I am 31 and moved into my first home 3 months ago. Always being a penny-pincher (although not a tightwad), I discovered a few things that I consider to be both easy on the environment and the pocketbook.
Look for the “shower-cap” type bowl/plate covers for leftovers at Wal-Mart or dollar stores; they save on plastic wrap. When I brought a plate of food up to my sister’s house covered with one of those, she actually thought it was a real shower cap, so we got a laugh out of that. Also, I’m sure a lot of people have known about these for years, but you can buy 6-packs of washable cleaning cloths for just $1. I guess I always give my old t-shirts to Goodwill, so these are great (and much easier to wring out than cotton) for cleaning ceramic stovetops, bathroom and kitchen sinks, etc. Although I do recommend using paper towels when cleaning the toilet, if you’re not using a disposable wipe.
The best product I’ve found are Evert-Fresh produce bags, which keep produce fresh for up to three weeks longer than usual. They are designed to absorb the natural gases which would cause the vegetables to rot if left out in the open. It’s great if you have good intentions for your diet and tend to over-buy veggies, like myself.
Also, I think it is ridiculous to worry about buying expensive clothing. Fortunately, I moved to a rather ‘hippie-ish’ town in NC, so I just wear jeans and a long-sleeved T every day. I have a huge aversion to shopping (for clothes) at Salvation Army and Goodwill. I go to a place like Kohls and find just one pair of jeans that fits perfectly, and I really do go on seasonal quests for just the right one or two pairs of shoes that are ON SALE. (I can’t figure out how the smileys work!).
Finally, I have narrowed down the most important cosmetics that you should spend a little more on, so that you’re not piling more and more stuff on your face to cover up imperfections. I do love the Clinique 3-step system — the bar alone will last over a year, at a cost of $11. If you have under-eye circles, which I always do because I am always sleepy from medication, you can swear by a $15 tube of Aveda tinted moisturizer (it turns out to be a huge amount of ‘concealer,’ since it is meant to be put on your face). I don’t put any on my face; just around the eyes- it also acts as an eyeshadow base. With eyeshadow, I think a mix of cheap drugstore shades and a few nice compacts of, say, Clinique, are good for everyday occasions and then more special occasions. I received a six-shade Clinique compact for Christmas, and I do feel like a princess when I open it up and brush on the shadow.
And, as someone mentioned before, your skin should look healthy and glowing enough from your diet and exercise habits so that you don’t need to buy foundation or expensive serums, etc. I do use a dusting of Rimmel powder since I have oily skin.