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Saving Starts at Home

 

I never took a Home Economics course and as a result, I “cannon balled” my first pot roast (much to Husband’s amusement).  That’s alright, I’ve seen that man accidentally drill through the table a time or two.  Clearly we’re learning as we go.

 

Truly, saving at home requires a bit of Home Ec and a bit of Shop all rolled into one.  I think that Jennifer Derrick puts it well as she describes the roll of the Home Economist, here are a few of the tasks that she names:

    • Balancing the checkbooks.
    • Researching High Yield Savings Account
    • Making sure the bills are paid on time.
    • Doing a lot of repairs, chores, and maintenance myself and shopping for price quotes and reliable tradespeople when special skills are required.
    • Being vigilant about finding new ways to save money.
    • Retirement planning.

You see, Home Economics isn’t just about baking pies; if that were the case, it would be called “Baking Pies 101.”  It’s actually about spending your money economically (defined as: Prudent and thrifty in management; not wasteful or extravagant).

 

Knowing your way around the house, around the drill, around wastefulness can add up to some pretty hefty savings.  Here are a few of those tips and tricks that you might have missed out on if you too were absent from Home Ec.


 

 

 

Make Food Go Further

  • Refrigerate bread to abate mold.
  • Put rice in salt shakers to keep salt from clumping (mostly applicable in more humid climates).
  • Keep a slice of bread in brown sugar to prevent hardening.  I don’t know anyone who keeps a chisel in the kitchen.
  • A bay leaf in grains like cornmeal and flour will help keep out the bugs.
  • Write “Use By” dates to remind yourself to use food before it goes bad.
  • Clip coupons.
  • Know what to refrigerate and what to leave out:
    • Keep Cold: carrots, celery, leafy greens, green onions, peas, radishes, cucumbers, corn, broccoli, beets, beans, artichokes , asparagus, berries, cherries and grapes.
    • Leave Out: bananas, citrus fruits, mangoes, papayas, pomegranates, watermelon, pineapple, eggplant peppers, pumpkins, tomatoes, apples, avocados, kiwifruit, peaches, plums, pears and nectarines.
      • Tip: Don’t put bananas and avocados next to each other.  Bananas make avocados ripen faster; bummed me out several times.

 

 

Make Clothes Last Longer

 

Don’t worry, I’m not going to suggest anything crazy like matching your socks before you toss them in the machine.

  • Empty pockets; I mention this because it has bitten me in the butt more than once.  For some reason, Husband has a problem with wearing chap-stick clothes with ink all over them.  I don’t know what his problem is.
  • Read the labels and obey them.  Did you know that some cotton clothing when dried at too high of a heat will develop little holes that make you look like a ragamuffin?  I do… now.
  • Know how to handle anything.  This may seem demanding of me, but good ol’ Martha provides you with the tool to do it.  Just download her Stain Chart and keep it in your laundry room: Stain Removal Holy Grail.
  • Pay a littleextra for higher quality.  Keeping fewer, but nicer clothes will save money in the long run.
  • Learn to sew.  I know what you’re thinking: “Ha!  Learn to sew?  Just like that?  You’re crazy!”  See how well I captured your essence?  It can be frustrating, but is 10x more rewarding, I promise.

Keep the Proper Tools on Hand

 

I’m talking hammers and wrenches, as well as Magic Erasers (no really, they are magical) and Scrubbing Bubbles!

  • Stay organized:
    • When you know what you have, you can avoid buying duplicates.
    • When time matters, you’ll save a lot of it.
  • If you can fix it yourself, why wouldn’t you?  Having a few basic tools around can save you from expensive repair men.
  • A red wine spill on a white carpet may not wait until you can run to the store.  Cleaning is much cheaper than replacing.

 


Article publié pour la première fois le 15/09/2010

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