Get thrifty

Thrifting is most fun as a team sport. Make a day or morning of thrifting with friends and you’re likely to find more good stuff with more eyes looking through all those goods. There are so many thrift stores to check out in Boulder and they might have just gotten even better! Try out some of the many platforms to buy and sell used things online and find a few that work for you.

hands cooking eggsGet cookin’

Preparing food at home is the best way to eat affordable low-waste meals that are good for you and our environment. When grocery shopping, look for discounted bruised or very ripe produce. Going in with roommates or friends to buy staples like rice in bulk will save waste and dollars. If you do have a few extra dollars for organic, get more bang for that buck by replacing conventional produce items on the  “Dirty Dozen” list.

An Instant Pot is an easy way to make delicious things faster and with a lot less energy. For affordable, healthful, and delectable meal ideas, we recommend the free cookbook Good and Cheap. And check out Ralphie’s Cooking Basics Thursdays from 5:30-6:30 at the Alferd Packer Grill for more ideas with hands-on instruction.

Score the reusable discount

Of course cutting out those $4 lattes will save you some money, but when you do splurge, many coffee shops on campus and in Boulder offer a discount for bringing your own mug. And all shops in Boulder have to charge 10 cents for a reusable bag, so bringing your own bag will save you a bit that can really add up!

Save per mile on your bike

It’s easy to forget that when we drive we’re using gas and also putting wear and tear on our vehicles that really add up, not to mention parking fees or tickets that happen too. While gas costs us around $0.10 per mile, driving costs an average of $0.60 per mile, and though the numbers about biking are not as well know, it definitely saves money over driving, especially with free bike maintenance services at the Bike Stations.

Put your thermostat to bed too

If you pay your own energy bill, you’ve probably seen how it can add up. The DOE estimates that we can save 5-15% on energy bills per year by setting the thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours at a time when you leave the house for the day or go to bed at night. Depending on your usage, a programmable thermostat may help with this - ask your landlord about installing one. And consider getting an ECO-Visit if you live off campus or Green Home Certification if you live on campus to learn more ways to save energy and money.