Top ten frugal tips for a self sufficient lifestyle
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With hybrid cars, under floor heating, solar panels and geothermal pumps, you could be forgiven for thinking that going green is an expensive hobby for the elite.
My belief is that a self sufficient, ethical, sustainable and frugal lifestyle *can* go hand in hand. Essentially that is what Little Green Blog is all about. We’re ‘ordinary’ people doing our bit for the environment on a limited income.
Here are my top ten tips that will put your on the road to self sufficiency, help protect the planet and save you cash.
1 Check your bathroom cabinets and under the kitchen sink. You’ll probably find about a years worth of cleaning supplies in there. Instead of buying new, use them up! If you’re brutal you can double things up. Do you need shower gel when you have a bar of soap? Do you need a separate kitchen and a bathroom cleaner?
2 Turn down your heating by 1 degree to save 10% on your heating costs. It’s an excuse to cuddle up in a cosy jumper, snuggle under a duvet reading a good book or get warm and close to your loved ones.
3 Don’t use a tumble dryer if at all possible; these guzzle up electricity. Get yourself organised to take advantage of windy days and dry outside whenever you can. If it is blowy enough, you can even dry things outside when there is a light rain shower.
4 If you have things in your home you no longer want or need, consider selling some of the better quality items on eBay or at a carboot sale. If there is no monetary value in your items, donate them on Freecycle or to charity rather than throw them in the landfill.
5 Cook from scratch and use local, seasonal ingredients. Not only is this healthier, but you will save money by buying food that is in season.
6 Don’t waste food! In the UK we throw away around 1/3 of the food we buy each week – yikes! Make a menu plan, create a shopping list and stick to it. Use any leftovers to make meals the following day.
7 All but the dirtiest clothes can be washed at 30 degrees. Wash only full loads of washing and in most cases you can half the recommended amount of detergent and still get good results.
8 Grow your own! You can grow herbs in pots and sprouted seeds in the kitchen. Outdoors, you can grow tomatoes in hanging baskets. If you have a small garden, you can grow mini vegetables in containers. Failing that, rent yourself an allotment and start to get really self sufficient.
9 Turn everything off standby. When you’ve finished with an appliance, turn the plug off at the socket. Remember dvd players, TVs, computers and peripherals, mobile phones and microwaves. All of these are energy vampires which cost you money and waste valuable resources.
10 Only boil as much water as you need in the kettle (or boil a kettle full and keep the rest in a flask for using throughout the day). Most kettles are around 3kws. ok, they’re only on for 3 minutes at a time, but after 10 cups of coffee a day for a year, it soon adds up………..
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