Good news, everybody!
I quit my job at the restaurant. Well, actually, this is neither good news for the restaurant nor my wallet, but now I can fully focus my time on the blog when I’m not at my day job.
I’ve been straying away from the “frugal” in frugal homeownership lately, and tonight, I’m going to take a trip back to the basics.I’ve put together a list of the things that we do in our house to be frugal.
A quick aside, before I start. Frugality is not a sentence or a punishment. Its a choice that we can all make, to live happy lives as frugal consumers. Frugality isn’t about depriving yourself, but about moderation, awareness and making good decisions. When I work hard for something, I value it not because its another thing to hoard, but because it has value. It makes treats out of what used to be mundane things..and who doesn’t like treats?
I always worry about the electric bill. I don’t like consuming the world’s resources or hurting my wallet. That is why we use flourescent light bulbs. This is something you can do with only a few bucks. Although the bulbs are more expensive than traditional incandescent bulbs, they seem to last forever and you’ll reap the savings over time in your electric bill.
The dryer is the monster of energy consumption in most homes. I’ve read various figures, but the average number of loads of laundry per household per week is anywhere from three to four, and I’ve seen higher numbers in other places. I was going to link to Yahoo answers, where I found that question, but can’t figure out how to do that on WordPress. Little help?
Anyways, I try to use the laundry line whenever possible. All that hot air does not an efficient house make. Some people hang up their clothes inside in the wintertime, but I’m not so sure we’re ready for that yet. Baby steps.
When we moved into our house we had one of those old school thermostats that you set the temperature on, and that was what the temperature was. Sure, you could get up and turn it down, but this is the twentyfirst century, and now we’re lazy and automated! (just kidding…sort of) We promptly (by we, I mean he, since I’m still not as handy as I like to think…see previous post) installed a programmable thermostat. In the morning when we wake up, the heat is set to come on. It turns down automatically during the day, and repeats for the evening when we come home. Cha-ching! Who wants to heat an empty house? (Caveat — don’t set the heat too low – you don’t want the pipes to freeze!)
We also lowered the temperature on our water heater, although after quizzing Mr. Homeownerhelper, that seems to have been done more out of a desire to not be burned by our shower. Still, more bucks in our pocket. Read more about how to do that here: http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infwaterheater/infwhadjust.html Still haven’t figured out those damn links…
Frugal Around the House
If I had a nickel for every time I used too much laundry detergent, well…I wouldn’t be writing this post about how to save nickels! Measure your stuff, and you’ll probably find you’re using too much. This one’s like another double whammy…save money and conserve!
Reuse Reuse Reuse…Water bottles are sooo pre-recession, but if you must, why not refill your bottle with filtered water? No need to pay for water, and think of all the plastic that’s not going in landfills! Just make sure you rinse it with a little soap every now and then, it can be a germ factory.
Make a second life for those leftovers. I’m constantly composting scraps of vegetables. I can’t figure out how they mysteriously hide themselves from me and then reappear when they’re moldy all over, but I should start hunting them down before that happens. You should, too…chop em up and throw them in with a pasta or salad. Dip them in hummus or salad dressing. Do whatever you want really, just don’t throw them away.
Speaking of composting…not only do you save on garbage (those plastic bags are expensive!) but perishable waste makes dirt! I love my garden, and my garden loves me for filling it with nutritious compost. Its a win-win.
Frugal in the Car
This is the category where I get a big, fat fail. I feel bad posting advice I can’t keep but, keeping tires inflated, slow acceleration/braking, and not straying too much above 55 (optimal speed for low gas consumption), you can reduce wear and tear and save that buckage on gas.
I love to craft, and I love to craft even more when its free. Throw in some recycling and reusing into that mix and I’m as happy as a pig in, well, recyclables. I’m working on a recycled craft right now which is almost done, and hopefully, will be super cool. I’ll explain more and post pictures when I’m done. Stay tuned for more frugalness!
Did I miss anything? What do you all do around the house to be frugal? Tell everyone about it in the Comments. Till next time.