I unplug my microwave after using it. I heard of this before and didn't really believe the reports about how much one can save on their electric bill. I was amazed at the savings just by unplugging that one appliance!! I can't do that to my TV and such because it is too difficult to move things to reach the plug.
We are all electric except in the winter months when we use the wood burning fireplace. Any little bit helps in cutting down the use of the electricity. I am constantly going behind my husband and turning off lights! I simply do not get it that he has to have a light on while watching the TV. We also use a Reel mower so we don't use gas or electric and we can run it in the rain if we want to. Most of the garden tools are hand tools that do not use electric or gas.
We unplug appliances, too..but Lady Guinevere--I have to admit that we can't watch TV without a light on, either! The glare of the TV screen just kills our eyes...so I just make sure all other lights are off everywhere else, as a compromise.
I stopped using my credit cards and am working towards paying them off completely. That being said, I don't shop as much anymore and buy wasteful things like before.
I stopped drinking lattes (well, actually I make my own at home for a fraction of the cost). I only buy one now every Saturday morning. I actually enjoy it more! I used to buy one every week day, that's around $25 a week. Some days, I'd have two. Eek.
I also rarely go to the movies now (unless on dates where the guy pays). I rent them at home via Netflix. That saves a lot.
I don't eat out as much, either. When I do, I forgo dessert and usually the appetizer and opt for a less expensive meal (like a salad).
I created a Hub that addresses the fact that it is indeed in today's market cheaper to rent than to buy a home. I agree that renting as a better option than buying just does not make any sense. A few home buyers have been lucky to find foreclosed homes at a good bargain but isn't that prospering from others misfortune.
We have only one car, but it wasn't by choice to save money. I stya at home and my hubby works and he does alot of other things afterwork. He also does the grocery shopping on his way home to save gas. Where he works in relation to the grocery stores and the mall--he has to pass by them so we don't waste gas doing those things. Now if I want to get something specific then he will pick me up and we go back out--but I try not to do that because it wastes gas.
We downsized to save on utilities and rent, which in our area is still pretty reasonable.
We went from a 9 room house with a 2 car garage, to a place half that size, and half the cost of rent! It was an adjustment at first, but it's been easier than we thought it would be, mainly because we are saving so much more money, and the stress relief from that alone has made this move worth it.
I wrote a hub about our downsizing adventure, but haven't gotten around to putting it on hubpages yet, lol...
I honestly havent changed a thing!! I have been living on a VERY strict budget for the past 10 years....and life is about the same for me as its always been. My husband and I go out to eat about twice a year. I pack all his lunches and make most of our food from scratch. Its alot of work, but the only way we can afford to live. I have 3 kids, that I homeschool, so I do not have time for a "real job". We have a garden, raise chickens and rabbits, my husband hunts in the fall, and I am lucky enough to have a liqudation center where I can get most of my canned and boxed food. I do not have a car, cable tv, and I have been unplugging stuff for most of my life. I know things have been hard for alot of people, but I have been living this way for years. I am living proof that it CAN BE DONE!!
I watched a documentary on energy savings and it shows most TV's use upto 75% power when on standby. I was flabbergasted. Have been leaving my TV on standby for 15 years. Now I switch it off. In fact I now switch everything off, except for my alarm. Believe it or not, I have noticed a big drop in my electricity bill. Remember leaving on standby cost more money than you think so switch it of and save yourself some money as well as helping to save the environment.
I put my clock on a separate plug and the TV, DVD and Cable Box on a power strip. I turn that off now. Sometimes I don't even watch the TV during the day and sometimes when my husband is out of town --like this week, I won't even turn it on. I am going to be saving lots of money! Thanks!
I look for sales at the local food stores. I just purchased $95.00 worth of rib eye steaks for $31.00. We have two days a week when the local farmers bring vegetables to markets. The quality is better, fresher, and cheaper than the stores. I also buy in bulk for staples like paper towels, toilet paper, and laundry detergent. It saves nearly 30% to 40%.
