With the high cost of living these days and the high amount of unemployed people everywhere, cutting costs and saving money is on everyone’s mind.
The sad part is if you are unemployed or barely scraping by, you can’t afford to spend a lot of money hiring a contractor to do a lot of repairs. So I’m going to try to help you.
There are several things that we can’t cut like car payment (unless we get rid of our car), house payment or rent (unless we get rid of our home) and medical bills.
What we can cut are everyday bills, such as fuel costs. Unless you absolutely need to, don’t go anywhere, or if you go walk or ride a bike. The way fuel is now days I don’t go anywhere unless I absolutely have to.
If your going to be sitting somewhere in your car longer than five minutes turn your car off. I can’t count the number of times that I pull up to the school to pick my son up and see a line of cars idling, knowing full well that they will have to wait at least twenty minutes. Now granted a car doesn’t use that much gas when it’s idling, but it uses no gas when it is not running.
Take the shortest route home, and drive reasonably. Jack rabbit take offs use more gas just like driving fast does. Take your time, you’ll get home safer and you can save a couple of gallons of gas that way.
Here’s a personal experience I had, I used to work for a company that was 17 miles from my house, I had to be at work at 6:00 a.m. everyday, I would leave my house at 5:30 a.m. and drive like a bat out of hell to get to work. I was spending 45 dollars a week in gas and gas was under two dollars a gallon then. When it went up to 5 for a while I was spending almost 100 dollars a week in gas. I started leaving my house at 5:00 a.m. and began driving 45 miles an hour (which is the speed limit anyway). My gas costs went down to 60 dollars a week. I had saved five gallons of gas a week by driving slower. That was 25 dollars a week, 100 dollars a month, 1200 dollars a year in savings.
Now gas is going back up again (for no reason other than our crooked politicians allow it).
I still drive speed limits. When I am on the interstate I stay in the slow lane and run the speed limit constantly. Try it, it saves gas, as well as wear and tear on your car.
Another thing to save money on is your grocery bill, as Americans we have gotten so used to the various snacks and junk food that we buy (alot of which are bad for out health). By cutting out junk, we save money, another thing is if you have a local farmers market buy your vegetables there. They will be a lot cheaper and a lot fresher. If you don’t have a local farmers market then buy from the grocery store and don’t make a special trip for the vegetables because you won’t save that much.
Grow a little garden if you have room to. A garden will provide you with fresh vegetables at a very low cost and will also give you a little bit of exercise working in the garden. Home grown tomatoes beat the heck out of paying three bucks for a pack of two store bought ones.
If you have the room to do it, raise some of your own meat. A cattle requires a lot of room to graze and a good bit of feed, but if you have the area to make a good pasture a calf is a good investment. Same for a hog, a full grown hog can feed a family of six for a season (trust me I know). But there again raising hogs may not be the best thing for your area.
Chickens, quail, and rabbits are a good investment and they don’t require as much feed and you can raise them in a smaller area. Not only that home grown chicken is ten times better for you than that store bought hormone fed stuff.
Hunt, wild game is pretty good and it’s relatively low cost, if you already own the stuff to hunt with. Of course if you don’t own a gun chances are you’re not reading my blog in the first place. There are plenty of cookbooks out there that will help you prepare wild game. Rabbit, deer, turkey, quail and wild hog abound here so there is plenty of wild game to cook, and I believe you can hog hunt here just about year round.
Another cost cutting tip is you can cut down on your power bill by doing just a few simple things.
When you wash clothes, wash big loads. This will save on not only power but water as well.
On cool days or warm days depending on your climate and the time of year, turn your air conditioner or heater off and open some doors and windows.
When you leave a room turn the lights off. Some of my lights are on motion detectors now. When I walk into the kitchen the light comes on 5 seconds after I walk out the light goes off, same for the bathroom light. Both of these switches allow you to turn the light on or off manually or you can turn the switch off and the light stays off.
The little flourescent lights that you see every where will save money on your power bill, but most of them use mercury vapor which is harmful to your health and the environment so I stay away from them when I can.
Although they are higher in price some of the new LEDs they are coming out with use less power than the fluorescents and they are supposed to last much much longer, I haven’t tried these yet but as soon as I can afford it I intend to. If anyone reading this has tried the LEDs let us know how well they work.
Another big power guzzler is your dryer. In the old days they used solar powered dryers called clotheslines.
Make one of these and see the difference in your power bill. My mom’s house is twice the size of mine, harder to heat and harder to cool, but her power bill is always lower than mine because she uses a clothesline instead of a dryer.
Turn off appliances when they are not in use.
Computers, televisions, vcrs, dvd players and a lot of other things will use electricity even when they are not turned on. You can buy power strips that have circuit breakers in them, that also have an on and off switch, turn these switches off and you can start saving.
These tips may not seem like much and they may not save much all at once, but if they save 1 dollar a day on your power bill that adds up to 365 dollars a year.
I personally will be glad when I can afford solar panels in order to really start lowering my power bill.
Any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments area.
Thanks for reading