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Frugal Friday Week 23

Waste. It really is an ugly word. We waste food, money, time, electricity, gas, and countless other things every day of our lives.

Over the next week, why not pay a bit of extra attention to how you can avoid waste and save some money along the way:

  • Food – when eating out, don’t be embarrassed to ask for a ‘doggie bag’ and have the leftovers for another meal
  • Food – at home, serve smaller portions, so no extra on the plate goes into the trash, if you’re still hungry have seconds.
  • Electricity – in my house this is a sore subject, I constantly go upstairs to find the lights all on, but my wife and daughter still on the first floor. One bulb seems like nothing, but do the math and it really adds up.
  • Gas – How often are you waiting for a spouse or child to come out of school, a store, a friend’s house, and for whatever reason, the engine is still running? Break this habit now. You can stop the engine and keep the radio on if you wish without killing the battery.
  • Time – I’ve seen advice suggesting that when going grocery shopping, making and sticking to a list will save you money. Planning further so you stop at the grocery store to or from work will save time and gas. For me, the ride to the supermarket is 10 minutes each way, but I pass it on the way home so stopping while out is 20 minutes I gain.
  • Water – No, I won’t suggest to stop flushing. But, when brushing your teeth or washing dishes, that water running is costing you. Letting water run down the drain to warm it up or get cold water is wasteful.
  • Space – look around your house. Are there areas of clutter? The fact that it’s occupying space that you can use for something better means it’s costing you. Maybe not dollars and cents, but in its alternate, more enjoyable use.
  • Anger – A bit of a stretch, perhaps, but anger often wastes. It wastes your attention, distracting you from things you can do to move forward in your life. Unfortunately, we often can’t just step back and change the direction our mind is going. Too bad.

Where else can you start to eliminate waste from your life?

  • Financial Samurai October 30, 2009, 11:21 pm

    The doggie bag is the ONLY way to go! Just had a left over wagyu steak myself from last night’s internal dinner. Yum.

    The doggie bag also forces you to eat more moderately during the meal, and then afterwards. A win/win!


  • Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog November 2, 2009, 8:16 pm

    Great list of tips. Some other ways to not waste water include low-flow shower heads and toilets. Same “activities”, less water wasted for each use!

  • Forest June 13, 2010, 6:19 am

    Sadly we all waste when we take our eye off the ball :(. I think I am good but do mess up when it comes to leaving the bedroom light on!!!

    With flushing the old brick in the tank trick works (although I heard a brick is bad, but a plastic weighted tub or something non soluble works better).

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