Monday, February 6, 2012

Snip Snip Snip

So what ELSE can I cut? 

Bathroom: I've pushed down the usage of toiletries down massively - I have not bought anything for months. One bar of soap in a jar of water refills the soap pump at least 20 times which far outlives a bar of soap going squishy on the sink. I hang the shower soap in a net bag so it does not dissolve  down the plughole. We rarely use shampoo - hot water each night seems to be enough. I am still using up moisturisers people gave me for Skye 2 years ago and will make my own in the future. I make my own deodorant (bicarb & peppermint oil). Installing the butt gun (bidet) cut our dunny paper usage to 1/5. Toothpaste: tiny squeeze & lots of brushing. Shaving: optional. Hot water is free but if we had shorter showers then the pump would not have to run as long.

Laundry: I MIGHT use a box of laundry detergent every 8 weeks and I am currently sorting our towels and putting away the excess so the kids can't drag them around the house to provide me (now THEM) with more washing. Also I'm going to keep a tighter control over their clothes to reduce the kids need to wear clothes at all?

Cleaning: I am conservatively using up the odds and sods in the cupboards, some of them since the previous owners moved out 8 years ago - although I think this says more about my negligent cleaning habits than my frugality.

Kitchen: Maybe we can eat more Arabic & Indonesian dishes where everyone shares from the same platter rather than making a mountain of dirty dishes? AND I'm going to put away all the extra cutlery & crockery. That one will be hard because I always seem to have a house full of visitors. I suppose I could also cut down on hot drinks and hot, buttery toast because those appliances cost a fair bit to run...

Electronics: Sean already turns off the unnecessary things at night and I work with just one desk lamp.  We don't have a TV or stereo system but we do have computers running all the time but that should change when Sean farms out the server and maybe I can discipline myself to only turn the computer on when I sit down to work at night (Hard!)

Climate control: The fans are on constantly during summer but maybe solar panels would cool the roof even further and negate that completely. Also we could move outside earlier instead of turning on the fans or just get used to the heat!  In winter I have started to sit under an electric rug instead of turning on a heater and maybe I'll move the whole family into one bedroom next winter so only so heater is required.

Food: I don't think I can get more frugal in this department without ceasing to eat completely - with the exception of bread and cheese I make everything from scratch.  Mind you,  I  CAN make the bread and cheese from wheat and milk but that costs more than buying it. I suppose we could cancel the wine subscription - but then we'd need to turn up the heat in winter.

Transport: Another tough one. It is hard to cut the miles living here and I am out 4 days a week with kids activities. I NEVER "pop down to the shops" and we try to organise all the homeschool activities on one day. Also it is common sense to take care of the cars properly so we do not skimp on maintenance. HA! It took me 7 years to wear through the first set of brake pads so my driving can't be too bad but maybe I can turn off the air conditioning and drive even more slowly. Perhaps I should take more care about where I buy fuel and at what time of day and start keeping he fuel vouchers from the IGA.

Anyway, PLEASE feel free to give me more ideas! I would be very appreciative  :-)


  1. OMG you have really hit the poverty line!!
    Re-use alfoil, tear all your plastic bags into stips and crochet floor mats with them. I can give you a couple of hundred bags. We can send you food packages

  2. HAHAHA! Actually we haven't HIT the poverty line but we are living off savings because from the end of November to the end of February I don't get paid from any of my jobs (Gee, I wonder why we don't do xmas?!) I do NOT want to whittle away my savings because I have plans for those.
    Thanks for the hints but: I don't buy alfoil or clingwrap - I just use Tupperware and plastic shopping bags to cover food and yes I am crocheting the old bread bags into a large basket for the car. AND I use all the old fabric scraps for floor rugs. Actually last night I thought of a heap more things I could do to cut the budget even closer. Hopefully in another 6 months there will be enough to harvest from the garden so that will be a great saving :-)