Living on a tight budget can be so tough sometimes, am I right? It’s hard to walk by those super cute boots or to not get that daily Starbucks. It’s even harder when we strive to live as naturally as we can. We know that natural choices are better for us and our families but the natural living choices are also often really expensive. Yes, you will have a healthier life and will likely spend less money later in life, but when you live on a tight budget, it’s hard to make it work.
You have to find a way of balancing natural living with saving money. How do you even know when a natural choice is worth the extra and when it’s okay to save the money and buy something more conventional? That’s what we’re going to explore.
Food is something most of us think about when we think about natural living. We probably think organic when we think about natural choices. Did you know you don’t need to always choose organic when choosing something natural? There are some foods that are definitely better to buy organic (think the Dirty Dozen) but there are lots that don’t need to be. Fruits and vegetables are natural, even if not organic. Flour and sugar are natural. Even refined white sugar can be a better choice than fake sweeteners when it comes to natural living. Sure, raw sugar, honey, or maple syrup would be a better choice. If you have the budget, go for it.
When thinking about natural living food choices, I personally mainly consider real food as compared to dyes and preservatives. This is why we make most of our own cookies and things. I also often buy Annie’s brand of snacks. They are fairly affordable, often have coupons, and go on sale fairly often, both in store and on Amazon. To balance out the increased cost, I buy store brand conventional all-purpose flour (unbleached when it is the same price as regular).
Personally, we also buy conventional meat. I know others who would say that’s a bad choice and I should only purchase grass-fed beef. Well, meat is expensive. That’s just not in the budget in this season of life. I am more concerned with avoiding dyes and preservatives at this point in time.
Our skin is our largest organ. It gets exposed to everything and absorbs so much. It is important to remember that when considering what we put on our skin. There is a smartphone app called Think Dirty. You scan the barcode of a personal care item and it gives you a score. You want a product that has a score under 5 if you are looking for something with less harmful chemicals and endocrine disruptors (things that mess with our hormones and can cause all kinds of issues from ADHD to cancer).
I like to use coconut oil and essential oils for a lot of my skin care needs. Coconut oil, tea tree, and lavender can be a great choice as a face wash, especially for those of us with oily skin. A little bit goes a long way so it can also help you to balance natural living with saving money.Young Living makes body wash that is much more natural than most of the options you would find in
Young Living makes body wash that is much more natural than most of the options you would find in store. There are also ways of making your own hand soaps that are far better for you than conventional ones. Many of the DIY versions are also very affordable.
Cleaning is one of the easiest ways to living naturally while saving still money. It is so easy to clean using things like vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and essential oils, among other items. There certainly are a number of natural cleaners that you can purchase, Thieves Cleaner and Thieves Laundry Detergent are my favorites and are both affordable per load/spray bottle. However, if you would rather spend extra on organic food, making your own cleaning products are the cheapest option.
Looking beyond the liquid cleaning products, it is more natural and cheaper to make your own cleaning rags or buying microfiber cleaning cloths than it is to buy disposable things like dusters or sponges. If you’re looking for more information about natural and affordable cleaning solutions, be sure to check out my post Guide to Cheaper Cleaning.
When it comes to balancing natural living with saving money, it’s all about making choices. You might decide a certain food item is more important than a personal care item. Or maybe you’d rather buy natural cleaners so you have to buy a conventional food item. The choices are all up to you. Only you and your family know what your budget is and can decide what natural items are most important.