7 Ways to Save Money Like a Hippie
It seems like being a “crunchy mama” or a “hippie” is so desirable yet unattainable. Everyone seems to be pushed toward being a hippie mom, but almost everything that comes along with being a “hippie” is outrageously expensive! “You must only dress your baby in 100%, humanely-raised fair trade, organic, read-bed-time-stories-to, cotton… that costs $80 for a single onesie!” And this is coming from a self-proclaimed hippie: that’s insane.
Here’s the truth: I’m not really a hippie. I’m just
Someone asked me “so, are you a hippie or something? Do you shave your armpits and shower?” I then realized everything that I did to pinch pennies was also being a hippie! (Side note: yes, I shave my armpits and shower! Nip that one in the bud right away!)
You don’t need to spend money to be a hippie or a crunchy mama! With all the mommy guilt going on, you don’t need to feel like you have to go into debt to be doing “the right things” for your family!
There’s plenty of things that you can do that will save you money when you compare them to doing the “normal” alternatives.
I love cloth diapers! They have saved me thousands of dollars since I started using them. The full breakdown about how I cloth diaper two children while spending $276 on the diapers themselves and $20 annually for laundry for the cloth diapers is extremely detailed, but here’s the quick rundown:
- $126 for 14 diapers from Zulilly
- $15 for a diaper pail
- $15 for a diaper pail liner
- $120 for 4 packs of the 6 Amazon diapers
Brings my up-front cost for cloth diapering to $276 for 38 diapers!
Add in making your own laundry detergent for $20 a year, and you’re at a resounding $316 for 2 years of diapering 2 children. Compare that to the $2,000 or more that I would’ve spent using disposable diapers and there’s no comparison.
It’s a win-win: the earth wins, and so does your wallet!
Clean up your cleaning products
If you make your own cleaning products then you’re saving money, you know what products are in your house, AND you’re making one less product to go to the dump. Here’s what we do for cleaning products:
It’s simple, easy, lasts my family of 5 a year, and it costs a total of $20 (depending where you shop).
Make your own all-purpose cleaner
Stop buying paper towels
Buy a few towels at the thrift store, and cut them up into rags. You can get 10-12 rags from each towel, and they can be used for everything from wiping up the baby after dinner, to wiping off the kitchen counter. (Don’t worry. We keep a spare roll for when company comes over!)
Essential oils instead of air fresheners
Essential oil diffusers actually have health benefits, instead of just masking odors. The aerosol isn’t good for the environment either. Plus, you can use essential oils in so many different ways (rollerballs, diffusers, in pregnancy, and more)!
Since making our own toothpaste, we’ve also stopped needing to get cavities filled! You can actually make your own highly effective toothpaste with things you have in your kitchen right now: coconut oil, baking soda, and peppermint essential oil.
Shop second hand
Thrift shopping and going to yard sales are the only way I buy clothes for my family! Thrift stores, second-hand shops, and even your local Goodwill or Salvation Army have high standards for the items that they accept and won’t sell anything that is ratty, dirty, beat up, or just overall something that you wouldn’t want to own.
Think of it like recycling: you’re saving something that would have otherwise been headed to a dump! Not to mention, if you know where to look, you can get some amazing stuff for next to nothing.
Buy used cars
You can get so much more for your money with a used car! When we were expecting our third child, we knew that the only way that we would be able to afford a minivan was if we bought it used.
We got our 2008 Honda Odyssey that had been a rental car, with 85,000 miles, leather, DVD, and a clean Carfax for $11,000! There’s no way that we could’ve done that without buying a used car!
Become a one car family
I won’t lie, it is tough sometimes. But it is absolutely worth it! Back when we were living off of $17,000, we went without a second car for a long time.
With a little planning and a lot of determination, it’s feasible. Still having trouble picturing it? Imagine cutting your gas bill, car payments, and insurance payments in half.
Scratch-and-dent stores sell items at a deeply discounted price because the item has a visual flaw, not a mechanical one. This applies to major appliances and even groceries. We got a brand new $800 dishwasher for $250 because it has a tiny scratch on the underside of the handle. And our scratch-and-dent discount grocer is the only way that we’re able to stick to our $75 a week grocery budget!
Line dry clothes
Slice your carbon footprint in half is by line drying your clothes. The dryer is one of the most expensive appliances to run in the whole house! Especially in the summer, line drying is a great way to get clothes dry.
Invest is a nice sized drying rack, put it in the sun and tada! Dry clothes courtesy of solar power! It works as a natural bleach alternative, too.
You don’t need to be world’s biggest hippie to do hippie things. After all, almost all of these seemingly “hippie” things really are just ways to save you thousands of dollars! I’d much rather be called a “hippie” than a “cheapskate,” anyway!
What “hippie” things do you do that save money?