1. Buy a water filter instead of bottled water
If you buy 1 (16-20 oz) water bottle a day, you’re talking about saving anywhere from ($5/24 case) $76 – $730 per year ($2 bottle/365 days). We use a PUR water filter at my house, but you can put a filter on your sink spigot, use a filtered water pitcher or fill your bottles from the refrigerator filtered water dispenser.
Either way, you save a lot of money on bottled water and it’s good for the planet. I bought six bottles (REDUCE bottles are great) fill them with filtered water and have them in the fridge all the time. I grab one and then run it through the dishwasher after a few uses. No PBAs, no plastic in the landfill and no worries…
2. Buy regular gas instead of premium
If your car’s owner’s manual does not require high octane gas, DON’T buy it. It does not offer any benefits to your car and it’s expensive. Even if your car’s owner’s manual does require high octane, you should’t need to use high octane at every fill up. You can alternate to save some money without doing anything bad to your car.
if you fill up twice per month with high octane and your tank takes 20 gallons you would save about $4 per tank ($0.20 more per gallon for premium gas) by only using regular gas!
3. Get rid of unread or unused subscriptions !
You know who you are: magazines come every week and you only look at the cover. Netflix sends 5 movies/month and you get through 2 at best, you get recipes every month and you’ve made 3 in the 4 years since you signed up. GET RID OF THEM!!
if you are more than 3 months behind on any subscription, get rid of it. If you don’t open the magazine (i.e. you read only the cover) get rid of it, and here’s how: Google will let you cancel just about any magazine with one click!
4. Make one extra meal instead of one night of take out
I know, you don’t like, know how to, or have time to cook. That’s a load of… Unless you have a newborn or a family member in the hospital, you can put a pot of water on, roast a chicken, or scramble some eggs. Get the kids involved – cooking with your kids benefits everyone.
Saving yourself from take out for one dinner a week could save you about $2000/year for a family of four ($40/meal).
It’s a commitment, but it’s an easy one with so many health, financial, family time benefits that outweigh the inconvenience any day. I like to make large meals on the weekends and we have left-overs two nights/week. If you don’t eat leftovers, make a casserole or pasta dish on a weekend when you have a minute and put it in the fridge or freezer for later in the week.
5. Do only FULL loads of laundry and chill on the temp!
Save on detergent, time, water and electricity (and maybe gas if you have a gas dryer) by washing only full loads. Unless you have very hard water at your house, you can also wash your whites in WARM or COLD not hot and get the same results. You can also save about $200/year washing in mostly cold water.
You can save up to 3400 gallons of water/year by doing full loads. I know, Johnnie’s uniform is dirty and Susie’s favorite dress has jelly on it, but you don’t need to do partial loads. Set a laundry day in your house and only do laundry on that day (or 2 days).
My guess is you and your kids have plenty of clothes for the week and it helps kids learn to plan. Just try it. You will see the house won’t fall apart and you spend less time doing laundry and Oh yes! You spend less on detergent, electricity, water and gas (if you use a gas dryer).