“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath.” Psalm 39:4-5
Make money, save money, and live as well as you can, but be ok with waiting until you arrive on the New Earth to truly be rich.
Keeping that in mind, I believe that saving and being wise with money is one of the many responsibilities of a housewife. It can also be so rewarding! Money not spent on a high AC bill can be money saved towards a vacation, a date night, or any number of fun things! So here is a list of money-saving ideas that, in my opinion, is not only do-able but highly effective:
1. HANG DRY ALL OF YOUR CLOTHES
The energy used to dry one large load of clothes costs approximately $1.08. If you average one large load of clothes per day, you could save $7.56 per week, and $393.12 per year by hanging your clothes to dry! An added benefit is the natural bleaching/sanitizing accomplished by sun.
2. USE CLOTH DIAPERS (I will go into more specific details on cloth diapering in a later post.)
Disposable diapers cost an average of 36 cents per diaper, or $2,577.35 before the child turns 3 years old. The total upfront costs of switching to cloth diapers are approximately $115.00 ($69 for 3 dozen diapers, $36 for 3 diaper covers, and $10 for 2 “Snappies”). These supplies should last from 1 ½ to two years before you need to renew them. This means that you save over $2000 per child after 2 years by switching to cloth diapers. Also, if you hang dry your diapers, you can add up to another year of life on them!
3. KEEP YOUR AC AT 80 DEGREES
Heating and cooling your home accounts for 55% of your energy bill. Every degree below 78 degrees increases your energy use by 3-4%. If last month’s bill was $200 and you had kept the AC at 72 degrees, this month’s bill could be reduced to $166.59 by raising your AC to 80! This is over a $30.00 drop in one month!
4. CUT YOUR HUSBAND’S HAIR YOURSELF
This sounds intimidating, but it is possible! (If I can do it, anybody can!!) Invest in a $25 buzzer and scissors set, watch some YouTube how-to videos, and start saving an average of $50 per month!
5. GROW YOUR OWN HERBS
At Publix, you can buy a two-ounce pack of pre-cut herbs for about $2.00. To buy an entire plant that you can grow yourself costs approximately $3.00. After just 2 cuttings from your own herb bush, you have paid yourself back. Herbs are low maintenance, easy-to-grow bushes that can end up saving you a good amount of money if you cook with them a lot.
Let’s add up the savings… (This is after 1 year of practicing all of these ideas.)
- Hang dry clothes: $393.12
- Use cloth diapers: $1000
- Keep AC at 80: $200 (approx.)
- Cut hubby’s hair: $500
- Grow own herbs: $35
GRAND TOTAL: $2128.12 IN SAVINGS PER YEAR!!!
SOME OTHER SMALL THINGS THAT REALLY ADD UP
- Turn off all lights, ceiling fans, and radios when you leave a room.
- Wash your clothes with cold water. Only use hot water when you absolutely must.
- Keep your blinds closed/down during the summer to keep your house cool.
- Unplug your TV when you’re not watching it. (This saves a lot more energy that just turning it off!)
- Keep your freezer full. It takes more energy to keep an empty freezer cool. If you have an empty freezer, fill up some milk cartons with water and put them in.
- If you use your dryer, un-wad all of the wet clothes before you dry them to save on drying time.
I hope this helps trim down your budget in these areas…it sure did mine! And please share any additional money-saving ideas that you may have!
“Clothes Line” Photo: Monica Arellano-Ogpin