“Times, they are a-changin´”, and we have to change with them—like it or not. Not only can making changes to our lifestyle save us money, but they also some have health benefits or contribute towards protecting the environment.
At the store:
Why not make a list before you go – and then stick to it? This will reduce the risk of impulse buying, and ultimately save you money. Also, if you eat before you go to the shops, you will avoid the temptation to pick up something tasty, and it is more likely that you will stick to that list. If you can buy supermarket “own brands” whenever possible, you will hardly notice the change in the way you live, but find that you shopping bills decrease substantially Things that you could include on this list include deodorants, shampoo, cleaning products, and basic commodities such as flour, sugar and rice.
In the car:
You should try to keep your tires properly inflated, as lower tire pressure means more drag on your car. If you open your windows rather than use the A/C you will save gas, and only half fill your tank when you go to the garage, as your car will use less energy as it has to transport less weight. Other things you can do to lighten the strain on your engine are empty your boot and take off the roof rack when not using it. If you focus on driving more efficiently, and keeping your revs to less than 3.000rpm whenever possible, you could save up to 20% on your gas bill. If you spend $50 on gas each week, that would mean a savings of over $500 each year!
In the home:
When you go to bed at night, unplug all your appliances that you may normally leave on standby. The energy consumed by DVDs, TVs, audio equipment, computers, microwave ovens and unused phone chargers while you sleep, accounts for between 5% and 10% of an average domestic electricity bill. That wasted power is also responsible for 1% of all your CO² emissions.
Did you know that 90% of the power consumed by a standard incandescent bulb is emitted as heat rather than light? If you replaced all the standard bulbs in your house for energy efficient ones, you would have lower electricity bills because of the power that you are saving, and you would also have a cooler property in the summer. If every household in the USA made the “switch”, the pollution savings would be the same as taking 18 million cars off the road.
In the kitchen:
If you cook double the amount of food that you require and then freeze half of it, you will make savings from bulk buying your groceries, the fuel that is needed to cook your dinner, and not having to go shopping so often. Also, try only using the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load – this will save on washing liquid or tablets, the energy used to wash two smaller loads, and give your appliances a longer life.
Finally, grow a few of your own fruit and vegetables in your garden. If you only have a little bit of space, you could try growing herbs in a plant pot. Not only will growing some of your own produce save you money, but eating fresh food is better for you and there is an achievement in nurturing a plant from a seed into a fruit or vegetable that you just cannot get from jumping into the car and picking it up off the shelf.