Well on to more about the book on frugal living I pulled out to read and get hopefully new ideas to add into my daily routine.
Chapter two deals with shifting your ideas on shopping. This is one area we frugal people have great control of.
The author speaks about buying clothing. I agree with her ideas of being patient and waiting for things to go on sale, to buy the best quality you can afford.
She talks a great deal about buying at Goodwill, which if you are lucky enough to have great second hand stores, or charity shops is a wonderful idea. Here however, there are only two second hand stores and both leave a great deal to be desired. I have found that sewing my own clothes (using fabric that I have purchased on sale) or waiting for great quality clothing to go on sale is better for me. I have pants, dresses, skirts, and tops that are 6 or more years old that are still in excellent shape. Looking after what you have makes more sense to me than spending hours a month trying to find something second hand. Not saying that I haven't found quality items, but they are few and far between.
Stocking up during a great sale makes sense. I do this with underwear, and socks. However, buying 6 tops of the same style is not saving money to me.
As the author says, shopping at outlet stores is another great way to save. I have done this when we have traveled to a bigger center like Calgary or Edmonton. Here in Saskatchewan we do not have many outlet stores at all. Sure wish we did!!
The author speaks about having a set routine for grocery shopping. Hmmm, I think I already do this. Early mornings are best around here, I can get in and out quickly. I shop the outside first and then go down only those lanes that my list shows that I have to. I use any coupons that I have and search for unlisted sales (or price drops). I always go through the fliers and plan my shopping accordingly.
I don't put a list on the fridge to add to and that is something I think I am going to do from now on. It would be great to actually not have to go through cupboards and find that I no longer have something I need for a recipe. One frugal idea to try and make a habit!
I have a budget for all shopping and try to stay under it as much as is possible. However once every 4 or 5 months I do go over and that is because we travel to Regina and do a big stock up shop. Everything from cleaning supplies to OTC meds are done at this time. It really does save us to shop this way. Sandwich meat is bought in large rolls and we slice it, large containers of dish soap, laundry detergent, and other supplies are bought and decanted into smaller containers. I have found this to be a cost saver over time.
I do buy shredded cheese when it is on sale. The author says money can be saved by buying large chunks of cheese and shredding your own at home. I will try this out at our next big shop, or if cheese goes on sale for a great price here at home. I do have a hand held shredder as well as an electric one (Kurt bought it for me for Christmas a few years back, may as well get some more use out of it) and really shredding does not take much time at all.
The author also says not to forget about reward programs. So far the only reward program here is the cash back on credit cards (our city does not have any of the stores that offer reward programs). I do make use of this and pay off the credit card every month in full. Not paying in full negates any cash back reward the card offers.
Chapter three talks about different appliances in your home.
Now I am really confused. In the beginning she spoke about using smaller loads when washing, now it is was full loads for shorter lengths of time.... Help!!!
I agree with washing and rinsing in cold water where possible. I do this for at least one load a week. I always rinse with cold water.
I am using my front load washer until it falls apart. We have budgeted for a new one and when the time comes I am getting one of the new energy efficient top loaders. Now that there is no center agitator clothing should be washed just the same as a front loader.
As far as the dryer goes, I do hang as much as possible on lines downstairs in the fall and winter or when there is rain. I don't mind waiting a day to fold them. However the author talks about pulling things out of the dryer as they dry. Somehow opening and shutting the dryer door makes me think that the dryer would have to work harder at getting the heat back up. Wouldn't that cause a person to use more rather than less electricity?
When I reheat leftover, or pull a meal out of the freezer I always use my microwave. It uses way less power than the oven.
I need to use my slow cooker more. The author says that in a frugal household this is the best option as far as energy usage. I better get in the habit of slow cooking more meals and making this appliance my best friend. It would also cut down on heating up the kitchen in the summer, saving the air conditioner.
When I use my oven I do try to cook more than one item. If I have the oven on it makes sense to do as much as possible with it.
I still have a problem with dishwashers being more frugal than washing by hand. Once I forgot the dish rag in the sink, and the sink over flowed with just one cycle of our old dishwasher. I can fill both sinks with hot water (not really full, perhaps half full) and get all my dishes washed including pots and pans. Perhaps the newer dishwashers use less water, but my friend still does her pots and pans by hand, so I can't see this appliance saving me anything. After all the dishwasher uses electricity to run, not just hot water!
We have already turned down our water heater. Don't think we can turn it down any lower and still have it be safe to use.
So in these last two chapters I have found two new ideas to try and incorporate into my frugal life style. Hopefully they will become habits and over time save us money, and time.
Back in a couple of days with a report on the next couple of chapters.
Everybody have a wonderful evening.