Tips on how to live on less...
Good Cheap Food1. Buy raw ingredients instead of prepackaged foods. If you don’t know how to cook, learn. You’ll save on food bills, and your body will thank you for it in the long run.
2. Buy in bulk from a local health food store, or place bulk orders directly with mail-order companies. If you can’t meet their minimum order size, go in on an order with another family, or organize a larger food buying club.
3. Avoid the middleman and buy directly from farmers. Look for farm stands, community supported agriculture programs and farmers markets.
4. Eat fruits and vegetables in season, when they are least expensive. (Once, we found organic watermelon for three cents a pound!) Stock up when they’re cheap and freeze or can any excess for later use.
5. Keep up with what’s in your refrigerator and make sure nothing spoils. Once a week, make soup or casseroles to use up vegetables and other leftovers.
6. Calculate the price of food per pound when you visit supermarkets. Doing the math will help you spot good deals.
7. Don’t overeat. When you do, you’re flushing money down the drain.
Keep Home Upkeep costs Down8. Close off unused rooms to save on heat and air conditioning.
9. Be efficient with your appliances. Have a big baking night when you’re going to use the oven. Let your woodstove also be your dryer and water heater.
10. Take advantage of natural weather patterns to heat and cool your house. In the summer, open the windows at night and close them again by noon.
11. Place your refrigerator in the coldest part of the house so it requires less energy to keep the temperature low.
12. Wash your clothes in cold water. It’s the friction that does most of the cleaning, not the heat.
13. Switch off your water heater when you’re not going to use it for extended periods of time.
14. Buy energy-efficient light bulbs. The savings on your electric bills add up fast.