Monday, April 2, 2012

15 Random Ways to Save Money

I am so excited to introduce to you one of my favorite blogger friends and her lovely blog!  I'm blessed and inspired every time I visit her little corner!!  Her blog is beautiful and fun!  You really should go see her!!

Hello, everyone!  My name is Maria and I blog over at raising4princesses.
 I'm a very happy Christian lady, wife to Prince Charming, and mommy to 4 little princesses.
  We are missionaries living on the Island of Jamaica.
  I'm so very honored {and humbled} to be asked to guest post here today.

Okay, I'll admit it. I'm a skinflint. A tightwad. A penny pincher. Whatever you call it, it is part of my heritage. My mom taught us to always check the bargain aisle first. I was born into a family who loves {loves} loves yard sale season. When I’m in the States, I’d rather go to a thrift store then a department store.
I try to my best ability to be a very frugal and thrifty wife. It really comes easy to me. I credit it to my parents, and how they raised me. I have many very happy memories of our childhood, but I don’t think we lived an extravagant life. We lived simple....but we lived well. Early in my teen years I was working and saving my own money. Things mean a lot more when you have to work hard for them and pay for them yourself.
Living in a foreign country is very expensive especially when it is a tiny Island. I try to make the burdens on my Prince as little as I can.  
Here are 15 random ideas and rules that I use in my home to help save money.  
1. I unplug an appliance not being used at that time. I read on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Website that 75% of current used is called phantom current. I think that means that it is current we don’t even realize we’re using. It can be a little inconvenient to have to plug the t.v. or lamps in before you use them...but in the long’s not that hard a thing to do.
2. We don’t use a dryer. I know this is not feasible for everyone, like if you live where it’s cold or have no yard. It works great here, and I love having a reason to stand out in the morning breeze.
3. We have a chest freezer. We buy in bulk because is much more economical here.
4. This one will shock you. We rarely use our hot water heater. It is so wonderful to have, but it makes the little meter “spin like a top”. In Jamaica most people don’t wash their dishes in hot water.....{gasp!!!}. It’s true. It’s not killed us yet....or anyone we know. Most nights I switch on the hot water for less then an hour so we can take warm showers. We don’t use it every night though. I never wash clothes in hot water, only cold.
5. Sometimes I turn the stove off early. If I’m cooking something like a casserole (it’s a Missouri thing) and it’s not quite done, I go ahead and shut off the oven and leave it inside. It saves on gas and keeps cooking.
6. Allow food to cool before putting it in the freezer. This helps the fridge and freezer from working quite as hard.
7. Only mommy and daddy open the fridge without permission. How many times have you seen children open the fridge and just think. That’s a lot of cold air flying out. I admit that sometimes I’m tempted to do it.......ok, sometimes I’m tempted to climb in it! But, when your home averages 90 deg inside during the day, that can waste a lot of electricity!
8. I cook with lids on the pots. It helps the heat stay in, boils faster, and uses less gas. ‘Nuff said.
9. I rewash ziplock bags if they’ve not had meat in them... or spaghetti sauce...that red stain is permanent. I also save bread bags, glass jars, and cans.
10. We use the curly looking fluorescent bulbs. They cost more but last longer and use less.
11. I always do full loads of laundry (not hard around here). A typical large load uses about 21 gallons of water. A small load uses 14 gallons. Several small loads use considerably more water than one or two large loads. Over the course of a year, this adds up.
12. Cutting your own hair really saves money also.  I know since I have 4 daughters it is a little easier because they don’t need their hair cut as often as boys, and it’s probably easier.  But, it can be done.
13. Drink water, drink water, drink water.  We’re kinda a “no soda pop” family.  We aren’t against it, it’s just cheaper and healthier to drink more water.  Soda is special for birthdays and company coming.
14. When we are in the States and traveling to different meetings we try to eat out at restaurants during lunch hours instead of dinners.  Of course this doesn’t matter in fast food places, but if you’re going out to a nice, sit down place with real table clothes then you’ll find the menu prices are noticeably nicer earlier in the day.  
15. My last tip is, swallow your pride.  Wear hand-me-downs.  I like looking nice and being up on styles, but you can mix, match, and alter things to be really cute with just a little imagination and Pinterest!

Have a lovely day, 

Do be sure to drop in on Maria and check out her blog!  I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!!  So much fun going on over there at raising4princesses!!

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  1. Excellent ideas! And I'm so glad y'all haven't died from the cold-water-dish-washing : ) Or from anything else (like gang warfare.) Thank you for obeying God's will for your lives. Be blessed!

  2. My dad and I always unplug everything thta doesn't have to be plugged in all the time. The washer/dryer are real energy hogs, and we don't use them that often. It has made a big difference in our electricity bill, just doing that one simple thing!!! We also use natural light as much as possible, and don't turn on lights unless we have to. our house has lots of windows, so it lets in lots of light :) Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  3. Wonderful ideas! Hanging an out laundry is "an excuse to enjoy the morning breeeze!" Love that! Though it's nice to save the money, that's the main reason I LOVE hanging out my laundry. :)

  4. Now that the weather is getting nice, I’ll definitely be hanging my clothes out to dry; thanks for the great tips! I’ve saved on electricity by unplugging appliances at night and during the day when I leave; thankfully, I have a switch that turns the power off to the TV area. I also make an effort to stay in more; I added Blockbuster @Home to my employee subscription to DISH and it makes it so much easier. I even invite friends over for a movie and have them bring the drinks or snacks. I we have a fun-filled night without going out and spending more than twice as much on dinner and drinks.

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