Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tweak Your Routine To Sneak In Savings

Adjusting your habits even slightly can result in savings which can really add up over time. What are some of the ways you could tweak your routine to sneak in savings?

One way would be to get up earlier and go to bed earlier, allowing you to do more things by daylight. This would save energy used for lighting, resulting in a lower electric bill. I've also chosen to do things like reading that use more light earlier in the day, and then watch TV or listen to music which require less light, later in the day.

Another slight adjustment I've made to my routine is to walk to the grocery store when I only need a few things, or walk to perform other errands, especially in cooler weather. This saves gas, wear and tear on the car, and I get some much-needed exercise all at the same time.

You could also spend your free time on a paying hobby, such as making crafts for sale, writing articles to be published, or panning for gold, instead of watching TV or pursuing a hobby that costs you a lot of money.

Another small change I've made is to dry clothes in the dryer for a few minutes and then hang to dry after washing. This helps me avoid "crunchy" towels and jeans, and saves energy and wear on my dryer.

When cooking pasta, I always use the Indian method I read about somewhere. Bring the pasta to a boil, then add the pasta, turn the burner off and put the lid on. The pasta will cook in the still-hot water in about 15 minutes. This saves the energy that would be used to simmer the noodles for 10 minutes or so using the traditional method.

One more thing I stopped doing years ago was blow-drying my hair. This saves me time in the morning, and electricity. It works fine for my all-one-length long hair, but may or may not work for your hairstyle. Give it a try and see.

Buying staples such as oats, flour, sugar, pasta etc. from bulk bins is another tiny thing I do differently nowadays. They are much cheaper that way, and I like reusing jars and other containers to store them.

I discovered that my grocery store has an extensive section of marked-down baked goods that have reached their sell-by date in the back of the store, so now before I buy bread, I always check there first. I store it in the freezer anyway, so it never goes bad before I can use it.

When I want to eat out at a restaurant, I always choose between those that I have coupons for, rather than making a completely random selection. This saves quite a bit of money, and I always find one for whatever type of food I might be in the mood for.

I always cook small meals in my toaster oven, because it uses a lot less energy than the regular oven. I have also become very proficient with my microwave and crock pot.

It may sound silly, but if I'm home alone, reading my book on the couch, I use my book light, which is powered by rechargeable batteries, rather than needlessly lighting the whole room.

When I use my dishwasher, if I only have a lightly soiled load, I use the "ecowash" setting, and I always turn off the "dry" setting. These two things save a lot of energy, and my dishes dry just fine if I prop the door open a little at the end of the cycle.

These are just a few of the ways I have made slight adjustments to my daily routine to save money and/or time. What are some of the tweaks you sneak into your routine? I look forward to hearing some of your solutions I haven't thought of.


zengirl said...


These are sure small adjustment we can all do that makes a huge difference. I did not know a few of it, like boiling pasta method. I am going to try it next time. There are so many wonderful ideas you got here.

You sure inspire me. I would like to follow you on blog, as I do not have twitter yet.

Betsy Bargain said...

Zengirl, I'm glad there was something in my post that could help you. I'm always excited when I learn a new tip to save money!

Anonymous said...

My "tweak" is that I walk my son to school every day. It saves energy, gets us excersize and gives me some quality time with my little guy to boot!

Betsy Bargain said...

Sounds like a good tweak, Anon. Thanks for sharing it with us!