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Stop waste, save money

With the cost of living on the rise, we’re all trying to make our household budgets stretch a little further – and by aspiring to live a zero waste lifestyle we can save money.

Buying less stuff, using and reusing what we already have, shopping smarter and clever cooking – there are ways we can cut everyday costs and also stop unnecessary waste.

Below are a few different ideas that might enable you to stop spending, and even earn a little extra cash. Take a look and see if there’s anything that might help…

When it comes to saving money, food is where significant savings can be made. Food that we buy and don’t eat is just like throwing money in the bin.

According to the waste and recycling charity WRAP, the average family of four could save up to £700 a year by planning, shopping and cooking smarter.

Follow these tips you might find yourself having to open your wallet a little less often:

Have a look at some of the links below to see what’s out there:

  1. Plan ahead! Check your fridge and cupboards and write a list before you go shopping
  2. Get into a food shopping routine and stick to it
  3. When out food shopping, compare the prices of similar items and the cost-by-weight to get the best bang for your buck
  4. Buy whole fruit and veg – with pre-prepared items you usually get less for your money
  5. Check the Use By dates – don’t buy something you won’t have time to eat
  6. Keep an eye out for yellow-stickered bargains and take advantage of coupons and loyalty card schemes
  7. Use your fridge/freezer and give items a longer shelf life – and make sure your fridge is under 5 degrees.

Over the last few years a variety of networks have popped up in an effort to cut food waste. Organisations such as Olio enable people, shops, cafes and restaurants to swap or giveaway food that would otherwise go to waste. Have a look at some of the links below to see what’s out there. There may even be a local food-saving network near you:

OLIO – The #1 free sharing app
Too Good To Go – connecting shops, restaurants and customer
Love Food Hate Waste – save food, save money, save the environment
Hubbub – the community fridge network
Liverpool Food Network – the dedicated support network for food & drink businesses
Feeding Liverpool – working towards good food for all
Foodcycle Liverpool Dingle – nourishing communities

Never mind shopping for food – what about growing your own? More and more people are turning green-fingered in an effort to become self sufficient, save money and stop waste – three things we are all for! Similarly, instead of buying the finished product, why not bulk-buy the ingredients and make your own? Homemade bread is delicious and not too difficult to make from scratch.

Growing your own food is healthier for mind and body and saves money. Whether you live in a house with a garden or yard, or a flat with just a window ledge, take a look at the websites below to learn more about making your own food:

Zero Waste LCR – home composting guide
The Royal Horticultural Society – Grow Your Own
The Royal Horticultural Society – Home Composting
Compost Works – Inspiring people to compost their food waste
Institute For Local Self Reliance – community composting
Mind Food – gain experience growing fruit and veg
Merseyside Recycling & Waste Authority – video guide to home composting

Do you own items you know longer use? Why not give them away to friends, family or a local charity/community group? Better still, go online and sell the things you no longer need, that way you can even make a bit of money and you’ll stop items from going to waste.

If something is gathering dust but you no longer want it, then give it away, swap it or sell it – chances are there is someone out there who would like what you have. You could even look at loaning items– for example, DIY tools. Instead of buying something new, why not ask friends, family and neighbours if they have one you can borrow for a short while, or you can lend to them.

Electronic gadgets, tools, bric-a-brac – have a look at the links below and see if you can get involved:

Zero Waste Liverpool City Region – Zero Waste Map
The Reuse Network – reducing poverty and tackling waste
The Restart Project – social enterprise that aims to fix our relationship with electronics
Liverpool Tool Library – borrow tools and save money

According to the waste charity WRAP, UK homes are hoarding £1000-worth of clothes in their wardrobes that they don’t even wear. There is huge potential for people to get more from what they already have. By making simple changes to the way we buy, use and get rid of our clothing we can all save money and help the environment.


Is the item in good condition? If it’s something you just don’t wear anymore, then why not see if someone will buy it from you? There are lots of online marketplaces where you can sell the clothes you no longer want.

Swap and Swish

Swishing is when good quality clothes that are no longer worn or wanted are swapped for other items. It’s a great way to update your wardrobe and reduce the waste we produce. You could even run your own swishing event – find out more by clicking on the image below:

How to Icons(Organise a Clothes Swishing event)


If an item needs repairing have you tried to fix it yourself? Zips, buttons, rips and tears – have a look online to see if you can find a fix, or ask a friend or colleague if they can help!

Alternatively, local charities will take clothes, whether that is via a doorstep collection or a charity shop. Charities can sell the textiles and raise money for a good cause. Have a look at our Zero Waste Map of the Liverpool City Region to see if there are any charities or community groups local to you.


There are many options for recycling old and unused clothes including local bring banks and textiles containers at the region’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. Your local Council may even offer a kerbside collection.

Just because we think some clothing isn’t of good enough quality to be used by anyone else, often materials can be shredded and reprocessed into new items for a range of uses including wiping clothes, felts and other non-clothing uses.

Most importantly, next time you go clothes shopping ask yourself if you’re really going to wear what you buy, or will it end up gathering dust at the back of your closet. And remember to reuse or recycle!

For more inspiration take a look at the links below:

Love Your Clothes – reducing the impact of clothes on the environment
Wirral FUSS – saving tonnes of perfectly wearable clothing
Vinted – sell the clothes you don’t wear
The Big Community Sew – sewing volunteers across the UK
St Helens Council – doorstep textiles collection
George Take Back at Asda