Kristen, over at Frugal Girl and some other bloggers, run an occasional feature called "Five Frugal Things."
The Frugal Girl
Here are my five frugal things:
1. I save $2.50 per shirt because I launder and press my husband's shirts vs. taking them to the dry cleaners. The price is based on the lowest price around here. I save some more when I use an old spray bottle filled with water instead of spray starch, which I rarely use.
2. I wash zip locks and use them reuse them . I rinse and run them through the dishwasher. They dry on a multiple skirt hanger in the laundry room. I haven't purchased any zip locks for over a year and a half. Not only is this frugal, but it helps the environment.
3. Instead of using plastic wrap, foil, or bags, I try to use glass containers which do not add to landfills. This can difficult to do when packing lunches, but again, it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
4. I pack my husband's lunches and dinners (when he teaches at night). If he ate out instead, this would amount to a total of over $40 per week or $160 per month. I base the cost on an average of $5 per meal, which is low. I can provide a meal much more cheaply than that.
5. The cost of cable television in our area is ridiculous. We have no other options but to use Cox Cable or have no cable at all. We chose no cable at all about 2 months ago. We are thrilled that we did so. This decision saves over $100 per month. We have digital antennae now, a one-time $25 purchase. We can get about 20 channels this way, including ION, MeTV, the three networks, and PBS.
Netflix and Hulu give us access to wonderful programming at a low cost. Bruce and I watch the local news and the national morning TV shows and then turn the television off. The exception is during weather concerns, such as today as we await hurricane news.
Rather than vege through programming we are not especially interested in just because it is on, we watch programming we love (60 Minutes, Law and Order SVU, the new NBC drama "Timeless") and then keep the television off. I listen to the radio via the computer We find other things to do, in my case sewing and in Bruce's puttering around fixing and improving things, such as repairing a well-loved vintage necklace for me.
I do not want to stand before God and have Him show me many wasted, mindless hours watching television and be reminded that while basic needs of the poor went unmet, I chose to spend over $1,200 per year on television and wasted time that I could have redeemed for good. Ephesians 5:16.
Most evenings these days, we listen to classical music on XM via computer and read. Both of us find it very cozy to have our showers and then relax reading in bed with a certain angelic dog in between us.
The other night, GASP, we didn't even watch the vice presidential debate.
I asked Bruce what his thoughts were about cutting the electronic leash of cable and he told me that he feels more peaceful. I agree.