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Tightwad top ten: frugal living tips - part one

There are ample ways to save pennies with little changes in the way you do things. Tightwad has compiled a list of ideas that may help you add to your snowflake jar and reduce your ecological footprint.
10. Unplug
If you unplug gadgets and gizmos that you aren't using you will soon see a difference in your electricity bill. Sometimes called 'phantom power,' this unnoticed drain on your electricity consumption is slowly adding up.
9. Compost
Composting your organic waste creates nutrient rich material to augment your garden, diverts
waste from the landfill, and you won't have to stop by the local garden centre to pick up the bagged stuff.
8. Chill out
Washing your clothes in cold water will make no difference to how clean your clothes are and will give your water heater a break.
7. Eat in-season
Eating in-season fruits and veggies will help cut down your grocery bill.
6. Shop around
Getting comparitive quotes on auto, house and life insurance will help you to get more bang for your buck. If you use one insurance company you will be eligible for a multi-line discount, which may reduce your total premiums by up to 10%.
5. Eat at home
Even small items such as take out coffees and modest lunches can add up very quickly. Break out your stainless steel mug and lunchbox... save eating out for special occasions. There are ways to reduce that cost, too.
4. Reintroduce yourself to your local library
If you haven't been to your local library for a while, chances are you'll be pleasantly surprised. Libraries stock (and often host) multiple book club reads, the latest fiction and non-fiction, periodicals and great kids stuff. All you need is a library card and you are good to go.
3. Stalk thrift stores
You'll be amazed with the amount of great stuff that you can find at a thrift store. Kids stuff, garden tools, mixing bowls, furniture... the possibilities are endless.
2. Assess your transportation
Try to cluster errands so you can reduce you gas consumption. See about ditching your own car for a car co-op, or carpool, or even better... dust off your bike.
1. Pay off the credit
Pay off your credit card and stick it on ice. It will be there for emergencies but you won't have to dread the mail every time you see the postman.


Suzanne said...

I always try and cluster my errands. I have noticed a difference in the amount of gas I use. Thanks for all the great tips.

Louise said...

I do a number of these already - always cold wash, use the library, buy in season etc...

Also I'm a huge believer in zero credit card debt and pay the credit card in full each month. Rule of thumb is if I can't afford it, it shouldn't go on the credit card.

Benefit to this approach vs not using credit cards is you get points - generally, I find, better points cards on higher interest cards (but this doesn't matter if you pay off in full each month).

I have one card with an annual fee (a CIBC aerogold), and one without which both do points. With the aerogold, last year we cashed in points for a $500 gift card for Home Hardware as we were renovating our kitchen, and a new lawnmover (as our old one died). So not to shabby. This year, I'll be cashing in some points from the other one to do an additional mortgage payment (only about $150 - but every little bit helps...).

Good post! I'll be back to check out others as they come :)

Sarah said...

Cool tips. I do most of those things to save money. I never thought about unplugging my electronic devices, great idea!!

Cheryl said...

Great tips, looking forward to part 2. I actually make money from my credit card. I have a points card (where you can trade points for goods). I put as much as I can on my credit card, but I pay the whole amount off each month. In this way I pay no interest and the points I earn I turn into cards I can use at a hardware store or similar so I'm buying things I actually need and it pays off the annual fee plus quite a bit more. You need to do your sums to make sure you do gain more than the annual fee and you must be disciplined to pay off the whole amount. I probably gain a couple of hundred a year this way.

Louise said...

Hi again,

I sent you an email in response to both your comments on my site (I'd love to take you up on your offers - thank you so much! And I answered your questions re: Can. Mom Blogs) - it bounced back twice before seeming to go through (I think my email didn't like my just copying your email - I actually had to type it in - so silly), so if it doesn't get there let me know and I'll just post as a comment.


Wendy said...

I like you!:D I use cold water, thrift, un-plug and I am totally down with paying off the credit cards and putting them -away-. Plus I love the library. Awesome blog!!!

Anonymous said...

The bin liner as a rain cover is a great idea -can use them as christmas presents for son and daughter in law --

Suzanne said...

Don't forget about coupons! They really do add up. I routinely save 10 percent or more on my groceries, and I don't even really work at it. And if you're not into clipping, these days there are so many other ways to get coupons - some can even be delivered right to your smartphone! I wrote an article about the various sources for coupons if you'd like some new ideas for finding them: They're free money, baby!

Team Chastain said...

Your blog is really inspiring me to get thrifty!! My hubby will be thrilled! LOL

Anonymous said...

Its been shown that washing with cold water can leave behind bacteria that won't necessarily be killed in the dryer.

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