These are things that I am trying to incorporate in our house. Some of them we already do, others we are trying to do more often. I think with the economy the way it currently stands, we are all looking for ways to save money. I wish we would do it no matter what state the economy is in. Saving money is always a good idea :-)
- Do not let the water run while brushing your teeth. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Just stop it already...turn it off and only turn it on when you absolutely have to. I would hate to try and figure out how much water we waste because of this. I hate, hate, hate it!
- Use energy efficient bulbs. I have to admit, I hate them in my fixtures. They are ugly and make me want to vomit. However, if it saves me money, I'm all over it.
- Learn to bargain shop and join FreeCycle. I can't say enough about FreeCycle. I've given away things and obtained things this way. Instead of going out and purchasing a new sink, why not check FreeCycle to see if someone has one to give away? You can find really useful things this way. As for bargain shopping, if you really want to find a deal on something, you can. You just have to be patient and not give in to that "I want it now" mentality that we all have at one time or another.
- Coupons ~ I can't say enough about this. A good friend at church turned me onto the Grocery Game and how to use coupons to my advantage. She also taught me how to shop at CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid and get free stuff. I have enough shampoo stockpiled to last me for at least a year. And I haven't purchased toilet paper or paper towels in at least six months. It takes a little bit of time and effort but is well worth it in the end. Plus, it's just fun!
- Turn it off/Unplug it~ whether it's the tv, computer, or any other electronic device, shut it down when you'll be away.
- Take advantage of the weather ~ Something I really hate to pay for is electricity to heat or cool our home. We use propane heat and it is expensive. It heats great but it's costly. So, I do not turn it on until someone in the house threatens my life. I tell them to put on extra layers. I go as long as I possibly can before turning the heat on. As for air conditioning, I only turn it on when I absolutely have to. I leave the windows and doors open in the spring as long as possible.
- Use your hands ~ Learn to make your own bread...it's healthier, more gratifying, and costs less in the long run. Learn to craft gifts, cards, etc. Not only do people appreciate these more, it's cheaper than the alternative. There are endless things to make. Jams, jellies, salsa, cookie mixes, and drink mixes are wonderful ideas for this one.
- Drink more water ~ Especially when you eat out. On average, purchasing soda in a restaurant runs $2 per person. We can save up to $8 a meal if we simply order water.....and we all need to drink more of it anyway!
- Combine trips ~ Monday is our busiest day because I combine all my driving into that day. I get Logan to co-op classes, grocery shop, and get Caroline to piano lessons on this day because I can save gas. It makes Monday a long day but in the end it's worth it. I usually don't have to go out again until the end of the week, which is good for me because I love being at home.
- Meal Planning ~ Planning a weekly menu has been a lifesaver for me. Not only does it make the week go smoother, it helps me save money. I do not find myself wandering through the aisles at the store. I make a list specifically around what my menu is that week and I stick to it. It really cuts down shopping time too!
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