If, like me, one of your resolutions this year is to save money, you could be in luck.
Granted, it’s through another of the hygge-like trends that seems to overcomplicate the concept of just living well and being happy, but this one is about more than just sheepskin throws and candles.
Tipped to be the Scandinavian lifestyle trend of 2017, is ‘lagom’. You pronounce it ‘lar-gom’ and, as it loosely translates to “not too little, not too much, just right”, it may well help us to stick to the penny-pinching and one-ricecake-a-day diets that dominate January.
It’s a big change from hygge, which really just made it acceptable to bulk buy cushions and bury ourselves under them with a tub of icecream for the whole of December. Now, the focus is on living well, recycling, clean living and being a good person.
And (unsurprisingly) there’s no shortage of brands up for helping us on the quest. Ikea is already sharing the results of its Live LAGOM Project, and refers to the concept as ‘living a kinder life’. It asked customers and employees to try products that would help them to save energy and water, reduce waste and live a healthier lifestyle that – you hope – goes on to make people happier.
The following methods and products stood out to me as simple but really useful for saving money:
- Swap standard bulbs for LED bulbs, or use LED lamps. Despite moving from a small five-roomed house to a larger eight-roomed house, Lydia has seen a 40% drop in her energy bills: “A comparison chart of our electricity use shows that since switching to LED lights in January, we are using around half of the national average”.
- Water saving Lydia also used a timer to see how long her family spent in the shower, allowing them to save time in the morning and reducing their water consumption.
- Indoor gardening Juliette tried an indoor gardening kit and went on a composting course in order to grow her own food and reduce wastage. “I have been experimenting with growing on kitchen scraps such as celery hearts, avocado stone and lettuce bottoms, and love that the gardening kit means I can pull off a few leaves for my lunch and there is no wastage”. See how a hydroponics indoor garden kit works here. The kits and components aren’t cheap, but could pay off in the long run. Here’s one from Ikea.
- Keeping heat in Luke was finding it impossible to keep his house warm as a lot of heat was being lost through the windows. Since fitting blinds in every window, as well as curtains, he has saved £30 per month in heating costs.
The catch is, that to be balanced and go full-on lagom, you need to make a few investments. Here are my top four suggestions, all free or less than £11 (excluding postage), for living kindly but keeping an eye on costs, too. Fill the empty juice bottle with water or pebbles to save water in your toilet cistern, turn food waste into compost with an indoor composter, and never have to buy supermarket plastic bags with a reusable cotton shopper:
1 litre empty plastic bottle; Eddingtons Eco Composter, Robert Dyas, £10.49; Counter top compost bin, aplaceforeverything.co.uk, £9; Wally personal finance app, Free on Android and iOS; Deer cotton shopper bag, £5.49, eBay.
Are you embracing lagom this year? I’m feeling motivated to make some small changes now and see if they make a difference – even if it’s just pennies. Share your tips below!