Cutting down on living expenses need not be the huge sacrifice that you think it might. You can live a healthy and enjoyable lifestyle, without missing out on the things that you love. Once you set your priorities in what you want to do with the money you save, you can then set to work to find areas that you can save on.
Some things you may want to keep in your life. You may want pay T.V. or your hair colored. You may like to go out for tea or buy lotto. Cutting down on living expenses doesn’t mean you need to give up what you enjoy in life.
Buying groceries in bulk is an area that you can save on. Quite often you can not only save on bulk buying, but also look for specials on those items. Some of these items will sell for as much as 50% off, if you get them at the right time.
Also find the cheapest times for your grocery shop. Some stores mark down meat at certain times of the day. You may need to go at different times to work this out, but it’s well worth it once you find the mark down time.
Buying fruit and vegetables in season, is another area to save. Coffee is often on special, as is tea. Just buy in bulk and wait for the specials, then buy again. These items keep, so you can buy them and hold onto them until they’re needed. Try to use all the food you buy. Throwing food out is throwing money away.
Shop in lower income areas. These stores are normally cheaper to shop at, than the wealthier townships. If you need to travel to this area, shop fortnightly so you can reduce the petrol cost.
Cutting down on the time it takes to shower, reduces your water costs. As does a water saver shower head. Also if you put a brick in your toilet system you can save a litre of water with every flush. Any water you use in the kitchen and laundry, can be taken outside to water your plants, saving you litres here as well.
Cooking for two nights, saves more water in washing pots and pans. Also this saves electricity. As does making one pot meals and quicker to cook meals. A cooked chicken, brought during the sale time at your store and then broken into pieces and tossed with lettuce and tomato, gives you a meal that requires no electricity.
Heating costs can be reduced by working on a lower temperature before turning the heater on. If you leave the heater off until the room temperature drops to a certain level, then you aren’t using heat as early as you would if you turn your heater on at a certain time.
You could put the heater on when the temperature falls to 15 degrees and heat the room to take the chill off, then turn the heat down, rather than heating until the room gets hot. Turn the heater off 15 minutes to half an hour before you go to bed. The house will still be warm enough and you wont need the heater on once you’re in bed.
Turn one light on at night, just the one central light. Unless your doing a task that requires a lot of light, you can get enough light with just the one light on. Use lower wattage bulbs and energy saving bulbs. Also tidy and put washing away during the daylight, saving you turning the lights on in each room.
Turn oven elements off five minutes before the required cooking time. The heat will still be enough to finish off whatever is left. Same with the ironing. Turn the iron off during the last item and the heat of the appliance will be enough just to finish off.
Learn to service your car yourself. Keeping the services up to your car ensures a longer lasting life of the car. Servicing your car regularly keeps the car running more economically on fuel. Driving can be economical if you don’t go over the speed limit. Driving just a kilometer or two under the limit saves petrol as well, without loosing too much time. Service the lawn mower yourself and it will run years longer.
Don’t pay anyone for something that you can do yourself. Hemming new pants, painting your nails, coloring your hair and buying take away are all things that can cost and that you needn’t pay for. Packaged meals are dearer than making them yourself. You can save a lot in cooking meals yourself. Ready made stocks are a lot dearer than making the stock yourself, as are many of the bottled and canned sauces. Grow your own herbs. These are expensive items to buy, but aren’t difficult to grow.
Many things can be made yourself from gifts and cards, to furnishings and home decor, however most of us don’t have the time we need to make all the changes we’d like, in saving money. The best we can do is to work at what works best for us.
Working out areas to cut down on costs can be fun and the rewards and benefits are well worth the effort.