August 23, 2007

25 Frugal Things

I first read this type of post over at Frugal Upstate, who wrote her post a while back. Since I've become a SAHM, I've been trying to become more frugal/thrifty. I started this list for this post, and I'm surprised at how many lifestyle changes I've made in order to have the lifestyle I want.

1. I make my own laundry detergent
2. I wash all clothes (except for whites and denim) in cold water, on the short cycle
3. I use a clothesline to dry all clothes except work clothes and denim
4. When I do use the dryer, I use it for the shortest time possible, and let the clothes air dry the last little bit
5. I use only 1/3 of a dryer sheet at a time
6. I empty my lint trap after every use to improve my dryer's efficiency
7. I use only 1 TBS of dishwasher detergent in my dishwasher
8. I run my dishwasher only when absolutely full
9. I let my dishes air dry
10. When I do wash by hand, I use a sink of clean water to rinse my dishes instead of holding them under running water
11. I have my dish soap in a pump bottle - I only need 1-2 squirts for a sudsy sink, and I use a lot less soap this way
12. I also have my shampoo and conditioner in pump bottles - again, 1-2 squirts is all I really need to get my hair clean, especially since I wash my hair everyday
13. I buy my razors at the dollar store - 8 cents each
14. I keep my razor in a dry place, and I clean it thoroughly after each use, which prolongs the blade's effectiveness
15. I turn off the computer at night, and I keep the TV, etc. on a power strip that stays off when not in use - all those glowing lights use electricity, even if the appliance isn't "on"
16. I installed a water filter that runs through my kitchen faucet, rather than buy "filtered" water from the store
17. I set my hot water heater to 120 degrees - you don't need it any hotter to get things clean, plus my son can't accidentally scald himself
18. I keep the air conditioner up a little higher, the heat down a little lower, and adjust fans/heaters accordingly
19. I turn up the air, down the heat, several degrees when we're out of the house, and reset it when we return
20. I use powdered milk for the milk that my husband and I drink (my son gets whole milk). Powered milk takes getting use to, but currently I pay $2 a gallon for it, while milk in a jug cost much more
21. I buy store brand almost exclusively, unless name brand is cheaper or has a vast taste difference
22. I subscribe to the Sunday paper - the coupons for items I do buy name-brand more than pay for the $1.50 a week
23. I use a crock pot for many meals, which uses less electricity, doesn't heat up the house in summer, and allows me to buy cheaper (tougher) cuts of meat, that soften from prolonged cooking
24. I use itunes to get only the songs I want, rather than pay $18 for 4 songs off of 1 CD
25. I replaced all the light bulbs (except for the bathroom) in my house with CFLs

Surprisingly, there's actually more I can list, but I'll save that for another list. To be fair, I'll post a "ways I waste money" list soon!


  1. So, what's your laundry detergent recipe?

  2. As a reader of my blog, who has to endure me writing numerous, boring posts about finances, you can probably imagine that this post of yours greatly interested me!

    Let's see, on your list I do the following:

    2, 5 (sort of, instead of thirds I cut my dryer sheets in half), 6, 21, and 25 (not all the way on this one, but I'm in the process).

    The air/heat tips are ones I should follow, but I'm such an addict to nice, cool temperatures I can't bring myself to keep the AC temp higher.

  3. Heather you make me proud! You know I am already pretty thrifty but now that I am jobless and therefore considerably poorer I have the need to be thriftier even still. My comments:
    #2-My washer doesn't know what hot water is.
    I have you and Kev beat on #5, I don't even use dryer sheets (unless I'm out of fabric softener)
    #18- I am a firm believer in body temp acclamation!
    #21- Kroger brand is as good as any name brand in my book (except for mac and cheese)!

  4. That's great, Z. I'm glad that you only go for two brand names: Macintosh..and well, I've never heard of the brand name Cheese. What do they make?

  5. You are a wonderment, Miss Heather. I look forward to reading your future lists. Love, Miss Danna


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