How to cut down the cost of running your home
If you are like me, you are always looking for ways to cut down costs so as to save more to afford other luxuries in life. I mean, life is to be enjoyed and not just to be paying bills month after month. Did you know that you can cut down your current house bills by almost half? Yes, you can. First, monitor all your utility usage in the house including the foodstuff that goes to waste then now embark on cutting down and see how incredibly possible it is to live with half of that.
So what, and how can you do this?
Electricity is one thing we cannot do without simply because we do not have much choice. Unless of course, if you are using solar, which very few people have. The much you can do is to regulate your electricity consumption.
Ask yourself if you need all the electronics that you have in the house? Get rid of what you don’t need. Clutter is expensive. Take time to monitor the consumption rate of each.
Unplug all equipment and appliances that are not in use because they draw a small amount of electricity which can amount to something if you have several of them plugged in. If you are in a hot area use a fan instead of an AC, it is much more cost-effective.
Did you know that instant showers amount to almost 14% of the energy consumption in most homes? Take a shorter time in the bathroom when using instant showers. Lower the temperature on the instant shower device; you don’t need the water very hot.
Do not defrost your food in the microwave; instead take it out of the freezer hours prior to cooking. Do not leave the TV on when no one is watching. Switch off lights that are not in use. Use energy saving bulbs, they are almost 4 times less consuming than the normal bulbs. Switch off your phone charger when not in use.
Avoid long showers unless necessary, it’s just a pure wastage of water. Don’t leave the taps on when leaving the house lest you come swim in your own house. Use still water more than running water when washing utensils and doing laundry. Use laundry water to flush the toilets.
Buy nonperishable foodstuff like rice, sugar and cooking oil in bulk. Boil and freeze foodstuff for later use to save on energy as well as time. Make sure to package them very well so that they stay fresh.
Avoid wastage, cook only what is enough for everyone. Serve what you can clear in a sitting.
Prepare a monthly or bi-weekly menu and stick to it. Shop your groceries and foodstuff according to your menu, that way you only buy what you will consume. For instance, if you eat beans once a week and you only cook half a kilogram, then you only need 2kilograms for the whole month.
Start a vegetable kitchen garden
I am a believer in eating farm fresh products. Grow your own small kitchen garden in your backyard, balcony, front yard, or even on the kitchen window. You can do the vertical sack farming or horizontal using pipes. A sack or two will be more than enough for your family. It does not require any expertise and is less time-consuming. You can grow your Sukuma, Spinach, Dhania, herbs just to mention but a few.
Cut down on your Entertainment Expenses
Especially for a family, entertainment does not have to be an expensive affair. Use platforms such as Netflix to watch your latest movies instead of going to the Cinemas.
Buy movies from the local movie shops at 50bob and entertain your family. Download eBooks and fun educational materials for your kids. My eldest daughter watches her cartoons online which saves me from buying DVDs.
Do in-house cookouts with your family and friends instead of ordering from out or eating out. It’s so much fun and cheap. Better still you can all do potluck and BYOB (bring your own bottle).
Make great use of this digital era. Use Mpesa and other mobile and online payment options to pay your bills to cut down on time and transport.
Buy eBooks instead of hardcover books, they are as cheap as 100bob. You can find sellers all over Facebook. Also, subscribe to digital newspapers and magazines or better yet just log in to their sites and read their recent publications.
Use the internet to make product and price comparison for items that you want. You can purchase items online and have them delivered to your doorstep. How convenient is that?
Shop for your travel and make bookings including flight bookings online by yourself. Quite cheap than using Travel Agencies who raise the overall costs due to commissions.
Instead of outsourcing for a house manager for small tasks in the house, how about you get the family members to do them instead. Train your children to clean after themselves. Fix simple breakages and leaks in the home. You can ask around on how to fix or better yet reach out to our all so familiar YouTube and Google.
You don’t have to buy expensive house décor, perfect your DIY skills.
Cut down on salon visits by investing in hair products and making your own hair and nails. I used to retouch my own locks and they always looked so neat and healthy. Make use of YouTube for tutorials. In most times I make my daughters’ hair and they love it. When you are going to the salon carry your own products, they charge very high for a small amount of hair treatment or oil. Buy your weaves at a cosmetics shop instead of the salon. They want to make a profit out of everything.
When buying clothes compare prices before making a purchase. You can buy a dress for twice the average price if you are not keen. Again learn the art of bargaining. They always price with the bargain margin in mind.
Article by Daisy Chepkoech
Daisy Chepkoech is a Freelance Blog Writer, Social Media Manager and Trainer. She is also the Marketing Director at Dake Business Solutions. Daisy holds a Bachelors degree in Communication and Media Technology from Maseno University.
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