Did you know that that it takes 2500 kw of electricity to cook a pot roast in an oven for 3 hours? If you cook that same pot roast in a crock pot you will use 200 kw of electricity. Your carefully planned meal will cost you an average of $.85 (depending on what your electric company charges per kw). The same meal prepared in a crock pot will cost you approximately $.02. You save on the average $.83 most times you prepare a meal using a crock pot. The savings will of course depend on the meal. Imagine if you prepared an average of 10 meals a month using the money saving method? That is around $8.30 a month or $99.60 a year off of your electric bill. Even more appealing is the fact that you put the meal in the crock pot before leaving for work in the morning and dinner is done when you get home.
A family of four will spend at least 5.7% of the household income on groceries. It's hard to predict exactly how much of that grocery budget is allocated toward prepackaged and frozen dinners. Don't buy these prepared items to get the day going. Instead make your own frozen breakfast meals. Scramble up some eggs and whip up a batch of biscuits to make your own Biscuit and Egg sandwiches. Wonder if you'll ever find time for that tiresome task? Just make up an extra batch when your fixing Saturday morning breakfast. Pancakes freeze very nicely and toast quickly on weekday mornings. I have a problem throwing anything out, but I enjoy cooking. Leftovers are always frozen for a weeks worth of lunches. A frozen pizza can cost around $6 and a homemade pizza can cost 1/2 of that depending on your choice of toppings. If you eat an average of 2 frozen pizzas a week you would save $156.00 a year. To maintain your savings at the maximum level make your own pizza crust and scratch biscuits.
Substitute a product of lesser cost whenever possible. Avoid spending money on expensive household and beauty items. There are many products in your own kitchen that are as effective, if not more, than those you can buy in the store. I know I've covered these items in several different blogs, but believe me it really works. Baking soda, lemon juice, and vinegar will all do double duty when it comes to household chores.* Compare a gallon of vinegar at $2 to a 16oz spray bottle of all purpose cleaner full of chemicals at roughly $4.99. Vinegar can be used for everything from cleaning windows to brightening laundry. If you replaced two bottles of all purpose cleaner with one gallon of vinegar a month you would save around $72.00 a year. Use alternate items in cooking and baking when possible too.**
Rally a neighborhood savings exchange club. I'm sure your neighbors are as concerned with the economy as you are. You can offer services from baby siting to tool lending. Have a monthly meeting to organize schedules of events so everyone knows when you may need a babysitter. Hold coupon and clothing rallies to trade gently used and no longer needed items. Offer to monitor your neighbors house when they go on vacation, and they can water your plants while you are away. This is a trend that is making some headway in a lot of cities. What you choose to exchange is only as limited as what you desire to save money on.
*See my blog Top 10 Items to Stock
**See my blog Don't Got This, Use That