1. Pack your lunches
Instead of spending $6-$15 on lunch, pack your food from home. I eat my lunch at my desk and when it comes time to go out with the work peeps, I don’t feel guilty about spending money. I tag along and enjoy being out of the office but also get to enjoy not having a bill at the end.
2. Turn off the water when you brush your teeth
When I was in elementary school I remember being told that if I used water while brushing my teeth, the ocean would dry up and all the fish would die. While desalination has made this a remote possibility, turning the water down or off the water does save on the water bill. And it’ll clear your conscience.
3. Get smart with your dishwasher
Instead of running the dish washer for partial loads, wait until you have a full load to wash. If you only have a few dishes, wash them by hand instead.
4. Stop the drying
By hanging your clothes to dry instead of using the dryer, you not only save money on your electric bill, you extend the life of your clothes. And living in San Diego we really have no excuse with the lack of rain! If you must have the dryer-fresh smell, throw your clothes in there with a sheet for 5 minutes on fluff.
5. Support local farmers
Hit up the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market – not only will your food be healthier (less preservatives and chemicals), you’ll also be supporting your neighbors.
6. Carpool as much as possible
If you don’t have coworkers who live close to you, check out www.erideshare.com. It’s a website that allows you to post the general area of where you live and where you need to go to see if anyone else is traveling that way. Use common sense and meet these people before you just hop in the car together!
7. Use that cooler
Many families use the beautiful days of summer to go on their family vacation. Cut costs of traveling by packing snack and drinks in a cooler. If you’re flying, pack snacks that will easily fit in your carry on. Not only is this a healthier option, you will reduce the chance that you will get sucked into unnecessary spending at gas stations and airports.
8. Find movie alternatives
There are a decent amount of movies out right now that I would love to go see in theaters. But before you run off and spend on average $10 per person on a movie, get creative with your options! You can head on down to your local library and rent a DVD for free! Or look into the events that your community is planning for the summer. Many places have movie nights where they project films onto a big screen outside. This is a free option and it’s also extremely fun to sit on the lawn with your friends and relax. Bring the wine.
9. Change that air filter!
This is pretty straight forward but having a clean air filter will save you a pretty penny. Many of us forget to change out the air filter…and it might just help with your allergies, too.
10. Unplug items that aren’t being used
Phone chargers, lamps and other devices that stay plugged in still pull electricity even when they are not in use.