Thrifty Green Thursday is the perfect place to consider a whole new version of sustainability that involves both your wallet and your green values.  If cost wasn’t an issue, many Americans would love to eat organic food and use expensive eco-friendly cleaning products.

Since our economy is struggling and prices are soaring, it sometimes feels as though green products will only reach those that can afford them. That’s where economic offsetting can come in very handy. 

Here’s how it works: make frugal choices to reduce your household costs and then apply that extra money to spendier eco-friendly items.  For example, using hand-me-downs for baby can provide hundreds of dollars for organic strawberries and eco-friendly detergent.  (Hint: Rebecca discovered that eco-friendly detergent is actually cheaper than mainstream brands!)  Switching from prepared green cleaning products to homemade versions can possibly even offset the cost of a high quality wooden toy—especially when you find that toy used at a consignment shop.

What about the family who’s already shopping at thrift stores, growing their own food, and using hand-me-downs?  Or the single parent who is working three jobs to make ends meet?  There may not be a way to offset very tight budgets, but if you’re interested in extreme savings, you might want to check out Amy Dacyzyn’s Tightwad Gazette.  After reading it, you may be motivated to go for home haircuts, recycled oatmeal muffins, and other creative solutions. 

Keep visiting us on Thrifty Green Thursday.   You’ll get plenty of tips for offsetting the cost of those eco-friendly items—and you’ll get them from people who have tried it themselves. 

In our comments section, you’ll find links to other bloggers’ Thrifty Green Thursday submissions.  Go here for more information on how to join the Thrifty Green Thursday blog carnival.  And don’t worry–we’re planning on getting a better system (such as Mr. Linky) for this blog carnival very soon!