I was at a friend's house last night and our sentiments about the soaring gas prices and how it is affecting our staple commodities and our BUDGETS were imminent. I know that every household right now not just in the US but globally, are suffering from the unprecedented upsurge of an unstable economy due to high gas prices. It has enforced drastic lifestyle changes and most of all a tighter budget. I want to qoute a zen mantra, that I hear from every parents, growing up and timely appropriate in this day of financial crisis : "kung maigsi ang kumot, mamaluktot" . Roughly translated in english, it means: "If the blanket is short, curl yourself in."- It's a valuable lesson in life. To put this in action, here are some fool-proof ways to save money & gas to loosen the belt just a bit :
a) Eat out (or take out ) 1-a week - it will save you at least $40 or more each week (depending where you go and how often you do it) and if you're say, a household of 4, multiply that with the total amount spent, and you'll have enough saved to either go to your gas or grocery budget at the end of the week. No time to cook ? - cook a big batch when you do, freeze it (especially stews, pasta or meats) and voila! you have a ready-to-eat meal next time.
b) Make your own Coffee - Saves you approximately $3.99 each time you refrain from doing your starbuck's or Caribou run. Not much you say, but add the cost each time you dabble on your coffee addiction and you'll be amazed with what you come up with. Go buy a bag of coffee beans, a handy coffee press, a grinder and you're good to go!- and saving money & gas too.
c) Turn off lights and unplug appliances - According to US Climate Emergency Council, these little electric suckers still suck energy out of the grid even when they're off which adds up to your electric bill. So make it a habit to turn your lights off and unplug appliances when not in use. To be more cost and energy-efficient, replace your bulbs with compact flourscent ones.
d) Save water - save money. Don't leave the water running when brushing or shampooing your hair or soaping up yourself. Turn it on, only when needed. Also, it's summer, save the hot water for winter! If your using gas heater, using cool water saves you gas and not tough on your gas and water bills.
e) Use the AC only when appropriate - if you know you're going to be away all day, turn it off. And if you are home, insulate your house by hanging thick curtain or those that repel sun glare on your biggest windows in the house. It helps stabilize the cool temp in your house and not much work for your AC. And when its' cool enough outside, open your windows and patio doors to air and cool off your home. This is also applicable to your car - except the thick curtain of course! Heat will not kill you but your gas bill will !
f) Go to your Local Farmer's Market - they're cheaper and fresh! you'll get more out of your money's worth. You're also helping your local farmers get by in life like you. And if you're in Charlotte here is one we go to that you can go to : North Carolina Farm Fresh .
g) Create a Shopping List - and stick with it ! you are more prone to impulsive buying when you don't have a list to follow and end up buying what you don't need. Also, it's cheaper to buy store brands than popular ones. Here's a tip: Most often that not, they are made in the same plant by the same manufacturer. So, in reality you're buying the name not the product. Be wise. This applies to clothing as well. Be a smart shopper. Save big bucks.
i) lastly, click here for some wise tips from US Environmental Protection Agency on how to save gas. Some of it are already practiced by people I know. Myself included.
If you have any smart tips, don't hide them. Share it with us...
For more Frugal Shopping Tips : check HERE
Coming next: "How to Shop the Farmer's Market"