Lately I have had a heavy heart for how so much of the world is suffering financially, and struggling to live, or know how to live, a frugal life. So in response to that I have decided to write a post on my 10 Favorite Ways to Cut Household Expenses and I also have decided to blog on each one seperately each day of this next week. You can find my first post on Menu Planning here.
Here is my list and what we do:
1. Menu Planning- each week before I go to do my grocery shopping, I plan out that week's meals, and I always plan by what's on sale. This keeps us from eating out too much and keeps me from buying unneccessary items at the store.
2. Couponing (and no not extreme couponing :) )- I never go to the store anymore without coupons in hand, and well thought out coupons at that. It might take a little extra time, but in my mind it is way worth it. And it usually never takes me more than an hour. I will talk in this post about the sites I use to help me in my coupon planning.
3. Cooking from scratch- I make my own bread (6 loaves at a time :) ), baby food, pancake mix, etc. Not only is it a money saver but much healthier too. I will give you my recipes for these items in this post.
4. Canceling Cable Service- I guess it has been about 6 months now that we haven't had cable/satellite and I am loving it! With Netflix and Hulu, who needs cable or satellite anymore :) In this post I will go into detail about how our family made the change and the great program my husband set up so that we could still have some of the luxuries of having cable.
5. Reducing phone charges- We figured out a few years ago what a waste it was to have a house phone and a cell phone. So that is why all we have right now is our cell phones. You can also just down grade both services though if you dont want to get rid of them all together.
6. Washing ALL laundry at one time- A while back I read about how much energy you could save by doing your laundry all at one time and so far it really has worked for us. Check out this post later on in the week for more details.
7. Taking control of your heat pump- Here are some helpful tips from AEP. I will go into more detail about these in this post.
8. Cloth Diapering- I started using cloth diapers when my 3rd child, Wacko, was about 9 months old (I believe) because we just couldnt afford diapers every week anymore. Plus, I'm not one of those environmental hippies or anything, but the amount of diapers we were throwing away was really starting to get to me, especially knowing how long they stay in a landfill! They are the third largest single consumer item in landfills. In a house like ours with a child in diapers, diapers make up 50% of our household waste!!!! I will talk in this post about HOW to use cloth diapers, the benefits, and how to clean them etc.
9. Making my own cleaning products- from all purpose cleaner to dishwasher detergent to toilet bowl cleaner, I will post them all!
10. Buying clothes (especially kids) from second-hand or thrift store- I rarely ever (unless it is a great clearance item at Target for $1 or so) will buy my kids clothes brand new. Well I will admit for holidays and birthday we occassionally do but not a lot. The children go through clothes so fast what is the need to pay so much for them.