret A Manger branch and you’ll get 50p off your drink, including cold beverages.

You can save up to 30p at Starbucks, which charges 5p for their paper cups and discounts those with resuable ones by 25p.

Customers will save 25p at Costa, 50p at Paul, 45p at Leon and 20p off drinks at Greggs.

You’ll save £130.50 a year by bringing your own cup to Pret, based on a coffee per working day.

Ditch loo roll – £100

Households in the UK spend around £1.1billion on loo roll every year, according to Mintel, but one Frugal mum-of-four has found a way to save cash.

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One mum reckons she saves £100 a year by ditching loo roll[/caption]

Hazel Newhouse claims to have saved over £100 a year after convincing her family to ditch loo roll and use homemade cloth wipes instead.

She’s even developed a way to avoid touching the clothes altogether by using a sealed tub by the loo.

Go paperless – £36

Many utilities companies charge customers a fee for every paper bill they send through the post.

For example, BT charges £3 for a paper statement while TalkTalk charges £2 for the bill.

If you’re able to, switching to managing your account online can save you money in the long-run.


If you went paperless with three providers on your monthly statements then you could save up to £36 a year.

Bring your own bags – £26

Forgetting to bring your own bags to the supermarket can end up costing you a small fortune.

Many retailers have now stopped selling single-use plastic bags following a 5p charge imposed by the Government in 2015.

Now, the only bags on offer to customers at the checkout are the more expensive bags for life that cost 10p each.

Over a year, you could save £26 by swapping five plastic bags on your weekly shop for reusable ones.


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