I don’t consider myself cheap, but there are things I do that are quite thrifty.
I recently compiled our house bills (hot water tank rental, hydro, gas, phone & internet and water) and am pretty happy with the results. Despite the rise in energy costs across the board, our bills were only up $89 from last year. Most of the (more than $60) was due to a flat increase in the stupid, annoying hot water tank rental (most people in this area rent, and it’s a pretty good scam). On average, our house bills total $448 per month. Not too shabby.
I’m really hoping that this number drops for 2012…
– Flyer shopping. I decide what grocery store I’m shopping at based on sales. Occasionally I’ll ask William to stop at one in the city (as it would be quite unthrifty of me to drive 25 minutes to save $8) to pick up something on sale. Today (being the last day of the sales, before new ones start tomorrow) I’m getting groceries and as opposed to driving 15 minutes for the sale, I’m only going to drive 5, and utilize the ‘price match’ that a closer store offers. Also, because I waited until the last day, I’m sure the store offering the sale with be sold out. (Campbell’s soup – 2 for $1 – good deal)
– Hydro (aka: electricity) Part 1. As of January 1st, we’re on a ‘smart’ meter, which bills us higher for use during peak periods. This translates into me doing laundry on the week-end as opposed to whenever the laundry basket it full. This also forces me to wear the same clothes more (I don’t have a ton of clothes) so that saves on hydro in general (although our dryer is gas… whatever, still thrifty!)
– Hydro Part 2. I’m a bit of a hydro nazi. I’m constantly turning of lights and unplugging power sources. William tends to forget to shut down our main computer, and I make sure it’s done everyday. When we’re watching TV or hanging out in the basement (when we don’t have friends over) I use a lamp as opposed to the 6 pot lights – that kind of thing. I leave the one oven light on in the kitchen (there is 2, but one is burnt out) as opposed to the 6 under cabinet mounted pot lights.
– Composting. I have been composting for nearly 2 years, and this might not be considered thrifty, however – I will not have to buy compost for the garden this year. Also, by composting our kitchen is much less stinky from rotting food. A lot of times I would take the garbage into the garage despite the fact the bag wasn’t near full – just stinky. I probably use half the garbage bags that I used to.
– Long distance. For long distance calls I use Google Talk – because it’s free (yes, it’s still free!) for calling in the US and Canada. Not a big deal, but I think it makes a difference.
I think the little things make a big difference. How are you thrifty or not?