10 Tips for Running a Thrifty Household

Hi there! I love to share frugal housekeeping tips when I find them.

I came across this article in a book called, “Express Housekeeping:  How to Speed-Clean Your Way to a Spotless Home in Just Minutes a Day”.

I’ll be honest, overall, I was disappointed in the book. Seriously. If you are interested in this subject, don’t buy the book – borrow it from the library first (frugal housekeeping tip #11 – wink!)

Although it’s beautifully designed, the info is pretty basic. When I say basic, I mean, I already know how to vacuum a carpeted floor (p 24), change sheets (p 78) and clean a toilet (p 94).

That being said, I do love the set of 10 tips for running a thrifty household (pg 218-219).

There’s not a ton of new stuff here, but if you needed to find even more places to cut back your family’s budget, this is a great place to start.

(I’m probably breaking a ton of copyright laws here, but just know that these ideas are not my own – I’m quoting straight from the book).

“10 Tips for Running a Thrifty Household

  1. Save energy. Turn lights off when you leave a room, keep thermostats low and wear an extra-layer; reduce your water usage; buy energy-efficient electrical goods – all these will save you money and help save the planet.
  2. Have a budget. There are good budget planners online that will show you how much you spend each year and what you spend it on. If you’re spending more than you earn, the planner will help you see where to cut back.
  3. Be a smart shopper. Always arm yourself with a shopping list, don’t shop for food when you’re hungry and only shop once a week. These are tried-and-tested tips that will save you from temptation.
  4. Buy cheap. When you are shopping for everyday items, buy the cheapest product that does the job effectively. Save by buying in bulk and if you can bear it, cut out meat and watch your food bills plummet.
  5. Keep the freezer full. A full freezer uses less electricity than a half-full one, so save money by keeping your freezer as packed as possible. If there are large gaps, fill them with old milk cartons filled with water.
  6. Grow your own. There’s a burgeoning interest in growing your own food. Try it out, even if it’s just a few herbs on the patio, some windowsill greens or a mini fruit tree or tomatoes in a pot.
  7. Learn to sew. All you need to know is the basics. Learn how to sew on a button or stitch up a hem. You’ll prolong the life of your clothes and save money that you’d otherwise spend on repairs.
  8. Use up products completely. To use the last drop of a cleaning product, add a splash of water to the bottle, and to reach the last squeeze of creams and pastes, cut the containers open to reveal what’s left inside.
  9. Give new life to old. Use old toothbrushes for scrubbing in hard-to-reach corners and for cleaning grouting; cut up old t-shirts to use as dust cloths; and use old ice-cream tubs and other lidded food containers for food storage.”

The tenth tip was just to use the book. “Keep your home and clothing clean and things will last longer and need to be replaced less often. Use natural cleaning products and save money on your weekly grocery bill.”

Again, our grandparents knew this stuff. I was raised by mine and saw them make a dollar stretch when they had to. They knew the value of keeping whatever they had nice, making it last as long as possible, finding ways to reuse something and wasting absolutely nothing.

It’s sad, but a lot of this stuff was not passed on to me. I had to learn it from books like this one.

However, making just a few small changes can add up to big savings. I’m already doing a number of these things, but, of course, I have room to improve. (Like setting and sticking to a budget, keeping my freezer full and eating less meat).

How about you? Are you already doing most of these? Are there one or two things on this list you can start doing today?

Published in: on June 20, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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