How to Save on Household Expenses
Healthy Living

Save on household running costs

Electricity and Gas

Install fluorescent lighting in rooms where you need most light; e.g., kitchen and bathroom. A fluorescent light gives three times as much light per unit as an incandescent lamp, consequently it is three times cheaper to run.

Radiators and other room heaters use up more power than most other appliances. Avoid using them on high heat unnecessarily by keeping the room as free from draughts as possible. Another power saver is to turn on to the highest heat for 15 to 20 minutes to warm room thoroughly, then turn to low to maintain warmth.

Encourage your family to have showers instead of baths – a great saving of hot water and thus of gas or electricity.

Be smart about replacing the washer on a leaking hot-water tap. A badly leaking tap will waste up to eight gallons of water a day.

Save odd bits of washing until you have a full load for the machine.

Cut cooking costs by using an oven and hotplates as economically as possible; e.g., cook several dishes in the oven at one time.

An electric oven is good for an extra free cooking time after it is turned off. Use this stored heat to complete cooking of biscuits or stale bread for rusks or breadcrumbs. Alternatively, turn the oven off before the meal is cooked.

Reduce the number of burners in use by cooking two or more dishes in a tiered steamer, by placing two or three saucepans on one burner, by using three-in-one saucepans.

Start cooking on the highest heat, reduce to medium or low just before the boiling point is reached.

Cover saucepans when cooking unless there is a special reason for the food to be cooked uncovered. It costs four times as much to maintain a boiling point in an uncovered saucepan as in a covered one.

Appliance Repairs

Avoid unnecessary and expensive repairs by using and caring for your appliances according to the directions in the manufacturers’ pamphlets.

If your appliance is old, compare the price of repairs with the price of replacement. Some articles have actually dropped in price while repair charges are increasing steadily.

Before calling the repairman, check whether the appliance is connected. Often that’s the only thing wrong. Your face and pocket will burn when the repairman connects the appliance and collects his service fee.

Save on This and That

Cleaning Materials: Measure soap powder, cleansers, shampoo, etc., so that you use enough and no more. Save soap pieces, make into jelly, and use for washing up, for washing woolens, or as shampoo.

Medicines: Many preparations don’t keep for any length of time. So, unless you have a continuing need for a particular medicine, buy a small size.

Postage: Take advantage of lower rates for such things as books and magazines. Use aerograms for overseas airmail correspondence; buy lightweight greeting cards for sending overseas.

Furnishings: Buy unpainted furniture and paint it yourself. Consider having an old but sound piece of furniture rebuilt, re-covered, or refinished, instead of buying a new piece.

Gifts: Christmas and birthday gifts for friends and relatives, wedding gifts, the gifts children take to friends’ birthday parties – the cost can be considerable over the year especially if you leave it to the last minute to go shopping. You’ll save money if you make a list of the gifts you’ll probably have to buy during the year, then look out for suitable items, taking advantage of “specials,” e.g., marked-down books, underwear, ornaments.

Save on Holidays

For a family, the cheapest holiday is a camping trip, traveling in your own car. The next cheapest is probably to rent a cottage and drive there.

But, no matter whether you decide on a simple camping holiday or an overseas tour, plan early and well to ensure you have a wonderful time and to obtain the best value from your holiday budget.

Take advantage of the facilities provided by travel agencies. They’ll answer your queries, send you brochures, help you with itineraries. Look into the advantages and disadvantages of inclusive tours. Ask about fares on planes for group travel and off-season flights.

Compare the costs of bus, train, air, and sea fares within and around. Are children under a certain age carried free, at what age do they have to pay adult fares? Inquire about concession rates for schoolchildren and students.

Make reservations as far in advance as possible so that you will have the best chance of obtaining accommodation priced to suit your budget.

To reduce accommodation costs you might consider sharing a holiday house with friends, or exchanging your house with a family in another state, or in a country town if you live in the city.

If traveling by car or train you can save money by having picnic meals when convenient.

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