For us, frugal living is all about living below our means and cutting off unnecessary spendings. Having said that, after cutting off most unnecessary spendings you need to look for other ways to trim your spending without noticing that you're saving money. Here are some simple ways to save you a few extra dollars here and there without even noticing it.
1. Turn off the water tap
If you are one of those people that leave the water running while you brush your teeth and wasting precious water, you should turn off the water tap. Not only is this good for the environment, it will also save you money on your water bill.
2. Drink tap water instead bottled water
This one seems simple. Why do you want to spend money on bottled water when tap water is just as good? Do you realize that bottled water is more expensive than the gasoline that you put in your car on a per liter basis? Most people don’t realize this and have no problem spending $2.50 or more on a bottle of water while at the same time complaining about paying $1.30 per liter for gas.
3. Turn down thermostat by 1 degree
During winter time, turn down your thermostat by 1 degree and wear long sleeve shirts or put on a sweater to fight the cold. You really shouldn’t be running around wearing only a t-shirt and shorts during the winter time anyway. By turning down the thermostat by 1 degree you will save significant on your electricity and/or gas bill.
4. Turn down thermostat when you’re away or sleeping
You really don’t need the furnace/heater on and heating your home when you’re away. If you leave it on, it is simply a waste of energy. Who are you trying to keep warm? Your dog? You know that dogs have furs for a reason right? When you’re away you really should turn down the thermostat to say 15 degrees Celsius or lower so the furnace/heater can stay off for a long period of time. You can turn the heat down while you’re sleeping as well. It's better to sleep in a cooler room and you’re covered with blanket anyway. Turning the heat down while you're sleeping also means your body will burn off more calories to maintain body temperature. Want to burn calories while sleeping and save money at the same time? Sign me up!
5. Unplug unused electronics
Every year a lot of electricity is wasted by unused electronics. These electronic devices are usually on standby, not doing anything useful, but are still sucking away electricity. A good example is your home entertainment system. Even though your TV and DVD players may be off, they are still draining power from the grid. The best way is to either unplug unused electronics or plug these devices to a power bar and turn off the power bar when not in use.
6. Close the fridge door
This one is pretty simple. Instead of leaving the fridge door open for a long time whenever you take out or put food in, close the fridge door as quickly as possible to keep your fridge cold.
7. Turn off your lights
Another really simple concept. You should establish the habit of turning off the lights when you leave the room. If there's nobody in the room, there’s no point wasting energy and keeping the lights on. When you’re in a room, ask yourself if you really need all the lights. Turn off the unnecessary lights to save energy bill. Keeping the room dim will also train your eyes like a ninja so you can see in dark better. 😉
8. Load the washer to capacity
Don't under-load your washing machine every time you do laundry. Instead, wait for a few extra days and make sure you load the washer to capacity. A full load of laundry will use less energy than two small or medium loads. If you really have to wash your clothes, adjust the water level if your washer allows you to do so.
9. Stretch your meat
Meats are getting more expensive and will continue to get more expensive as human population increases. One way to save money on your grocery bill is stretching the meat in your meals. You can try cutting the meat into smaller pieces, serving less meat per portion, or adding substitutes. There are many good ways to reduce your meat consumption without hardly noticing it. For example Mrs. T and I would usually cut 2 pieces of chicken breasts into small chunks and use them for curry. We also add vegetables and other filler ingredients like lentils or chickpeas. Although we might only get 5- 10 pieces of chicken per meal, we’re getting other food items that will fill us up. If you’re just starting out, the trick is to stretch your meat serving slowly and not go cold turkey.
10. Efficient dryer use
In our household we rarely use the dryer as we dry our clothes on drying racks. Air dry your clothes also means your clothes will last longer. Where do you think all the lint come from? Yup they come from your clothes.
If you really need to use a dryer, try doing multiple loads back to back to make the most of the dryer’s heat. Remember not to overload the dryer as the more clothes in the dryer, the harder and longer for the clothes to tumble and dry. One good trick to reduce dryer usage is to use dryer balls. Throw in a dryer ball or two in your dryer and this will reduce your drying time by almost half.
11. Wear your clothes longer
Bonus tip! You should wear your underwear the right way, then wear it inside out so you don't need to wash laundry as often! Ok this tip is more of a joke... please don't do that or you may have very bad BO. Your friends and co-workers may not like you.