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I have written a lot about Lagom. And why I think that the concept of Lagom is going to be so important for the world. We need to embrace a balanced more frugal way of life if we are going to carry on living on this little blue/green planet for any length of time to come. Would you like to save some money and possibly save the planet at the same time? Here’s my Lagom your life Part 1 – the Kitchen.
Lagom Your Life Part 1 – The Kitchen
Reduce, repair and recycle are the mainstays of a Lagom lifestyle. Some of these frugal ideas you may already be doing. Some may work for you and others you may not like the sound of. I am not telling you that you must do all of these things, but it is certainly worth adding the ones that do work for you into your everyday life. At the very least you will save yourself some money. At the most you could help to save the planet. Sounds good when you put it like that eh? So what are going the be the best ways for you to Lagom your Life part 1?
Lagom is all about a balance. Not minimalism or clutter but about being just right. There is a lot to be said for having a good clear out in any room, and the kitchen is no exception.
For example, have you ever bought a can of food or a new spice jar at the supermarket just to get home and find that you already had it in tucked at the back of a shelf? Having a good declutter and organising your cupboards so that you can see what you have at a glance will mean that this doesn’t happen again. Maybe reuse an upturned box at the back of your tins cupboard so that tins can be stacked? Ones at the back are then higher and can be seen easily.
Why not set yourself a timeframe to get things a bit clearer? I decided to do this in my Year to Clear.
2. Reduce Food Wastage
The best way to do this is by meal planning. Having a set plan of what you are going to cook and eat every week means that you can have a set shopping list. Stick to this! By not buying anything not on the list you can resist the temptation for buying the ‘special offers’ and other items that will cost you more money in the long run. If you know that you use everything on your shopping list each week then you should eliminate wastage.
(As an aside, I always make sure that I am not hungry when shopping. If you are hungry you are far more likely to stray from your list and impulse buy!)
Another good tip is to bulk cook, this can save energy as the oven/stove is cooking lots of food together at the same time. Then freeze in batches to reheat later, thus saving you time and some money on energy bills. A slow cooker is a great appliance to make family meals in bulk cheaply and easily.
Do ensure that you are storing food correctly. Certain food can spoil if not stored in containers, so investing in some good quality plastic boxes that will wash and wash is a great idea. Or do wash out and reuse plastic takeaway containers for as long as possible.
I am sure you are reusing your shopping bags, but I do have a great idea for making some new ones. Watch this space!
And if you do have food left past it’s sell by date, consider if it can be fermented, or if it can be composted.
And why not consider moving onto a more plant based diet?
3. Reduce Energy Wastage
Just boil the amount of water that you need at the time. You won’t be reheating that extra water time after time, saving energy AND money!
Remember to turn appliances off at the wall when not needed rather than leaving on standby, as this does save some energy. Also remember to switch lights off and use low energy lightbulbs to save money.
If you have to buy another appliance, is it possible to buy second hand? And do check that you are buying the most energy efficient appliances. These may be more expensive, but could save you more money in electricity bills over time.
In the laundry wash on the shortest wash at the lowest temperature. “If its not dirty, wash at 30”. Wash as full a load as your machine will allow (check your manual for the maximum load) Washing half loads every time obviously uses twice as much energy.
And try to air dry as many of your clothes as you can, saving on using the dryer, as this eats power. If you can, use a washing line on hotter days.
4. Borrow instead of buying
Are you like me and rarely make cakes but would love to make one for a special occasion? Why not borrow a friend’s food processor/blender rather than buying one? Thinking of buying a juicer? Why not see if someone you know has one in their cupboard before splashing out? If it isn’t a fad then you will find out if you need to buy one for yourself.
5. Recycle and Reuse
A large part of a Lagom lifestyle is recycling, and I am sure that most of you have and do use your recycling bin to some degree. Could you do more?
How about reusing your jars for gifts for people, or for making preserves?
Do you use washing cloths and kitchen roll? We throw away tonnes of kitchen roll daily, and I used to use buy cloths at the supermarket, until I realised that I could cut up old clothes to make unsponges wash cloths, dusters and kitchen cloths.
An epiphany for me was having a child, all the burp cloths got used for general spills, including in the kitchen. Now I rarely give clothes away (unless I can sell them), but use pinking shears to cut them into cloth sized pieces that you can reuse by washing or throw away. I will never buy dusters or washing up cloths again! Plus I love eco friendly cleaning products.
Well, I hope that Lagom your Life part 1 has given you a few ideas. A frugal life needn’t mean having less. It just means being a bit more balanced. Not having too much or too little. Be more Lagom.
Need some more ideas on how to reduce your household waste? See this post for 23 more great tips.
I would love to hear your thoughts, do comment below or tell me what you think on social media.
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Why not read my Lagom Your Life. Part 2 – The Bedroom