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10 Frugal Living Ideas
There are so many ways to cut costs around your home but here are my ten. If you follow these tips, you will save money.
1. Air Conditioning: If you're not home all day and don't have pets, leave the air off. Just turn it on when you get home and don't run it under 77 degrees, always leave it on automatic so it shuts itself off for short periods of time. If you are home all day, open windows and/or use fans at least in the morning hours before noon when it starts getting hotter.
Tip: Invest in a fan and set it where you sleep. This will move the cool air around.
2. Lighting: Check the wattage on your light bulbs and switch to lower watts. Then check your fixtures and limit the amount of bulbs you're using. Do you really need 5 light bulbs on that chandelier to read one book? Turn on a lamp or unscrew a couple of bulbs. You'll be surprised how spoiled you've become on your lighting once you see what you're using. If you have a yard and use outside lighting, consider solar.
Tips: Invest in night lights for those late night bathroom trips or kitchen visits for water. It's also nice to leave by your pets' food and water.
3. Water: Make sure all faucets are tightly shut off before you leave the house and limit your showers to 10 minutes. Re-use water from boiling eggs or water bottles that weren't finished for your plants or garden. And don't forget to check your outside hoses.
Tips: Invest in a timer for the shower or just use your kitchen timer you use for cooking. If you have none of these, use your cell phone alarm.
4. Cable/TV: Unless you really need to watch sports or reality shows, cut your cable. If you must have cable, then save money by getting rid of the movie channels and stick to basic or standard television channels.
5. Libraries: Check with your local libraries for DVD's and even VHS tapes. They are FREE and depending on your library, you can get up to 8 at a time and keep them for up to a week. You can also get up to 50 books at a time and keep for a month.
You can set up an online account with your local library and search movies (some have latest releases). You put in your request and the library searches ALL libraries within your county. When the movies are available, they ship them to your library of choice and send you an email for pickup. You can't beat that for a free service.
6. Tupperware: Keep all your containers from those Chinese takeouts. They are great places to put your lunches for work, leftovers or cupboards.
7. Fast Food Packets: Keep those ketchup, mustard, salt, sugar and mayo packets from your visits to fast food places and stick them in one of your tupperware containers for when you're running low. Same for napkins and straws.
8. Home Grown Veggies: Save on veggies by growing your own like green onions, squash, potatoes, tomatoes, etc. Herbs like Basil are easy to grow as long as you remember to water them daily. You can also grow Aloe Vera, which is excellent for healing burns or cuts, etc.
Tip: Save on fertilizer by making your own using things you'd normally throw out like banana peels, coffee grinds, potato peels and leftovers you don't want. Keep a bag in the kitchen just for this so you won't forget and dump them in a hole you made out back for your garden. Remember to mark it so in a couple of weeks, after the garbage has fermented the soil, you will know exactly where to plant your seeds.
Another tip: Green onions are easily grown by cutting off the end (scallion), which is the white root on the bottom and burying it in soil.
9. Laundry: If you have a dryer and a yard, buy a clothesline. Whites get whiter in the sun anyway. For smaller clothes, like undergarments and baby clothes, wash them by hand and hang them out. Clothes smell so much better when they're line dried. Plus you'll be saving energy and water. And stop whining, our grandmothers washed diapers by hand and hung them out because disposables and dryers didn't exist.
10. Cleaning: I love my bleach and water bottle spray. I use it for everything; my counters, even the inside of the toilet and shower tiles. Never throw out your spray bottles. You can always re-use them for something else. Make sure you clean them out well and you can even use one for your plants and flowers inside your home.
Tip: Make sure you change the labels on them as soon as you fill them with your new concoction. A good idea is to use duct tape to cover the old label and use a marker to write whatever is inside. Keep cleaners in one area, so you will never confuse the bottle of water for a bottle of bleach.
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