An East Sussex mum of two was able to give up her job after she adopted a more frugal lifestyle, saving her family £11,000 in the process.
Zoë Morrison is the author of the Eco Thrifty Living blog, which she began in 2011 with the aim of saving enough money to give up her job as an auditor while living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
And it was a huge success.
"I thought it would be difficult to make savings that were significant enough to quit my job, but actually I was surprised about how much money I could save by being eco-friendly!" Zoë told SheKnows.
Thanks to the year-long frugal living challenge Zoë set herself, which included growing her own food, buying in bulk, altering clothes instead of replacing them and using cloths and water instead of toilet paper, she was able to quit her "draining" job and fulfil her dream of becoming a full-time stay-at-home mum to her two sons (now aged 5 and 7).
"I don't feel like I have given anything up in the name of thrifty living," she added. "I have made swaps for the better. Instead of buying into greenwashing [buying manufactured 'green' products], I am now buying products (or getting them for free) that are genuinely eco-friendly and far less expensive. Things like using lemon juice for cleaning, doing clothes swaps with friends and getting given preloved scooters for my kids from Freecycle, which saves them from being sent to landfill."
It may seem daunting to make such major lifestyle changes, but Zoë's advice is to take it slowly.
"My advice for someone wanting to live a more thrifty life is to just make one small change at a time," she said. "Make the change that seems the easiest first and then build from there. An example of an easy change is to take a reusable mug of tea or coffee on your daily commute or when you take your kids to the park on a cold day. If you bought a hot drink five days a week at £2 a time, you would be spending £520 a year — plug in your figures to see how much you could save. Also imagine how big a pile of disposable cups you won't be responsible for chucking in the bin!"
Another of Zoë's top tips is to "look for the multiple uses in your stuff before rushing out and buying something new". For example, she makes her own yoghurt, but instead of buying a yoghurt maker, she uses a saucepan and a freezer bag, as she already had those items in her home.
For Zoë, there's no going back to her old way of life. She continues to offer advice on her blog for other eco thrifty sorts and is also writing a book of practical tips to save both money and the environment.
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