Electricity and Gas Saving
When doing the laundry just fill the machine up instead of doing small washes, saves water and electricity.
The same with the dishwasher, press on only when it is near to full as possible.
If washing up by hand use a little water in the bottom of the sink to get rid of excess food, empty water, excess food into bin. Put minimum water in sink to actually wash the dishes, saving water as well as electricity.
Dryers are very expensive, hanging clothes on the line is free and healthier.
Power can be saved by turning all appliances off when not being used and even better to unplug them as well.
Using thick curtains to keep cold air out or hot air in saves money on heating and cooling.
Sealing any cracks or cracks making your home draught proof, using 'snakes' at the bottom of doorways to keep the draughts out is great. Can install double glazing/ energy efficient window frames, but that cost money and will pay off in the end but for right now just sealing draughts out, keeping cool air in or cold air out is much cheaper.
Windows can lose up to 40% of your heat by windows, that is a lot, a real lot so it is something to think about and check with your local/city energy services to find out from them ways to save on energy bills.
Properly inflated tires (tyres) can save on fuel costs by increasing fuel efficiency and safety.
Saving again on fuel efficiency by carrying as little as possible in your car and car boot. The more weight you carrying in your vehicle the more fuel is being used. Not much but it all adds up!
What does use fuel is how you drive your vehicle. Continually speeding up, sharp braking and taking off at traffic lights and signs, pumps more petrol through your engine therefore using more fuel therefore costing a whole heap more. You don't have to drive like a snail but smoother driving all round keeps fuel costs to a minimum, also not collecting any traffic fines along the way!.
Family Pet Food
Your Family Pooch deserves to eat well but saving money at the same time like the rest of the family. Dried food can be bought in bulk and kept fresh as well by keeping bags airtight.
Fresh vegetables can be bought in bulk and cooked in bulk, steamed or boiled, such as pumpkin and carrots and chokoes. Cook the same amount of rice.
When cooked mash the rice and vegetables together and place in container in the fridge.
Bulk meat cooked or raw, can be individually packed for each meal and frozen.
At mealtimes just defrost the meat and place in bowl with the rice and vegetable mixture for your Pet.
Cooked or raw meat depends on Owner's preference. ( Raw meat, can in rare cases have salmonella in it)
Treats for your Pooch can include frozen watermelon for hot summer days, they like to lick the watermelon and keep a bit cooler. Carrots can be a treat to.
Leftovers are not good ( See ' To Treat or not To Treat' article in Animal section on dangerous food for your Pooch.
Some neighborhood Fitness Centers and Gyms have a free 10 days or so set aside for the year where you can visit for free. Obviously it is with the hope you will become a member but it is always good to exercise any way you can.
Make walking fun with your children or alone. It is amazing what you actually see and notice during walking. Many thing;s you have not noticed before.
Around Christmas time and immediately after, Christmas cards and paper and decorations are usually half price if not more, so you could pick these items up ready for the following year and save money at the same time. Same thing with Easter, any major Celebration if you have enough spare money over.
Handmade gifts can be a treasure to family members and friends. Bought gifts where the giver must work to earn the money to buy your gift is precious and the homemade gift is precious by how much time and effort has gone into the making of it.
If you are an artist or one of your children is an artist gifts can be made, like painting a picture or sketching, great for grandparents even painting or sketching grandparents together can be given to them by their grandchildren.
Pottery, so many thing's can be made. Old photos of someone or something very special can be framed in a special frame. Unusual frames can be bought very, very reasonably priced at thrift shops, garage sales, car boot sales, charity shops, some of which would have been quite expensive when originally bought. Plus the fact they are not in a bulk sale where everything is the same.
Another idea, costing very little is the purchase of a most unusual bottle from the above same places and fill it with oil. A good oil would be peferential. Then add garlic cloves, for garlic oil to cook with. the longer the garlic oil is left the stronger it becomes. With the garlic you could add if you wish ginger and or/chillies. Be very careful with the chillies!! They can look real pretty being red and orange and all colors but extremely potent, as you would find out.
Herbs can be added to the oil for herbal oil, anything you wish you can add, by itself or combined with other ingredients. This sort of gift in a high class deli and food stores can be very expensive. You can add a little red bow around the neck of the bottle if you wanted more color, or yellow!
Candles are already popular, you could add some type of perfume.
Baking cookies and placed in a pretty presentation bag or nice jar is nice, if you like baking.
Dried flowers, woodworking and making gifts. There are many, many gifts that can be made, you can get great ideas from checking out Pinterest where you might pick up some unusual ideas.
