We’ve already covered the grocery store, but what about the rest of the household expenses? Yes, being weird suburban homesteaders reduces those costs too.
1. Have a little house. Small houses require less stuff to keep them going. Less utilities, less heat, less air, less carpet, less roof, less lighting, less everything. And my un-green husband can bury my thermostat on 70 all summer if he wants and we still have some of the lowest utilities in the county.
2. Tolerate a wide range of temperatures. This is all TL. They don’t turn on the AC unless it’s over 85 in the house. And no heat unless it’s below 60. I don’t get to do that, but their utility bills are beans.
3. Don’t have cable or satellite. There’s nothing on it anyway. And certainly nothing on it that we can’t watch online. We also recommend library cards.
4. Don’t have gym memberships. Why pay someone to build a fence for you then pay again so you can go burn some calories? Why pay for gas to go to the corner store a million times and then buy a treadmill? We build our own fences. We walk on the road or with this lady. (One exception: we highly support gym memberships for moms with kids at home…for the child care. The guaranteed two hours of freedom a day is priceless. Pay your bills, make important calls, stare at the wall…PRICELESS.)
5. Use cloth, not paper. Cloth diapers are WAY cheaper over the long haul. Cloth towelettes cost nothing compared to paper towels, kleenex, and napkins. However, we’re both very strong supporters of toilet paper. I could maybe see myself using cloth for tinkles, but the other business? NEVER.
6. Use containers, not baggies. You can wash baggies, but who wants to? Tiny tupperware is where it’s at. Some people don’t do any plastic. Meh. I’m not sending my five year old to school with anything breakable and that stainless stuff is WAY too expensive to entrust to people who regularly misplace their own underpants. But if you want to be super-frugal, try these.
7. Make your own…anything. This is a real money saver. Homemade laundry detergent costs almost nothing, same with homemade soap, deodorant, lotion, wet-jet refills, sandwich bread, cheese, pickles, anything. I buy razors, tp, light bulbs, and dishwasher detergent (tried ALL the recipes and rinses known to man…goo on my plastic). That’s about it for household stuff. I make (or quit using) almost everything else. And if I don’t feel like making it, we just don’t have it that day. I’m certainly not going to go BUY it!