Consumer Downsizing Tips

Have you decided that this is the year you try to spend a little less in your household budget?  If so, there are several steps you can take without setting foot outside your home, if you’re willing to be a little frugal.  In addition to turning off water during showering and brushing teeth; and washing clothes and dishes only when loads are full, there are other penny pinching steps you can take to stretch your household budget.

Consider slightly watering down products such as shampoo, mouthwash, hairspray, condiments and non-carbonated beverages. You can extend their shelf life without noticeably affecting their quality. Slightly reduce the size of meal portions, the amount of food seasoning, or even use a tad less milk in morning cereal.

Scale back on the amount of cleaning products you use, such as detergent and dish washing soap, from 100% to 80%. The concept isn’t to reduce the effectiveness of household products beyond a practical stage. However, by finding the point to which you can “cut back,” you can experience a cumulative benefit. Every product you consume at a slightly slower pace, reduces the total amount of money you’re spending on it. Over time, a little conservation can lead to big savings.

Does your monthly energy bill cause you to tremble in fear? There’s a good chance that one of the culprits is the collection of energy vampires lurking in your house … electronic devices like TVs, cell phone chargers, toaster ovens and DVD players that are plugged in, but unused. Despite their innocent appearance to the contrary, they are still sucking up your power.

Simply unplug the units when they aren’t being used. To make it even easier, plug electronic devices located near each other, such as in your entertainment unit, into one power strip. Then get in the habit of turning it off when the devices aren’t in use. In addition to eliminating the possibility of power surges in dangerous weather, “killing” those dreaded energy vampires can save up to 8% on your energy bill. Sounds like a scary story with a happy ending …

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