Monday, May 4, 2015

Ways to Cut Back

This month, I want to try to cut back our spending a little more. I haven't set an actual shekel figure, but I want to see if some small changes can make a difference.

First and foremost, I want to lower our electric bill. It's been a little on the high side since our dud shemesh (solar water heater) went kaput when we had a cold snap. We really want to replace the dud shemesh with a new, cold-weather resistant one, but we still have to figure out how to pay for it. So I *thought* that the one place to find some the money would be to lower our electric bill.

So this is the month where we go back to checking for forgotten electricity hogs - most often this is the children leaving lights and fans on! But it could also be things like the modem and the router. I recently moved them from a back room into a spot in the kitchen, and this way I am more likely to remember to unplug them before going to bed and before Shabbat. Also, we now turn off and unplug the printer when it's not in use. And never leave cellphone chargers plugged in for longer than needed for charging (or better, use a solar powered charger for your phone, digital camera, etc)! Time to remind the kiddos of these rules, so we can do better with our electric bills! We'll also try to figure out where we may be wasting electricity without realizing it and implement other changes. If you want to see how much your electrical appliances cost to run, so you can also make small changes with big savings, check out this Cost Calculator, which is up-to-date with the current IEC price per kwH.

This month we are also going to try to re-instate the "grocery shopping on Tuesday" rule. Many stores have special produce sales on Tuesdays, and we like to take advantage of that. Lately, this has meant finding onions, potatoes, cabbages, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers (sometimes other things too) for about 1 shekel/kg. Without having to find sug bet or scouring the shuk at the end of the day! This saves us a lot of money, especially if we plan meals that highlight the cheaper types of produce. Another thing we do is take a couple of minutes and upload receipts to SnapIn, even if we did not buy something on their list. Sometimes they give "surprise" rebates, and it takes so little time. (Check out my post about SnapIn if you want to find out more about it!)

The other area I want to target is the laundry room. I've been using the dryer a lot, so I guess this is actually related to the "electricity hogs" part of this post! While I know it's not frugal, it's one of those things I just have to do, as hanging the laundry outside to dry is not an option for me (I have allergies, and many of those allergens are air-borne. Like pollens, dust, smoke, cat dander, dog dander... and if I hang laundry outside, I end up with allergens all over our freshly laundered (in hypo-allergenic laundry detergent!) clothes and linens, and I get sick. So it's not an option). But I can hang more things to dry inside the house! So I hope to go back to hanging a lot more things to dry! This will mean I need to declutter my laundry room ASAP!

I also hope to declutter and organize some of our supplies. I know that having my stuff organized means I won't run out and buy something that I already have. Just lately, things have gotten a bit out of control. So it's time to reclaim control, before I start buying things I should not have to purchase again!

And it's time to take a good look at the cellphone plans and internet subscription and find cheaper deals! 

I'd love to hear your ideas - ways to cut back -- especially when you already shop at the second hand shop, don't go out to eat nor get coffee out, swap books or check them out of the library, etc.

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