Friday, May 27, 2011

The Unintentional Off Grid Lifestyle Part Three

Well this is the latest installment of my series, I thought I should go over a few ways and tips to save money.

The first and easiest thing to do is consider turning off your water heater when you leave for work. It can save you around $50 dollars each month and when you return home, or when you plan on taking a shower just turn it back on. Most water heaters only take about 20 minutes to warm the water, so it's a good thing to keep in mind. Just remember to turn it back on or else you'll be taking cold showers at the end of a long day. If you want to you can be brazen enough to just forget the water heater entirely. Hot water dries out your skin, where as room temperature water helps retain the moisture. I have done this, but it's really just because I'm to lazy to check to see if it's on, so I just take a shower anyways.

The second thing I will mention is to make your own beverages. If you cut out all the fancy juices in your diet you can save a lot of money too, besides many of the drinks you buy at the store are actually sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. ( I will post why this is bad later) The easiest thing you can make is tea, you can either make sweet tea or you can make those fruit teas. All you need is one average sized tea bag for a pitcher of tea. That's actually all we have in our house, water and tea. The fruit teas have the same flavor as the juice without all the additives. Think of how much money you could save by doing that, then you can spend your money mindlessly elsewhere.

I'm sure you heard of this one already, make sure all of your lights are off when you're not using them. Then unplug and appliances that you aren't using, because they are still using electricity on the stand by mode.

Another way to cut expenses is at meal time. As far as breakfast goes, we eat oatmeal to cut down on the food bill. It costs only three dollars per person per month. No we do not have those little fancy packets we eat oatmeal out of the Quaker canisters, we just use cinnamon and brown sugar as flavoring, it tastes exactly the same and you can add other things as well such as dried fruit and vanilla extract. I think it's much better than eating GMO corn cereal. Although, because of the way we run things here, we always make things from raw ingredients.

 Last week, we ran out of ground cinnamon for our oatmeal but I discovered we had cinnamon sticks in their natural state sitting on our shelf. To my suprise grinding a cinnamon stick is not an easy task, it took me about five minutes to mash one into splinter form, and I wasn't going to stand there for however long it was going to take me to get it into power form. For those past five days, I didn't eat breakfast, no cinnamon no oatmeal, simple as that. Basically what I'm trying to so say is, don't wear yourself out for a darn bowl of oatmeal, it's just not worth it, do what you can do,nothing more. Modify your food choices to your life, not the other way around.

Again, this way of living is not for everyone, it's difficult and time consuming, but if you can make little changes throughout the day you'll end up saving money and your health in the long run.


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