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.
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
laundry...do kids need to wear clothes at all?
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.
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 :-)