Some of my favorite blogs have recently written tips about how to save money and I thought I would jump on the bandwagon, even though it is a bit off topic for this blog. So here are my favorite ways that I can save and some of the ways I wish I could save.
What I do:
1. Don’t own a car. OK, most of you are groaning because for like 90% of the population in this country this is not really realistic. But seriously, I live in the city and don’t own a car. I don’t pay for: gasoline, car insurance, parking, road tolls, maintenance, or a car loan. Not only that, but we get to buy Daddy-O’s metro card with pre-tax dollars. Awesome.
2. Shop for groceries at a Food Co-op. These vary in availability and type around the country but we are really lucky to live close to a fabulous food co-op. The mark up on everything is only 21% which is amazing. My mom was bowled over by how low our grocery bill is.
3. Rarely eat meat. I’m not a vegetarian but rarely eat meat more than once a week. I would do this anyway, but I enjoy that I can save money with this habit.
4. Clean with baking soda and white vinegar. I am probably sounding very pretentious with this list. We use Bon Ami sometimes, but I really get so depressed sometimes thinking about the environmentally destructive and wasteful process which goes into creating totally unnecessary cleaning products and their packaging, even “green” ones. Really, you don’t need Clorox wipes for your kitchen counter; and why anyone would spend money on Windex is beyond me.
5. Now I am really going to sound pretentious: Don’t get cable TV. Believe me, I like to watch TV but I really don’t need to pay someone to help me rot my brain. I am perfectly capable of doing that myself (and with the help of netflix).
6. Unplug when not in use. On a whim last year I decided that we were going to start unplugging everything or turning off the power strips. Now, when we sleep the only things that are plugged in are: the CO alarm, the alarm clock and the phone. I was quite surprised at the savings — about $7-10 a month. That may not seem like a lot, but I like to think of it a one extra pair of great shoes a year. And we only live in 650 sq. feet. Imagine how many shoes you could buy if you lived in a house with lots of electronic set ups you could unplug!
What I wish I could do:
1. Grow more food. Let’s face it, I live in an apartment and I love to garden. This is not a good combination. I do have a small plot at the community garden where I grew a few tomatoes and herbs, along with 5(!) foot high zinnias this year, but I would love to have a large piece of land for veggies and fruit trees. Just not possible.
2. Hang up my laundry. Some apt buildings do have set ups for this, but ours does not and my 5×7 bathroom is not sufficient for air-drying. Technically this wouldn’t save me money as the dryer in our building is free. But it’s the principle. Plus I love the way line-dried clothes smell, even if they are stiff.
3. Not heat the apartment to 8000 degrees in the winter time. Did I mention that I live in an apartment? I have no control over the heat and it is sometimes so hot I open a window. What a waste.
4. Have better heath coverage. Enough said. Please vote appropriately.
5. Sell my extra stuff. OK, technically I could do this, but as I have mentioned before my personality is not conducive to such activity. I do dream about selling all Kiddo’s toys on ebay, however.
Well, that was a long post, and even if you didn’t enjoy reading it, I liked writing it. It did make me sound a bit smug, though.