It's not fun at all when you can barely scrape buy and you worry about every dime you spend. It's misery. But I"d like your feedback.
use energy saving lights
unplug things when not in use
keep most lights off
conserve on electricity, heat, a/c water etc
drive a beat up car!
....get divorced?....lose a little of that dead weight?....
I don't own a car.
I don't have cable tv.
I garden in the summer. (a $2 packet of seeds produces a LOT of food)
We reuse grey water and have rain barrels so that we don't have to pay a lot to water our garden.
I buy high-quality housewares and tools, and take care of them so they last decades.
We keep the heat moderate and put on sweaters and hats when the house gets chilly.
Of all the ways I can think of: Cook more, but eat less. Americans eat too much,eh?!
I've gotten better at it this year. Unemployment will do that to you.
Buy in bulk when possible, and keep the pantry half stocked. That way there is room for more big purchases when a sale comes on and in an emergency food shopping can be put off for a while.
Limit car travel to necessities. Make multiple stops on each trip instead of multiple trips. Use fuel efficient routes, and practice good fuel efficient driving.
I've made many improvements to our house, mostly cheap to free, to increase heating/cooling efficiency. Electric bills are down over 30% this year in usage (cost is down less due to a price increase). My changes will be paid for in less than a year, then it's gravy.
Wash and dry clothes ONLY with full loads and cold water. If buying a washer, choose a used front load over a new top load - clothes come out dryer and it uses less water.
Look for "phantom" electric loads. 2 years ago I found that the main breaker for my house was bad and "leaking" electricity internally. Replacement was costly, but saved over $50 a month, and the bill due to the defective breaker was going up each month.
Open and close doors and windows according to indoor/outdoor temperatures, not because I'm too lazy to close the door behind me.
Schoolgirl, I'm sure there are hundreds of hubs here on how to save energy or other things (I even wrote one of them!). If you're serious, check some out. You're not alone out there in the recession - I was laid off for 9 months and my wife for over 2 years now, although uncle sam sent her to school for some of that. Just no work at all here!
These times are tough for everyone including myself.
I try not to use the lights as often instead I use candles. It provides some light and plus it smells nice.
Every other week I hand wash my clothes so I don't use the laundry machines as much.
I don't drive to places that I can walk there in 1 hour.
I am attempting to grow my own food. I have been trying for about 6 months now but with little success.
A couple of my friends and I carpool when we go grocery shopping and to work.
I started a recycling program around my neighborhood where I collect all their recyclables and sell them to the local recycling center. Then every one in the neighborhood gets a cut.
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