A lot of these savings tips are pretty extreme, but if you can do 2 or 3 of them, you should realize some real savings. If you do not find these very extreme then maybe you already have the “miser mentality”:
- EXTREME: Consider adjusting the fill level in the toilet tank to see if you can get away with using less water per flush. How many gallons does you toilet use per flush? 1.6 gallons per flush for newer more efficient toilets and up to 4 or more gallons per flush for older toilets. You could even use a brick or large stone to displace some of the water (no more than half) so that you automatically use less water. The average household uses 185-291 gallons of water per day. On average, 60% of a family’s water bill is used by the toilet and the shower, 20% in the laundry and 20% in other indoor areas like the kitchen. Source GreenBuildingSupply.com. Also consider a dual flush toilet and you could save 68% of your toilet’s previous water usage. Do you want to go really extreme, don’t flush the toilet every time you use it. This could be quite disgusting, but you could save about 2 gallons of water each time you don’t flush.
- EXTREME: Move-in with friends or relatives. Depending on how much your housing costs were before and how much you will have to pay your friend or relative, you could literally save thousands over maintaining a house or renting alone. Of course if you own a home you will have to sell it or rent it out . With housing not being the sure bet investment it once was thought to be, and if you invest the money you save by not owning, this is an option many are considering. Do the math. Moving in with someone could save you and your budget hundreds of dollars a month depending on the space and the market.
- EXTREME: Take shorter showers and switch to water saving shower heads and reduce your water bill even more. The average conventional shower uses 7 to 10 gallons per minute; a water saving shower, 2 to 4 gallons per minute. If you take a 10 or 8 minute shower, switch to a 5 or 4 minute shower. To be even more extreme, take a short cold shower instead of heating the water and save on your heating bill too. Consider turning off the shower while you lather up.
- EXTREME: Rent a room in your home to a friend, relative or a stranger and charge the border rent. Of course you need to do a background and credit check, and obtain references before allowing anyone you do not know well into your home. You could charge $100 to $1,000 or more a month depending on the space and the market.
- EXTREME: Car pool to work with at least 2 other people that live close to you or are on your route. You could cut your gasoline bill by 50% or more depending on how far out of the way your fellow commuters are. And it’s less wear and tear on your car, less gas emissions and pollutions, and you may even make closer friends, form a great social network, or learn about something you never knew before.
- EXTREME: Go generic. Always buy generic products when they are available. The products are often made by the same manufacturer who alters the look/taste/texture of the generic brand product and packaging slightly and uses different and more expensive looking packaging to sell you the name brand.
- EXTREME: Buy a push mower instead of using a gas or electric mower and instead of hiring someone to do it for you. Save on gas or electricity and zero emissions. Great exercise.
- EXTREME: Go Retro. Stop buying new clothes and buy used and vintage clothing. You will save a bundle.
- EXTREME: Don’t ever buy coffee again from Starbucks or other expensive places and avoid buying bottled water. Make coffee at home or drink it at work if it is free there. Order hot water when you are out instead of coffee which is healthier and usually free. Drink tap water (or filtered water at your tap) instead of bottled water and ditch all the individual plastic bottles. If there is a water cooler at work, use it and don’t buy bottled water at work. If you have to buy bottled water, buy it by the gallon from the supermarket or Wal-Mart which should be between 60 to 90 cents.
Did you find this helpful or interesting? Have any extreme or other savings tips of your own? Please write me by leaving a comment below, tweet me on Twitter, or find me on Facebook.