​​​​​​​​​​​​​1.    Read "The Real Cost of Cheap" for inspiration.

2.    Buy second hand.  This is how I survive!  I visit my local thrift shop on 50%

       off days; I find used electronics online; I gladly accept hand-me-down

       clothes and furniture.  Used is a great option for stuff you cannot find or

       afford to buy ethically-made!

3.    Find your favorite ethical brands and sign up for their mailing list/follow

       them on social media to catch all their sales and promotions!  Often you

       will get a coupon just for signing up!

4.    Shipping is expensive these days.  Find local stores which carry

       ethical products and do some in-person shopping.  Not only will you save

       on postage, but you will get to meet people in your community :)

​5.    Shipping IS expensive.  So wait to order until you can combine enough

       purchases to qualify for free shipping or make the postage worth

       paying for. You can even combine orders with a friend.

6.    Browse the clearance/sale pages of your favorite sites or visit Love Justly

       for discounted ethical fashion.

7.    Follow ethical shopping blogs to get discount codes (not to mention, new

       shopping ideas and links!)

8.   Buy intentionally.  Shopping ethically is already intentional buying, but if

      you really stop to think about your purchases, you will be amazed how

      much money you can save!  Which leaves more money to spend on what

      you really want/need.  (But, I will admit; I still impulse buy occasionally,

      just because an ethically-made product is on sale.  At least, I tell myself,

      I know the money went to a good cause!)

9.  Pick one thing to buy ethically-made this year.  You have to start

     somewhere and every purchase really does count!

10. Buy gifts that make a difference.  This is what I shop for through my

     website the most.  Instead of a gift card, why not give something

     handcrafted and meaningful?  Plus I know the gift gives both ways, so

     win-win!  I find the gifts are usually very appreciated for their uniqueness

     and the story behind them.  Which means I also get to "advertise"

     companies I truly believe in!

11. Make it last.  Take good care of the products you do buy (you will be extra

     motivated if you paid a lot for them!), so that you do not have to replace

     them quickly (or ever!).  Buying quality-crafted items makes the extra

     money spent worthwhile over the long haul.  (This applies to food as well.  I

     pay extra for an ethically-sourced chocolate bar, but then savor it one

     square at a time for days!)

12. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.  The three Rs are not just good for the

     environment, but also for the budget!!  I am always looking for new and

     creative uses for stuff before I get rid of it.  (I just finished using socks with

     holes as the stuffing in a doll I made for my little girl!)  This saves me from

     having to search for/pay for a new ethically-made item.

13. Write to your favorite brands and ask about their supply chains.  I have

     found some companies are very connected to their factories/farms and can

     verify the conditions there.  (Of course, no company will tell you they

     use "sweatshops" or "forced labor"; but you can read between the lines to

     see if a company really cares or not!)  Your letter will let them know they

     have customers who care and that can make a big difference as well.

Help! I Can't Afford to Shop Ethically!

Change the World by How You Shop Logo: The U.S. Ethical Shopping Guide https://www.changetheworldbyhowyoushop.com

I get it.  My family is not exactly "rolling in the dough" by U.S. standards.  (In fact, we fall below the Federal Poverty Line!)  So, paying extra for something because it is ethically made can be tough when you are trying to make ends meet!  Below are my tips for how I shop ethically and try to stay on budget!!