Many months ago I thought I would start writing about saving on Fridays. I wrote a few posts but haven't been too inspired lately and then yesterday I caught Oprah and the topic was frugal families. All I can say is wow. I was inspired by the families that were on the show and the tips and pearls of wisdom that these people were sharing.
Firstly, one woman talked about how much she now saves on her hydro bill. I was astounded. To save this woman unplugs everything in her home when it is not in use and that goes for appliances, TV's and lamps. These appliances all pull in energy when they are plugged in, even if they are turned off. In May 2008, her energy bill was $268. After she started unplugging, her bill went down to $91. And when she got really vigilant—even turning off the air conditioning—her energy bill was only $60.42. Wow. I immediately went around the main floor of our house unplugging things. I unplugged about 15 things that were in plain view. We are going to get tough on lights and electronic items left on and see if we too can get our monthly hydro/electricity bill down.
The second things was the family that lives on one income, $58,000 a year, and still managed to save $70,000. They are a frugal family. Dinners for $5.00 or less are a regular thing in their house. It made my husband and I start thinking about what we spend our money on. We both started packing lunches again. Food and eating out are the two things that we spend most of our money on. We both work downtown and are often eating out or picking up food on the way home. We are trying to cut down.
I am also trying to cut down on the number of times I go to the grocery store every week. Ideally I would like to only go once a week but that takes planning. The more visits to the grocery store in the week, the more money I spend. This fall I am making a pledge to only go shopping once a week, go with a list and plan meals for the week. I am also hoping to make multiple meals to put in the freezer for those days when we are short on time or just too lazy or tired to cook.
What are you doing to cut your budget and save money? I am always looking for easy, fun and successful tips to cut spending and increase saving.