If you regularly follow this blog, you’ve likely already realized how much frugal living relies upon careful planning. Whether it’s a budget, a grocery list or a travel route, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. However, everyday acts can sometimes be indications you’re throwing money down the drain, too.
The average loaf of bread is sliced into 20 pieces. Two of those pieces are heels, comprising ten percent of the loaf. If you’re throwing away the heels of each loaf, by the tenth pair of heels you’ve thrown away an entire loaf of bread. Or think of it this way: if your favorite grocery store gave you a punch card for bread that could be redeemed for a free loaf after the purchase of ten, would you throw it away? Probably not. Bread is a staple. Combine one heel with one regular slice for a sandwich and view the heel like you would the top of a hamburger bun.
Depending on where you live and the location of your hot water heater in relation to your faucets, you may be wasting gallons of water each day simply waiting for the water in your shower or at your kitchen sink to get hot. Instead of letting that money literally flow down the drain, have a container handy to catch it. Use the water you catch while you wait for any number of purposes later:
- Drinking water
- Water plants
- Refill ice trays
- Rinse dishes
- Fill your pets’ drinking bowls
In the end you save twice the water because you used what otherwise would have gone down the drain in the place of additional water you would have had to draw.
Throwing away food that sat in your refrigerator until it either expired or rotted is throwing away the money you spent on that food. There are a couple of ways to prevent such waste. First of all, check expiration dates on items like milk when you buy them. If there is another container with a later expiration date on an item it takes you longer to finish, buy that one instead. Secondly, make an intentional effort to eat leftovers before they go bad. That might mean skipping a meal out or postponing our attempt at a new recipe. Finally, plan your meals in such a way that you don’t buy more produce than you’ll use before it goes bad. It doesn’t stay good forever. Use it or lose it.
Going on a date with your significant other to see the latest blockbuster to hit the big screen is a common occurrence. It’s also an easy way to throw money away. You can see the exact same movie at the exact same theater for less money if you go to a matinee or if you find out the theater has a discounted night. Save even more money by waiting until the same movie releases on Blu-Ray or DVD.
Even if these tips keep you from throwing away two dollars every week, at the end of the year they’ll keep you from throwing away more than $100.