Recently I started watching videos on finances and minimalism. I'm not good with money and I'm not a minimalist either ... well, not really. I guess, I decided to start learning about the mistakes I could be faced later on, or how to fix the ones I already made [and I'm too embarrassed to talk about].
However, I realized that in a way I can be described with both epithets depending on the situation. Now, I decided to share with whoever reads this blog, some possibly new [and some definitely old ways] in which you can spend less money.
"hacking" my clothes
Some of you might remember my post in which I shared how I added a pocket to my sweatpants that didn't have one.
How does it save money? I didn't have to go buy another pair with pockets [not that I would have found something I liked] and I didn't pay someone else to do it for me. Of course, for this you have to know how to sew [by hand or with the machine].
To do this, you'd have to sacrifice some time. For this project I wasted a bit more time than I was supposed to, because of extra steps that proved not needed.
I have a similar project going on for a bag. Hopefully I can post it soon enough.
old stuff to rags
If you were to calculate how much you spend in a year for certain cleaning supplies - mop replacement, kitchen sponge, dust cloth, whatever else you use, how much do you estimate that would add up to?
Honestly, I didn't calculate myself because I'd have to keep track of how often I need to replace them. But my wallet is a bit happier I didn't have to buy kitchen sponges anymore - for like a year.
Instead I use old kitchen towels that I cut into smaller pieces. Most my kitchen towels used to be bath towels that got too worn to still use as such. Yes they were that old.
By doing this not only do I produce less waste and pollution, but I also save a bit of money. Why are kitchen towels so expensive?
How about the clothes I mentioned, you say? Depending on the fabric type, I cut those into the shape and size I think I need, and use the rags to clean windows and their sills, doors and their frames, dust the few horizontal surfaces I have, or the tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. Cleaning the toilet with those rags is a good idea because once that's done, I can throw away the rag feeling less guilty about pollution.
I have to mention that as long as I don't clean the toilet with said rags, I can wash them in the laundry machine, and re-use them until they can no longer be used.
Some towels make an even better mop than the one I have, so why not taking advantage of that? Not to mention that once the dishes are done, I can rinse off the piece of towel I used, and hung it to dry - it's more hygienic than a sponge in this regard.
Tshirts, sweat pants and matching sweat-shirts are the best candidates here. I find this a really good idea for when cleaning due to moving.
This is especially do-able for those who don't have a charity or some other place where to go donate or sell old clothes. Let's just say, towels are not a thing to make others use.
Cooking can save you some money as oftentimes the ingredients are cheaper or add up to 1 meal at a restaurant, depending on what you order. Let's not forget that usually cooking means you get several servings of the food you make, and if you really like what you make, that's always cheaper and better.
What I cook is usually sweets, soups, and stews. I can't really find the stuff I prepare at home in the store. Even if I did, the taste is not the same, and may have ingredients I want to steer away from (garlic, onions, preservatives, food coloring) from a health related perspective.
If you want to prepare a meal that is not really specific to the country you live in, the ingredients can cost quite a lot. You might actually save money if you went to have a serving of an "exotic" dish at a specialized restaurant. You'll also realize whether that food is really worth trying to make at home or not.
eating directly from the pot
"Whaat? that's gross, weird!" - it's what you may be thinking.
And you're right when you cook for a whole family and not just yourself. It's also not really gross if you just warm the food on the stove, in a small enough pot to hold 1 serving of whatever you eat.
How does it save money? indirectly: you have only 1 container to wash, not 2. You save water and dish washer because you use less of both. Of course, this works only if you do the dishes by hand. If you use a dish washing machine, you might actually want to use a separate plate to eat in.
I have to say that these machines are not very common in Romania yet, though they can be found in stores. Younger families are more likely to own them, than older generations. They are more likely to be found in newer or renovated apartments. We don't own one.
Each household is different, of course, and what works for me might not work for you.
© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.