Saving money can be very interesting, can also be fun, depending on your own viewpoint and if it is your wish to save money or if you absolutely have no choice. either way it is a lot easier if you view it as a positive challenge.
Also realizing that saving even a dollar can mount up into quite a few dollars in a surprisingly short time. Just as you know that spending a few dollars here and there can mount up very quickly and all of a sudden it is gone!
It is not so tempting in the supermarket/food malls etc. if you have eaten something before you go shopping, also if possible to shop alone although depending on ages of children/husband/partner it is not always that simple, shopping alone means you do not have any distractions and little or big items going into your basket or trolley that are not on your list. On the other hand you can engage your children or husband to help you find the next item on your list and check the prices and try to make it a game or adventure. Maybe they including husband/partner can learn the cost of items and hopefully to place a value on items like food if they don't already.
Think also if you really need a trolley or a basket, another temptation as in goodness I have all that room left in the trolley, I had better fill it up! Also note whether you need to take your own bags, some stores do not have free bags and you have to buy them from the store, not for much but over a year another minute amount of money adding up.
By the way allocate a day when you are allowed to splurge just a little bit, otherwise you might find yourself turning into Scrooge, but still keep an eye on how much that little splurge will cost and try and achieve it by cutting something else out that month.
Create something out of very little, research a little or a lot, think and you will be surprised at what you come
up with for only a small amount of spending, and you will be proud of yourself for thinking of ways of putting meals together that you have never even bothered to do before. Make it fun!
Food Shopping - Make a List
The usual one you would have heard of already no doubt, is to take a list to the supermarket and do not sway from what is on the list. If something creeps into the shopping basket make sure it is not there by the time you reach the checkout OR if it is, hand the item/s to the cashier with an apology saying you have decided against buying these items. No excuses that you are shy and that is why the items are still there when you arrive home!
You can price the items on the list with the approximate price you think they would be by past experience so that you know how much roughly you will be spending. If you do this before going to the store you will now have an idea if you have gone over your food budget.
Browse the store circularswhich can arrive in your letterbox, something might be of interest there.
Buy what is in season, usually stores have an abundance of items in season and are usually cheaper, sometimes much cheaper.
Meatless Monday is on the rounds lately so have a think about that one, depends how your family feels. You can eat eggs or stir fry, all very nice.
Choose to buy generic food (supermarkets own brand) cheaper and most of the time a very good buy, you just don't have the fancy packaging, although that is changing slowly in some supermarkets.
Buying bottled water can add up very quickly. You could buy the first bottle then refill it with tap water. If tap water is not suitable you could invest in a Brita water filter or similar, it costs money but overall a big saving on buying the already bottled water.
Buy in Bulk if necessary,
You can save a lot of money. However, depending how large a family and circumstances, if you find you are not using everything that you buy in bulk and are just throwing food out buy only what you need at the time. Throwing food in the bin or compost is not saving money and although it seems a great idea at the time buying 2 things for the price of 1 and all those specials that are so enticing it defeats the whole point if the food is not being eaten at any stage.
When freezing food, using bags or containers, don't forget to write the date and contents of what is in there and the date it must be used by. If you have enough spare space in the freezer you can purchase, if within your budget, extra flour, grains and spices (which seem to stay on the shelves at home forever). You can freeze these for up to 4 weeks which extends the shelf life for up to 2 years, or you can store grains and spices in a cool and dry place in airtight containers.
Not forgetting those airtight containers also cost money if you don't have them already..
Any Extra Fruit
that you realize is not going to be eaten, like oranges, lemons, pineapple and so on you can place the juice in the little water cube containers found in the freezer compartment, for the children to have later, at a party or on hot days, dice the pineapple and freeze whatever your imagination can come up with. maybe make little biscuits and put them in some homemade artistic bags to make them more interesting. Buy bulk nuts and seeds, dried fruit, raisins and make them up for snacks and keep the remainder in an airtight container.
Make a note of everything you spend, make categories in your Household booklet at home. Categories you will probably need plus extra ones that you want to write down, would include:
Food - Car/Transport - Gas/Electricity/Water - Entertainment - Personal - Credit cards etc.
How to Save Money
Ideas on How to Save Water
71% of earth is covered with water, of that less than 10% is drinkable.
1 Check pipes and faucets for leaks. This SMALL problem uses a LARGE amount of water.
2. Your water meter is a good way to check leaks. Read the meter and write down the number.
Do not use the water for 2 hours and then go back and write the number down again.
If the numbers are different, then it means you have a water leak!
3. Install water saving toilets. Each flush uses 5 - 7 gallons of water.However a water saving toilet uses only one and a half gallons for each flush.
