Welcome to the third and final segment of our cost savings journey.
I was going to discuss just the “what we plan to do in the future” but have recently decided that there isn’t much more on the horizon in the near future. There are a few items I will point out but have decided to also include some other savings items. These will be items that I realized I forgot to mention in the first two parts, and may be just the trick you need for you and your home.
As a recap:
In part one, we discussed items that we have been doing (for a while now) that have saved us a ton of money:
Nix Out-To-Eat trips (mostly)
Limit Trips to Stores
Exercise for Free
In part two, I listed out the items that we have been trying out to see how effective they are and/or how much we are saving:
So – now for part three, and this should be brief (hahaha… me, brief? Hahaha). These are in no particular order, but here we go:
First, some things we want to try in the future:
Hand washing clothes
~ The utility cost and cost of water alone should be enough for us to have already tried this, but it really is time consuming – and if you read part one, you will know that I firmly believe Time=Money. We will try this, but currently, this just isn’t practical considering the time involved.
Hanging clothes out to dry
~ Absolutely not a new concept. This is actually one that we used to do, got away from, but will again. Using a dryer to dry your clothes is a HUGE money eater. Any item that has to “heat up” will eat more energy than items that do not. If you have the space, and the weather is nice – why not?
~ If, you are dead set on using your dryer… one thing that can save you some money is to use it on “low heat”. You would be surprised that this lower heat is just as effective.
> Bonus money saver – your clothes don’t shrink!
Buy in Bulk
~ You would think that we already do this. We do, but not on a large scale. We simply don’t have the space. In the future though, we will and plan to buy as much as we can in bulk.
> This is only useful if:
· You have the space
· You plan to use the items before they go bad
· You have the extra funds to invest in bulk ordering
> Keep in mind that not all bulk items are actually cheaper though. Make sure you figure the price per each/lb/oz/etc. Sometimes, the smaller containers are actually better.
~ I’m sure you all have seen the commercials to “cut cable” … but that is to convince you to more to satellite TV. We plan to actually cut it out completely. Our antenna gets us our local news, so the only reason we haven’t cut cable yet is because of our kids. Once Jeff and I have our own place, we will be perfectly fine with our YouTube and antenna broadcasts. We do have streaming services as well, but haven’t decided yet if we are willing to give them up or not.
~ I mentioned in the last segment that I was considering making my own make-up.
~ Though I don’t really wear much anymore, there are times that I do. For those times, I am looking at ways to make my own. This doesn’t seem to be to out of my realm since I already make soap and have many of the colorants used for both soapmaking and makeup. This is going to be fun!
So, that's really it... not much on the future endeavors, but we are happy to hear any of your thoughts and ideas that we may not have thought of.
Second – More ideas
I know I have thrown at you in the last few blog posts, but a few of you have reached out to me with more suggestions, some that are listed right above; However, some of the ideas we already do and forgot to mention previously, or realized there are some things that we have been doing for so long that we forgot they were even savings!
Buy Fruits & Veggies in season
~ I know, this doesn’t normally cross many minds, but this is a huge factor in your grocery bill. If you don’t grow your own, then make sure you keep up with what is in season and when (Google search it).
~ Also, near the end of the season, many of these items will go on sale – BUY IT ALL if you can. You can freeze, can, and store most of these, and then you will be able to enjoy those sweet strawberries year round!
~ It may seem more like cleaning than it does saving money, but you would be surprised.
> De-cluttering goes a long way in avoiding duplicate purchases; Especially in the pantry, fridge, and bathroom.
· I can’t tell you how many times when the kids were young that they would state they were out of something. “Mom, we need toothpaste!” Wow, I thought. They are really going to town on brushing their teeth. WRONG, as I cleaned out from under their bathroom sink, moving past an endless supply of tub toys, I find two tubes of toothpaste, brand-new! That’s what I get for telling them to clean their own bathroom!
~ Going back to part one, you will remember that I stated the three items that will cost you the most at the store: Meat, Cereal, & Cleaning supplies.
~ This time, we will focus on meat.
> Ever have that recipe that calls for a pound of ground meat? Why a pound? Can’t you get just as much flavor with ½ a pound? When making chili, we always cut our meat by half and add extra pinto beans. More cost effective, a much healthier protein, and the best part – NOBODY notices the difference.
Tankless water heaters
~ I would love for someone to respond and explain why they would choose a standard water-heater over a tankless if given the choice. There must be a reason, I just really don’t know what it is. We have been using a tankless water-heater for nearly 14 years and we will never buy anything else. We saw savings immediately after getting one.
> One – the water doesn’t sit in the tank, cooling down, cutting on to heat back up (I also not miss the “tick, clank, tick” noise it makes in the process), just to cool back down if the now hot water isn’t used. This costs a ton of gas or electricity cutting on and off throughout the day. Think about it – who’s showering at 3AM… but your hot water heater is keeping it warm for you.
· With the tankless, you never run out of hot water. They are called “On-Demand” water-heaters for a reason. You cut it on, cold water goes in, gets heated instantly, hot comes out.
> Two – It doesn’t rust out. You don’t run the risk of water sitting in a tank, slowly eating away at it until – BAM… you’re replacing the wood flooring in the utility room.
> Three – You pick the temp. With a traditional water-heater, when you go to take a shower, it’s like a dance. A little hot water here – ow! A little cold water there – burr! Back and forth until you either get it just right, or give up and hope for the best. While you are doing this, you are wasting gallons of water… and precious hot water at that since you only have one tank full.
· With the tankless, you just set your temp (I shower at 110 (nice!) whereas Jeff showers at 104 (talk about burr!). The dishwasher runs at 140, but handwashing is done a little cooler… because I like having skin on my hands.
~ Speaking of water… you know if comes free from the sky, right?
> We collect rainwater. Now, if you are on well and septic, you don’t have to worry about city water and sewage costs, but there is still the price you pay for electricity to pump the water. However, if you are on city water and city sewage – this will save you a small fortune!
· All that free sky water collects in several 275 gal. IBC totes, but you don’t have to go that big. We use these to water our gardens, our animals, the lawn, and wash our cars.
· Make sure you check with your local government though – there are actually some states where catching that free wet stuff from the sky is illegal.
~ Well, I’m not going to go into detail on this one. My next blog post will actually be centered around this particular topic – so stay tuned for the most comprehensive PM schedule you have ever seen!
I’m sure there are other items I didn’t list (actually, I know for a fact there are) – but I really could go on for days. I have become very passionate about saving money and work very hard for every cent. If you want more ideas or have something to share, feel free to reach out either here, through Instagram, or Facebook and we can swap more ideas - and isn’t that the point… to share our experiences using “Tried-and-True Methods” or “Fresh Ideas” to help each other grow. Yes, I know… I didn’t have to throw our tag-line in, but it really is why we started all this in the first place.
We are so glad you are with us on this journey – thanks for coming along 😊