Since property values are sliding here in Callifornia, I took advantage of repeal to the current value of my property which was reassessed during the upswing. I will now pay $1000.00 less in property tax this year.
We needed to upgrade all our appliances and I didn't want to use credits cards. I got a low interest loan (4.5%) off my retirement account. Can pay it off monthly for 3 years or earlier if I want. The advantage is it is not reported on your credit line. I then turned in the energy efficiency data of the new appliances to the power company and received cash backs for the upgrades.
I find my deals online now. When I need new things like shoes, I'll go to the department store and find what I like, try things on, then come home and find it much cheaper, including shipping fees, online.
And, like HealtCare does, we buy our staples in bulk and hunt for the sales for foods. Veggies at a farmers market on the weekends will always be cheaper than the stores.
Richard, I like the idea of looking in stores for things you want then going on-line to purchase at a cheaper price. Will be trying that out.
We just placed our two vehicles under one insurance policy and saved 30%off of having individual coverage. I wrote an article when I first joined Hubpages on health insurance coverage for domestic partners which saved us about $1000.00 in pocket change. That money paid for reinsulating our attic with higher R value. Gas company gave us a one time rebate and the heating bill has dropped significantly.
All our electronics are on surge-protector power bars (including TV and stereo) because we live in house with 1040s knob and tube wiring (upgraded in some rooms). Switching off power bars makes quite a difference in electric bill.
We put in a new main power board in place of old fuse box when we moved in, which lowered our insurance.
Also we added blown-in insulation over the existing batts in the attic which lowers heating bill in winter and is cooler in summer.
We adjusted thermostat of water heater a few degrees lower, which saves quite a bit as well, and once we have saved up for it, we are going to install on-demand water heater. Then we will not be wasting money keeping a big tank of water hot 24-7.
On a personal note, I quit my caffeine addiction: no more Starbucks or Tim Hortons. I'm also walking instead of driving. On a family note, our activities have returned to the creative, imaginative and free.
Coupons are great. Did you also know that there are a lot of coupons available online? They're so quick to use because you just choose the ones you want and print them out. I don't currently do it because I'm living in Asia and the ones I can read don't work here, but my mom's been doing it at home.
I'm not sure exactly where to find them, but I know that one place is ivillage.com . It may be that there are other places, that's just the only one I know.
I've actually spent lots more money in the past couple months than in the past. I eat out more, do more activities that cost money, etc. I'm usually a frugal thrifty person but lately I've been spending a lot more. My financial expenses seem to follow the opposite of the economy.
I live in the country where the cost of living is lower. I moved here eight years ago, choosing the particular location based on how much it would cost to live here.
I think many people feel they have to live in the city, where the cost of living is much higher, because that's where the jobs are. However, if the cost of living there is higher than what the job brings in, then it's time to re-assess. It's quite possible that you can't afford your job.
well we have had to move house as our rent was too high... I HAVE to tell you things here in Ireland are really taking a nose dive.... lot's of people losing jobs..... and general hardship all round.... chemists closing on strikes because government is refusing to pay as much towards peoples neessary medication, and chemists wont pay either.....
Planning to build a new home, but figuring ways to do it on the cheap. One biggie: Knew I was going to go with earthbag walls but was unsure on foundation--monolithic slab would run over $10,000, and even a four inch slab would cost $4300 at present prices.
Current (and going to happen) plan: Concrete BLOCKS (not poured in place, so no contractor) for perimeter only, cost under $500. Floor to be natural Earth, with ONLY (a) a 6 mil plastic sheet ($72) topped with 1/4 inch rubber flooring ($1475). Very "resilient", save wife broken bones from falls (her balance is not good), improves thermal mass.
Bottom line: Complete foundation plus finished floor will come to $500 plus $72 plus $1475 = $2,047, versus what could have been over $10,000 with floor not even included.
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