4. Install low flow shower heads that use less than 2 - 5 gallons of water per minute, compared with the usual 5 - 10 gallons.
5. Shorter showers..
6. Turn water off when brushing teeth, fill a glass of water and rinse. Very often teeth are being cleaned, and the tap water is left on.
7. Insulate water pipes, water will heat quicker and you will not have to leave the water running to get the hot water.
8 Fill the dishwasher and washer before starting and use fewer loads. Do not pre-rinse the dishes before placing them in the dishwasher.
9. Avoid permanent press cycle on washing machine, or it will use an extra 5 gallons of water..
10. When hand washing your dishes, use a little water at the bottom of the sink to remove food clinging to the dishes, then wash them properly with again a small amount of water in the bottom of the sink. Unbelievably hundreds of gallons can be saved this way.
11. Place mulch around soil around the plants and trees to keep water in the soil from evaporating, then it is not necessary to water as often and water can be saved this way.
12. If you use a sprinkler make sure the water hits the lawn and not the concrete.
13. Do not water the lawn on a windy day because a lot of the water will be blown elsewhere.
14. You can water the lawn early in the morning and let it soak into the lawn, this will allow the plants to get the water they need rather than it evaporating away in the sun.
15. Rinse your fruit and vegetables in a bowl rather than running water, then use the water in the bowl to water the plants.
16. If you have a fish tank, use the water from the fish tanks for the plants.
17. Put the gutters to use by collecting the water from the roof, use also to water the garden.
18. Soak pots and pans rather than use running water to scrape them before putting them in the dishwasher.
19. Learn where the master shut off switch is as well as teaching others, this could be helpful if there is a leak - a big one - both for protecting your home your carpets etc. and also saving water should there be any small leaks.
20. Avoid using water toys that need a constant supply of water or check when buying, you could save yourself a lot when your water bill comes around!.
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Growing your own vegetables could be a way to save money, however vegetable gardens can also be very expensive and just require more and more little bits of fertilizer, soil, compost and so on, leaking money out of your budget.
You can provide your own compost, using peelings and lawn cuttings and a list of things that can be used in compost.
If you have a rotating bin good, if you do not you just need a fork to aerate the compost. Depending on various circumstances compost can be ready in 3 months or 2 weeks.
Easy, just use your lawnmower clippings and leaves and kitchen scraps such as vegetable peelings.
Make sure your compost is kept moist. If you are using the rotating bin then that is all you have to do, if not aerate your compost heap by using a fork to aerate your compost and to keep it aerated. If you have a large enough tarpaulin to place over it that would help to keep it moist and this way you will have a good compost to use in a matter of weeks with less money.
Egg shells are good, however you must wash them and dry them in the sun, because if you do not wash them, it is possible to obtain salmonella from egg shells that are not washed and once into your garden would most likely spread throughout. On the other hand eggshells are a tremendous boost to pot plants and garden, having broken the dry shells into tiny pieces, and spread around the garden/pots areas.
It is wonderful watching things grow and using fresh vegetables in your cooking, herbs as well. If you would purchase the full list of usable cooking herbs it would cost quite a bit, using fresh herbs out of your garden would be another real treat.
Remember also the garden areas have to be watered, an expense in itself. That extra water that is saved when washing up by hand can be used for the garden, that would cut that extra expense out.
Marigolds can be used, planted around your vegetable areas to keep aphids away from your vegetables, it is called companion planting, with the idea of keeping vegetable munching insects down as much as possible naturally and not have to continually go out and purchase repellents.
You can grow Basil, this herb repels mosquitos and flies.
Garlic is used to get rid of aphids and fleas and spider mites and Japanese beetles.
Soil can be obtained from other parts of the garden, collect any leaves and again any lawn clippings to build bulk and build it up.
Then there are nets you will probably need and wooden sticks for growing beans and so on.
Family Pet's Food
Work & School Lunches
Electricity & Gas Savings
All Photos by Fotolia except when Stated Otherwise
You could make batches of food such as casseroles or lasagna, curries, or chicken in the evening and put them into individual containers, with dates and food names written on the containers or use labels. You could put the days allocated for your family to take with them to work or school or just out.
Use different dishes on different days so lunch does not get boring!.
Sandwiches could be made with different fillings, use fillings that keep well if you are going to freeze these too.
Snacks such as nuts you can buy bulk and spread out over a month, keeping them always fresh and airtight. Nibbles you could make could be biscuits that keep well and can be included in the lunch boxes.
Recipes for different casserole dishes such as healthy casseroles, chicken and best casseroles and more can be found on these websites:
Hundreds of casseroles using such a wide range of food and making homemade lunches can be very economical.