Hello lovely Blossoms,
When I started this journey, I knew it was going to be overwhelming because if you are like me and you do some research on a topic you just want to try it all and then you end up failing because its too much...so I started small, in increments to ease into where I want to be. I am still not nearly as close to my goal as I want but at least I can say I am closer and I keep on getting closer everyday.
By doing this in small steps I have managed to slowly migrate into a lifestyle that now seems like second nature, I cannot imagine how we used to live before starting this because it is so easy actually. Some things take a little bit more effort but it is part of the daily routine now.
If you are looking into trying something like this, and I urge you to do it, read my list below for an easy start.
Here are the 10 things I started with that made it all easier:
Stop buying pre-cut veggies - This takes just a few minutes of your time, when we get our veggies I take the time to cut about 60% up to freeze and the rest I cut and place in the fridge to cook with for the week and some I leave whole. The great thing about doing this is the extra use you get out of the scraps and of course you save money. We try to avoid buying from big chain shops so I purchase our groceries from here - http://kosonline.co.za They deliver to certain pickup points and really helps to not buy unnecessary items like you would when walking in a shop.
Reuse bags/bottles or buy environment friendly - This is a big one, we overlook this so easily because of convenience but in all honesty this is such an easy problem to solve. We re-use our plastic bags that we have because they would otherwise just end up on the dumping sites and we have so many because I never used to throw them away. I always have a few in the car and if I forget to take them with me I would rather invest in a re-usable brown paper bag than adding to the plastic pile. The same goes for plastic bottles and small food containers like empty yoghurt jars, feta cheese jars etc...we have loads of empty ones that I keep instead of buying new ones, when they gave me their full use I recycle. These are a great way to store food in the freezer like soup or if you made food in bulk. If you have to buy new ones rather opt for glass or eco friendly options or reusable freezer bags, they are a little pricy but in the long run worth it.
Compost - This year we have really tried hard to start our own veggie garden to stop relying so much on bulk produce shops. By doing this we needed to buy a heap of compost and soils etc...I have always wanted to compost and now that we have the garden what better chance...Composting is so easy, I just keep all the veggie and food scraps except a few that does not compost well to throw into the bin. - here is a link to help you to know what should and should not go in there https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/what-can-you-compost.htm
Stock Cubes - additional to the composting bin, I started keeping a bag in the freezer to place almost all veggie scraps as I go along in there, since we stopped buying pre-cut veggies this works great. As soon as the bag is full you are ready to make some home made stock that you can freeze as well...these are great for a soup or sauce bace and so much healthier since you know exactly what is in there. You can basically make stock with anything except starch vegetables.
Tea bags - This one is new to the list but oh so worth it! I recently bought re-usable tea bags and what a great product, you can find loose tea leaves almost anywhere so you will still have your supply of tea. I absolutely love tea so for me this was awesome. I bought mine at shop zero, they are super affordable and they have great tea to go with it - https://shopzero.co.za/product/reusable-cotton-tea-bag/ . This is a wonderful shop, you can definitely give their products a go!
Take-out - We were never the biggest take-out people in the world but in our home we tried to make a deal with ourselves...if we are in the mood for take-out and we had the ingredients, we would rather make it ourselves. At the end of the day you are getting a home cooked meal and you will save money. Don't get me wrong I am not saying stop eating out, we still have our days to eat out but for the most part we try to eat home cooked meals, it is much healthier and you just feel better afterwards.
Bread - This is a biggy...I have to confess I love bread and not the good kind...but when we decided to go down this road we agreed to limit ourselves to buy bread and rather make our own. I love baking bread, the whole process is so fun for me. On our list is definitely to one day cut flour out, this is a somewhat expensive road but I am looking into buying unbleached or whole grain flour to make our baked goodies because white flour is really really unhealthy.
Herbs - Did you know growing herbs is extremely easy?? Trust me, I dont have green fingers at all but I am trying and so far I am pretty impressed with our garden. Herbs are really easy to grow from seeds or if you are too scared, buy herbs that are already sprouted and just water and give some sun and you have continuous supply of fresh herbs.
Bottled water - Now don't get me wrong I am not a water snob, but I don't drink our tap water because the quality water is really not great, somedays it feels like I might as well take a sip out of a chlorine pool and it will taste better... We decided to buy a big 25L bottle and we just refill this every month. This is our drink water, I do not cook with this simply because it seems wasteful to use our drinking water for this. We used to buy the small 500ml water bottles and ended up paying so much. We are now saving a ton and we have great quality water, I would definitely want to invest in a charcoal water purifier so give me a few months and I will be there.
Paper Napkins - Guys if you want a fun project, make some napkins. I made mine super easy by buying some thick linen in a neutral colour. Bought some material paint and then cut a few napkins, sewed the outlines and then just stamped a pattern on with the paint. This was such a cheap and easy task and now I always have napkins ready.
This is just a few of the things I did to start, trust me I am not perfect and sometimes we fail at these but the great thing is that there is always a new day to be better. We really try our best and I hope to someday stick by all of our changes 100%.
I hope that you can use some of these to ease into a cleaner lifestyle and see for yourself how extremely easy it is if you just put your mind to it.
Let me know what are some of the things you started with or would like to start with in the comment section below.
Till next time, be blessed.