5 ways to shop ethically on a budget

Good day everyone! By the title, you’ll probably guess that we will be talking about money today. Sometimes shopping with ethical brands and natural products can get expensive and that is the price of fair labor. We all work hard and we want to make the most out of our dollar. I totally get it! Going for a more conscious way to purchase should not break the bank or get you into debt. The good news is I will share some of my tips to work around the money issue, while still support those great brands and maybe save a little along the way.

1. Time is your best friend

Nobody really likes that one so let’s get it out of the way. Wait and save. Don’t rush out the door to replace everything you own at the same time. I know the excitement and feeling the difference you are making in the world is uplifting and exhilarating but pace yourselves. If you start throwing everything out, it really does you or the environment no good. You need to test things and try a few changes at a time if you want to keep improving and find a simple living that works for you as well as your family. Slowly shop around, research, make a decision, save up and replace one product at a time. The way I decided to approach the transition was to start with categories, e.g. beauty and fashion, and slowly replace products or items as needed. For example, when my moisturizer is running low, I look at my list (more on that below) and decide my next purchase.

2. Consider the value in the quality

I agree some products out there are highly priced and it’s hard to know why. Things I consider when purchasing a high price item is the quality behind and if it will survive the test of time. Another thing to consider is how much use will you get out of that specific item. If you will use it every day and the quality will most likely make it last years, it might be worth including it on your “want” list with that description and price. Our grandparents were utilizing everything and making sure to buy things that lasted forever (well not really but that Creuset pot has been through generations). It is a great way to see the items you wish to bring home or maybe look to repair what you have instead. This is great for the environment with less consumption and for your wallet with less purchases. Relating to the above, another great way is to purchase quality multi-purpose items. That way you have fewer items around the house. The one I heard most about is the Buy me once products but have yet to try them.

3. Supporting and giving back

Within this conscious living you probably want to support causes, give back to your community and do so within your values. If you are vegan, you might be interested in brands offering vegan leather bags and shoes. If you support underprivileged youth, you might want to support a brand hiring and training them. See where I am going with this? You get “2 bird with one stone” by purchasing something you will use and love while at the same time you support your favourite causes. If you know a few, please leave them below for us to discover.

4. Recommendations and references

When you are on the market for something, don’t hesitate to ask your circle for help. They probably know one or two options for you to look into. We live in this great connected area with social media. Utilize it to ask the world and I can probably tell you from all the social media platforms out there, there will be great recommendations sent your way that fits your budget. I did this while looking for a new pair of casual shoes because only the high prices companies appeared in my research and I found a great company with exactly what I was looking for in my price range.

5. Look around for sales or discount codes or ebates or coupons

These are not the glamours options but they are quite effective. You might not know but stores have a sale schedule and it is the same pretty much every year. If you know well in advance, you can keep an eye on the regular, holiday and end of season sales. You might find a 10-15% off, which is better than nothing. Also, if you follow influencers, they sometimes have discount codes or giveaways so it’s worth looking and following.

Ebates offers you cash back when you purchase online and sometimes have special events with double cash back. It is free to join – please use the links below to learn more.

Groupon offers discounted activities, dinners, events, items, etc. It is a good way to save some money on local events and activities. It is free to join – please use the links below to learn more.

Lastly, I just signed up for Shoptagr so I don’t have much to say yet but it allows you to save items you want to purchase to a watch list and it will notify you when your item has been reduced (you can choose which you would like). Not all the shops are supported but they offer a list of then, some of which are ethical like Matt & Nat, and you need to add the button to your browser to use this fully.

If you don’t know these, please use this link and subscribe to their free services: ebates, Groupon, Shoptagr.

Bonus: Shop second-hand/used

Once again, this is not the most glamorous thing to do but, in my opinion, it is the best way to save lots of things from the landfills. Our society is big on consumerism and fashion changes so fast it is hard to keep in with the trends. You can find vintage shops all around the world. The big ones I know are Value Village, Renaissance, Salvation Army, and Vestiaire Collective (this one is an online high-end brand retailer and you can use ebates to get cash back). On top of saving clothing from landfills, you save money on clothing and accessories – which might not be ethically made. It is a great way to purchase brands you like but are not ethically made or special/uncommon/unique pieces that nobody else will have that fits your personal style.

Lastly, there are so many brands out there that you should be able to find something that fits your budget and your values. Just like everything in life, you make your own decision with what you have. You might want to support everything and everyone but I recommend taking it one bite-size at a time. There is no rush. Enjoy the anticipation of the purchase, the difference you make in supporting others and still respecting your means. What are the ways you save money while shopping ethically? Share in the comments below and don’t forget to like this article if you would like more fashion on the blog. Have a great weekend!

5 ways to shop ethically

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