Chanukah starts today and it is very nearly Christmas. If you are lucky enough to be going away or going to stay with friends and relatives this festive season, a little preparation before you go away can be good for your wallet and the environment! Here are my 5 eco money saving going away tips!
1. Sort out your food
The first of my 5 eco money saving going away tips, is to check the contents of your fridge. Plus your fruit bowl and any other places you might have food that has a short shelf life. Stop it from going off while you are away by doing the following:
- Excess milk in ice cube trays
- Berries and grapes. They taste yummy as a frozen treat, but also blend nicely to make sorbets, icecreams, smoothies or ingredients in a crumble or pie.
- Bread. For sliced bread tilt each slice slightly in the bag. It makes it easier to separate the slices after being frozen.
- Bananas – freeze in their skins or slice into coins.
- Meat and fish. It can be frozen once before being cooked and once after being cooked.
Batch cook and then freeze:
- soup out of excess vegetables including salad. If you have an unwanted apple or pear, add that to the soup for added sweetness.
- a white sauce or cheese sauce out of excess milk and cheese
- Pasta sauce out of excess veg and tomatoes or passata
- Banana tea bread out of over ripe bananas and freeze to eat another time. Tip – make it into muffins instead using sillicone cases or a muffin baking tray to avoid disposable muffin cases.
- Juice leftover citrus fruit and other fruit that is easy to juice. Either drink straight away or freeze in icecube trays for another time.
If you are going to stay with friends or relatives you could take your fresh food with you to share with them there. Check first if they can make use of the food you are bringing and if they have space in their fridge / freezer for it.
Tip: if they do want the food but don’t have any space – freeze a couple of 2 litre bottles of water and put them in a cool pack to take the food in. The frozen water should keep the food cool for a couple of days.
If you are going to stay in a hotel or your friends and relatives don’t want your excess food, try your neighbours. Or give the food away via online food sharing sites and apps like Olio.
For more tips about how to reduce food waste check out this article here: Food waste – a challenge to avoid it for a day and a round up of use it up ideas
2. Turn things off at the plug switch
While you are away you don’t need to see the clock on your oven or have your TV system on standby.
Switch everything off at the plug unless it is something that needs to be on constantly like a fish tank or your fridge freezer. Also if you have set things up to record over the holidays on something like cable TV you need to leave the cable box turned on, but everything else can go off.
You will save money on the background energy usage you don’t need to be on and it is better for the environment not to use energy if you don’t need to.
3. Set your heating to 5 to 10 degrees
It is important to leave your heating on a bit while you are away so that your pipes don’t get too cold and potentially freeze and burst. Equally though you don’t want to be paying to heat your home at the same temperature you have it while you are there. It doesn’t need to be that hot, just hot enough to protect the pipes.
4. Put your fridge freezer on holiday mode
When you are at home, the fridge freezer gets opened and closed regularly. That allows cold air to escape and then the fridge and freezer needs to work harder to cool down again.
While you are away your fridge freezer has less work to do, because the doors stay shut. So you can put it on holiday mode. This lets it know that it doesn’t need to work as hard and it will use less energy.
5. Give away any cut flowers, still blooming or take them with you!
Have you been given flowers just before you are going away? It would be a real shame for them to look beautiful in your home while you aren’t there. Take them with you if you can or give them to a friend or relative to appreciate them instead!
So there you have it – 5 ways that getting organised before you go away can save money and the environment!