Five frugal things for Zero Waste Week

We have had a really good week here at Shoestring Cottage. It was Zero Waste Week, and the focus on reducing our waste meant we actually saved money too. Thrift and an eco-friendly lifestyle are natural partners I think.  We may be a long way from a zero waste lifestyle, but it is very satisfying to feel we can do our bit, be much greener and make a difference to the welfare of our planet.

Greener laundry

zero waste week

I finally got round to purchasing an Ecoegg. It cost me around £25 from Amazon and, all being well, should last for a massive 720 washes. I worked out in our case that would be about four years! The benefits are threefold. An Ecoegg will save money on laundry powder, save on the packaging it comes in and mean fewer chemicals are on our clothes and leaching into our water system.

According to the blurb it works like this: “The Ecoegg contains two types of cleaning pellets. The tourmaline ceramic pellets weaken the adhesive forces between the dirt and the fabric. The mineral pellets then naturally ionise the oxygen molecules in the water which then penetrate deep into the fabric, lifting away the direct and grime. ” Sounds like a science lesson!

I have only used it once so far and it cleaned perfectly well, so I will let you know how I get on.

Batch cooking

zero waste week

I made a big pot of chick pea curry and another of chilli con carne in the week. We had one meal each and I froze the rest. So we have two ready meals each for whenever we can’t be bothered to cook. Cheaper and healthier than a microwave meal and – for Zero Waste Week – with none of the associated packaging. I re-used some ancient plastic containers my daughters once had a takeaway in. These are great for freezing batch cooked meals, home made soup and leftovers.

Selling unwanted items

I listed some things on Facebook Marketplace at the weekend and have already sold three of them. We had two pictures that were in the attic and unlikely to be used again and a rug in nice condition but the wrong colour for anywhere.

I hate unwanted items just cluttering up the house and it makes sense to pass them to someone who will appreciate them – and make a bit of cash in the process, of course.

Dusting off the slow cooker

zero waste week

As part of my Zero Waste Meal Plan, I decided to use up some of the rather large bag of pudding rice that was lurking in the back of the larder.  I love rice pudding but hardly ever make it as Mr Shoestring isn’t keen. However, even he had to admit that with sugar and cinnamon it was actually quite delicious.

Now that the weather is turning a little colder I will start to use the slow cooker again.  It costs hardly anything to run and you can chuck in your ingredients and forget about them all day.

Here we go again

We had a lovely trip to the cinema in Clacton and finally got to see Mama Mia. We have been planning to see if for weeks but things kept coming up. Ticket prices are only £4.50 there, which is a bargain. We took our own drinks and parked in the street, although we did splash out on some popcorn for a change since it cost so little to get in. I loved the film – a bit of lightweight fun!

So this has been our frugal, not quite Zero Waste Week. As I keep saying, we are aiming for progress not perfection. How have you got on? Anyone else managed five frugal things or attempting a Zero Waste Week?

I am linking up with  Cass Emma  and Becky in their Five Frugal Things linky. Check out what they have achieved this week.

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4 thoughts on “Five frugal things for Zero Waste Week

  1. What a lovely week you’ve had. I made your chick pea curry this week for the first time and loved it. I am the only vegetarian in a house of 3 so was able to freeze some as well. Would love some slow cooker ideas as I’m not confident what to make and my 20 year old son says everything is like stew which he’s doesn’t like. Our little lovely local cinema is only £4 a ticket too so a friend and I go quite often to support it. It’s lovely, although we don’t often partake they have a young person carrying a tray hung round their neck up the aisle selling ice creams during the interval. Just like in past times. They do sell quite a few to people. Looking forward to hearing how you get on with the eco egg.

  2. Not done well at all with the Zero Waste Week. Of course, I could’ve put the waste things to one side and put them out for the bin-men next week, but that would defeat the object, would it not?
    How can we have zero waste when food is packed in plastic, and milk comes in plastic bottles. There are a few outlets for milk where you can take your own bottles, but they are few and far between and one has to be careful about making sure things are perfectly clean if a food stuff isn’t going ot be washed or cooked, or even not used for several days.
    So we’ve had just the same amount of stuff going into the recycling bins. Perhaps that doesn’t count, as it’s recycling? We have fewer items going into the residual waste bin (for landfill or whatever) these days, but that is usual for us as we try and recycle all we can.
    I have been to the charity shop with some items, though, as I cleaned our part of our wardrobe. The rest will have to wait until I have the strength to tackle it, these things aren’t entered into lightly! Jars are re-used, plastic bags washed out, we now have those 4 velcro-together trolley bags for shopping (an excellent purchase) so we no longer need our plastic bags for that (and they were looking really rough after a couple of years’ service), indeed anything that can be re-used is re-used. I can’t say we’ve not tried, but I wish the manufacturers and supermarkets would try harder, too.
    Our local Vue multiplex offers all tickets on Monday mornings for £3.99. We don’t go there, though, preferring to go to Dartington’s Barn Cinema if there is a film we consider worth watching (few are thus!) We pay more, but it’s a rare occasion and therefore a treat, and no noise (other than the film itself – usually too loud, but that’s everywhere) and no people munching, drinking, or chatting (which I’ve heard is the case in the local multiplex.)
    Margaret P

    • You’re right. A zero waste lifestyle is pretty much impossible. If you have time and plenty of independent shops nearby plus are very dedicated you can reduce it a lot but this is hard for many of us. All we can do is our best!

  3. Erm… I pretty much did nothing for zero waste week, so bravo to you on that front! I had something similar to the Eco Egg many years ago, but I’d be interested in seeing how well it works for you. My slow cooker needs to make an appearance this week!

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