How to save money…Part 1

Who doesn’t want to save a little money these days? I know my boyfriend and I live on a tight budget and sometimes even with as frugal as we are we still end up in the hole some months. Since part of my New Year’s resolution for 2015 is to live a more “sustainable” life and to live comfortably on our small income, I decided to delve in the that big black hole called the Internet to see what tips and tricks I could find.

Now, I’ve been around a while, but I was sure that even though I am coming up to that half-century mark, there were still ideas out there I hadn’t tried. After all, I’m smart, but I’m no genius.

My first attempt at searching terms such as sustainability or saving money didn’t really bring me much surprise. Sure there are tons of articles and blogs out there that tout the same sentences…25 ways to save $1000 they claim, 90 ways to cut your budget they promise, 40 ways to save money on groceries they say.

Turns out I’m a lot smarter than I thought. Almost everything I read included ideas that I was already doing, if I could, anyway: eat out less, pack a lunch for work, buy store brands. The problem is that many of the ideas for saving money actually cost money. Money I don’t have.

We all know that upgrading your old appliances or replacing old windows with new ones will save on your heating bill. But I don’t have thousands of dollars hanging around to invest in all that. If I did, I wouldn’t be so worried about trying to save money.

I guess I was looking for that big “ah-ha” moment and was feeling a bit disappointed.

I did come across a few (smaller) interesting ideas that I haven’t tried yet. Remarkably most of the ideas were centered on cleaning. Cleaning supplies can account for a good chunk of your budget when you are buying premium brands. The first thing I found was how to make my own laundry detergent. It is actually a recipe with six ingredients that when purchased cost just over $20. It takes a bit of work but when mixed together you are supposed to only need 1-2 tablespoons per load. I can’t wait to try this if only for the fact that the ingredients are now sitting in my laundry room and it smells amazing.

Turns out with just a few natural ingredients, you can clean your whole house. A jug of vinegar, a box of baking soda, Borax, hydrogen peroxide some lemons and cloth baby diapers and you are good to go. Come on Spring-cleaning!

The other thing we are going to try is canceling our cable subscription. I know a few people who have done this and just subscribe to sites like Hulu or Netflix. For a much smaller fee, you can use these sites to watch the same shows and movies you pay a premium for on cable.

Sustainable living isn’t just about saving a few pennies on laundry soap. It’s about saving money so you don’t feel like you are “living to work.” It’s growing your own vegetables, canning foods and if possible living off the grid and reducing your carbon footprint all without having the corporate world stress. And who couldn’t use a little less stress in their lives.

Once I try that laundry soap I’ll let you know how it works. I’ve also done a little comparison-shopping lately and you may be surprised by what I’ve found. Stay tuned!

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