1. Dry your clothes on a clothes line
You can hang a clothes line in your back yard and pick up clothespins at the dollar store. If you don't have a backyard, then buy an indoor clothing rack to hang your clothes on, there are many different styles.
2. Get Your Food From More Natural Sources
Now I know it's not practical to advise you to start butchering pigs in the back yard of your subdivision, there are ways that you can get your meat that do not involve grocery stores. Contact a local butcher shop, meat co-op, or even a farmer himself and see if you can arrange to buy a quarter of a cow or pig. (or lamb or goat) The price is almost always cheaper, even if you have to pay to get it cut up and wrapped for the freezer.
Grow your own vegetables. Even if you live in a condo or apartment, you can grow tomatoes and peppers and other veggies in containers in a sunny window or balcony. If you live in a subdivision, make a large backyard garden.
If you cannot do any of the above things, you can buy your food from a local farmers market, or have it delivered from a service like Door to Door Organics.
When you go shopping, avoid buying TV dinners, frozen pizzas, and hot pockets. No more bags of cookies, frozen pies and precooked breakfast sausage. If your grandma would not recognize it as food, don't buy it!
People of the current generation have always had running water in abundance and for a fairly cheap price. We take it for granted and just let it run down the drain while brushing our teeth, rinsing our dishes, or just letting it run till it gets cold enough for a drink. You are paying for every drop you are wasting, if you live in an urban area, and while it is not a huge amount of money, why are you wasting it? Put a bowl under that faucet and use that water from rinsing dishes to water your plants or wash your dog.
If you live in a subdivision (and it's not against local laws) put rain barrels under your down spouts and use that FREE water to water your garden, or wash your car. A penny saved is a penny earned, and you will be helping lighten the load on your city and mother earth.
5. Stop or Cut Down on Eating Out
Take a little time to plan ahead, so you don't have to eat out all the time. Pack a lunch, or keep snacks in your car or purse to tide you over. Set up your coffee maker to have coffee ready when you get up, and have breakfast foods on hand to make so you won't be tempted to stop at Starbucks. (and spend $10)
Make meals from scratch. It really isn't as daunting as it sounds, just toss chicken breasts in to bake with some potatoes brushed with olive oil and make a green salad. It really does not take that much more time to cook meals from scratch, but if you really do not have any time, then use your crock pot. Or make freezer meals on the weekend to eat during the week. There is a way to do it, if you are willing to make the effort to change.
This really is easy to do, after you get rolling with it. Instead of dropping the kids off at the arcade (with $20 in quarters) drop them off at the local YMCA or local school that has free swimming for the public. Instead of renting movies off cable to keep the kids entertained on Saturday afternoon, give them ropes and blankets and tell them to make a tent in the back yard. Instead of buying video games, have the whole family get together and play board games. Instead of spending thousands on a Disney Cruise, take a family road trip to visit relatives in another state, or go on a family camping trip.
Don't throw away your clothes simply because a button came off, or the seam came apart. Repair them yourself. If you don't know how, then learn from friends, relatives or take a class. You may end up making some of your own clothes! Try to avoid buying extreme clothes. How many times will you really wear those leopard boots with the 5 inch spike heels? If the cord on your clothes iron becomes frayed, take it to a small appliance repair shop. I did this and the repair cost $5.00. Repair broken items or if they cannot be repaired, recycle them.
Driving your cars is not the only way to get around. Depending on how far you have to go, you can bicycle it, walk, or invest in a scooter. Arrange to share rides with others. If your kids have a school bus, have them ride it instead of driving them to school. Carpool to work. If you live downtown, use public transportation and save paying to park. If you live on a farm, ride your horse or teach your goat to pull a cart. Get creative!
Direct communication is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Text or email, as impersonal as it is, seems to be the communication of choice these days. Don't get hung up in that trap, it will isolate you from the people that you want to have relationships with. Call your friends. Drop by and visit them. Make your communications personal and build something real with the people in your life.
There is no need to run to the doctor every time you get a sniffle, or and ear ache, or stomach upset. There is over 100 years of home remedies you can learn to use to help you and your family when these incidents occur.
Have a great weekend,