Monday, September 29, 2008

15 More Simple Ways To Save Money

In my continuing quest to provide you with info on saving money I am constantly trying to come up with simple ways to save cold hard cash. I figured I would examine my own life and household to see what my wife and I have done to cut down on some of the expenses.

1.) You can laugh but we reuse Ziploc bags. The ONLY time we throw them away is if we store RAW meat in them. It is probably not a good idea to reuse them once you have done that. My wife washes them out with soap and water and lets them dry on the counter, open and upside down.

2.) We reuse aluminum foil until it basically falls apart. Once again observe the raw meat rule...if it touches it throw it out.

3.) My wife and I make our own laundry detergent and have done so for two years quite successfully. The clothes smell fresh and are perfectly clean.

4.) EVERY light bulb in my house is a compact florescent (CFL), no exceptions...we replaced them all and we sold our entire box of incandescent bulbs at a garage sale to boot!

5.) I have the water heater at the lowest setting we are comfortable with. Most people keep this way too high and you can save a ton of cash on your utilities bill every month if you lower the setting.

6.) We keep the thermostat in the house set to 80 degrees. The A/C won't kick on until it hits 81 degrees. We have fans we move to the area of the house we are in and it is quite breezy in SC in the afternoons so we have the windows open a lot. My neighbors constantly bitch about $300-400 utility bills. The MOST mine has ever been is $198 and that is for a 2900- sq ft house! My bill averages between $140-$198 and has done so for the last 2 years.

7.) This may seem stupid but I see my neighbors around me with their houses lit up like Christmas trees at night. Every light, in every room including outside lights are all on. Like I said this may seem stupid but we turn lights off when we aren't in a room, I have been known to sit on the computer or watch TV in the dark with no light on. I mean why waste energy especially if you have not converted to CFL bulbs yet which use on average a third less watts than you regular bulbs.

8.) Never go food shopping when you are hungry. You will inevitably buy more crap than you intended because you will be thinking with your stomach.

9.) If you want to take your family to the movies, go to a matinee and smuggle in drinks and snacks. The matinee here costs $2.75 per person. My wife and I go for a grand total of $5.50!

10.) Use your local library. They are more than just books; they have computers available, magazines and even rent movies!

11.) When items you use constantly go on sale stock up! My wife and I are coffee drinkers. We bought 15 cans of coffee when it was on sale for $4.99 for the big can. It is regularly between 5-7 dollars. We can now NOT buy coffee until it goes on sale again.

12.) Fill a 1 liter bottle with sand, seal and throw into your toilet tank. Your toilet will use less water when you flush.

13.) If you have dogs, instead of taking them to the groomer, give them a bath yourself and learn how to properly trim their nails while you're at it.

14.) Especially if you are a male, keep your hair short. Get yourself a pair of clippers and either have your significant other cut your hair or even do it yourself.

15.) Please don't buy plus or premium grade gas, regular is JUST fine for your car. Some people will try and tell you otherwise but resist....stick with regular.

...that is all.

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  1. Any gasoline shortages there?

    Still some sporadic ones here in central NC.

    Just watched a youtube video where a guy documented his hour and a half wait to fill up in Atlanta.

  2. No none as of yet...been business as usual around here. I did hear of some further north near and around the Spartanburg area od SC>

  3. A programable thermostat. We keep the house about 67 daytime and slowly lower in the evening to 60 at night. Ours has several time frames so we begin to warm the house up just before dh is due to get up in the morning. If we need to it isn't hard to over-ride and turn the heat up/down. The kids pediatritian likes the lower temps, said it was healthier. Warmer homes are usually drier which makes it easier to 'catch' whatever bug is in the area.

    At one old house we stopped using the furnace and started using a 5 burner ventless heater. Cut the propane use in half & the back bedroom was warmer than with the furnace. It also puts humidity into the air so things feel warmer, less static and less dry skin. Good too if the furnace goes out - even in winter a 5 burner is usually under $300 dollars. Ours did not have a fan so kept things cozy even when power was out during an ice storm. Smaller ones cost less. (Most have what looks like bricks along the back. Each brick is counted thus the numbers. 1 burners are usually in bathrooms, 3 or 5 in living areas depending on size of room/home)

    Plastic all the windows in winter. For windows you don't look out use the roll of plastic sold a box stores at about $7.00 last year. For windows you look out of use a clear plastic drop cloth - cut up of course. Tape: clear packaging but if it is the 'windy' side of the house might need regular duct tape. This is all much cheaper than buying window kits sold at the same box stores.

  4. i can't imagine throwing out ziplocs after one use---imagine all the ziplocs in the landfills because people are too lazy to wash them out?!

  5. Couple kwik comments, Flea-
    I recycle the ziplocs as well, even washing those used for meat (about the only real use I have for them). Dish soap will kill the bacteria so it's never been a problem.
    Useing CFLs is an okey idea- but read the label and notice how you'd better never break one, unless you want a visit from the EPA clean up crew. Legally, if you break one, you have to vacate the premises, call the guvmint boys and have an environmental assessment done before you can move back into your own home. I did switch to all CFL a few years ago but in all honesty, there was absolutely no difference in the energy consumption so far as the bill was concerned. Too, the life-span isn't great enough to warrant the extra cost. In self defense- I don't like the cleanup bills- I found a good supply of good old Edison incandescent lamps and will be returning to them as the CFLs die off.
    God bless, Shy

  6. These are good quality tips. nice post!