In no particular order:
1. Save water
Our council fitted water metres to all the houses in our area a couple of years ago, and since then our water bill has halved, even with the arrival of B. We save water by:
- having fewer showers and baths (sink washes instead)
- washing up once a day only (in a bowl)
- re-using the washing up water to water the plants with (we use Ecover so it’s OK to do this)
- not leaving the tap running necessarily
- flushing the toilet as little as possible. If you would prefer to flush your toilet every time you can get water saving devices to put in the cistern. Most water companies provide these free on request. [We haven’t done this because we didn’t realise we could remove the cistern lid, but we do now, so we should get one soon!]
2. Grocery shop online
We’ve found our shopping bills have reduced quite bit since we started doing our grocery shopping online. We only do one big shop once a month, and then top up things like bread and milk as and when we need to. We save by buying in bulk and using basically the same shopping list every month. We have a budget and stick to it – it’s much harder to be distracted into buying products you don’t really need when you’re not actually in the shop! Also, I hate grocery shopping in stores – I can never find what I need and there are too many other people in them!
3. Cook more, take out less
This is obvious, I suppose, but it’s easier said than done sometimes, especially if you’re tired and/or busy. We probably still have take-away too often, but we definitely have it less often than we used to. I love pizza, especially our local take-away pizza, but I have now (since we sorted out our freezer) learned the delights of frozen pizza, which is still yummy but much cheaper!
4. Pack your lunch
I am really not good at doing this – partly because I find things I’d rather do the night before and don’t leave enough time in the morning, and partly because I find my home-made lunches a bit dull and always assume that the ones I buy will be nicer. Sadly, they quite often are, but it needn’t be this way. There are loads of tasty-looking packed lunch ideas online, including some “Awesome Lunches” at Buzzfeed.
5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need
Yes, I am a hypocrite.