Can sustainable living be budget-friendly?

Life is expensive, and it’s normal to reach for the cheapest, easiest option when we’re on the go. But, a lot of the time, these options are not very good for the planet.

Sometimes, making more eco-friendly choices can be more expensive. However, a lot of the time the cheapest option is actually the most sustainable one.

To really see whether is it possible to live sustainably without spending a bomb, we’ve gone through each area of daily life and discussed how cost-effective it is to swap out unsustainable habits for greener ones.

Health and beauty

Natural eco-friendly beauty products tend to be expensive, and not as easy to get your hands on as low-cost products that use more harmful chemicals and are packaged in plastic.

However, cloth reusable make-up pads and other reusable products are a great way to save money in the long run as they last for a long time.

Also, more and more makeup and beauty brands are creating low-cost sustainable products that can be bought on the high street, as the market for them is growing.


With the price of fuel still high, it can be more cost-effective to take public transport. This is better for the environment as it releases fewer carbon emissions. Tips to save money on public transport include seeing if you’re eligible for a discount, booking in advance or getting a season ticket.

If you do need to drive, electric cars are ideal, but at the moment they aren’t affordable for most people. Instead, you could try a car share with friends, family or colleagues to save on fuel costs.

When it comes to travelling on holiday, going by train/boat is more sustainable than flying as it produces less C02 emissions, and can often be less costly.


Shopping second-hand is budget-friendly and better for the environment than buying clothes online or from high street brands. Apps like Depop and Vinted are great resources to find second-hand items which can be posted straight to your door.

However, buying affordable, fast-fashion brands is still the cheapest and easiest option for a lot of people. But fast fashion is not sustainable as it harms the planet. So, reducing how many clothes you buy from fast fashion outlets is a good way to save money and be more eco-friendly.


Buying local/organic produce is great for the environment, as fewer air miles and pesticides lead to tasty, sustainable food. However, farm shops, markets and greengrocers can be more expensive than the supermarket, depending on where you live.

Eating less meat and less processed food and eating more rice and tinned pulses will reduce the cost of your food shop, and it’s much better for the planet as these foods have lower greenhouse gas emissions.

If you want to eat out, going to a local restaurant instead of a big chain is often more budget-friendly, and the food is often grown, or bought, closer to home. Not only is it better for the environment, but it also benefits small business owners in your community.


All in all, it’s 100% possible to live sustainably on a budget, and it pays to be creative, and think outside the box to avoid pricey products and services.

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