Monday, 6 October 2008

How to impress yourself, your mother-in-law, and your wallet

With the credit crunch and all that, I try to tighten up my belt when it comes to usage of energy at home. Take for instance the use of shower. All four of us take a shower twice a day. Now, that's a lot of water and electricity used. When the bill comes, I always prepare for what could be a heart attack. To avoid the embarassment of paramedics seeing my twitchy face, my overused and overwashed robe, and my sky-high bill, I have to think of some good old money-saving 'tricks'.

Lewis still has his baby bath. It's still big enough for him and Zak to sit on so it is still being used since over two years ago. I bought it from a sale for £5 so it's money well-spent. Before bedtime, I fill it up with warm water. I bath Lewis in it, and Zak afterwards in the same water. Obviously, their nappy areas have to be clean before they both go in it. Afterwards, I use the bath water to clean the bathroom and flush our two toilets, without the boys in it, of course.

When K and I have a shower, we stand on the baby bath to catch the water to flush the toilets! And K is only allowed to have a hot bath once a month, or when we're both feeling sore. Baths use a lot of water. Last year, I heard that it costs 25pence (roughly $.50) to flush a toilet, which means it could be double by now. By reusing water, I saved a few pennies, even pounds, and it's not even hard work!

This morning, I took K to the kitchen and lectured him about the use of teabags. We consume about 24 teabags during weekends, when we're both at home, so I showed him how to save. Whenever I make a cup of tea, I don't throw the used teabag in the bin. Instead, I transfer it to another clean cup for the next cup of tea. Or, I use a teapot and just refill it with hot water everytime.

The heating is always the cause of our arguments. I have adjusted fairly well to the British weather and so I don't always like to have a very well-heated home. I put on more clothes and the boys always have two or three layers of clothing instead of me turning up the heating system. Our bedroom should only be 16c or less because the longer you stay in bed, the warmer you become. And what are pyjamas for anyway?

I also used to have my nails pedicured by a lady who does home service. This is one luxury that seems silly to me now. I realise that my lifestyle doesn't revolve around walking the red carpets or twirling in open-toed stilletos. I push a buggy whenever I go out and when I am at work, my feet are not seen anyway, so what's the point of paying good money to clean the nails only for it to be hidden away?

And so, I DIY. Sometimes, I get an unwelcome help from my 2-year-old but it doesn't matter. Even if the paint goes everywhere except the nails, I have pampered myself anyhow - for free, come to think of it!


aileen said...

Wow! You do save a lot of water by recycling it...but all of it is worthwhile unless you have a water meter as you are paying for your usage...but if not, then you can use clean water all the time!!!...hehehehe

I do am tightening my purse, well sometimes, by watching my electricity and gas usage as they are both meter supplied...

betchai said...

wow, Soy, i always have this thought that there is no water shortage on UK for you have an abundance of rain there. unlike here in San Diego, our normal precipitation is only 8 inches a year (for some places, that is their monthly precipitation), and this year and the past 3 years, we were in drought, for not meeting that 8 inches :( so, I thought, only us and other in the drought environment pay for water like gold :( You have good procedures there to save water. As for us, we stopped watering our plants using sprinkler, not only it uses a lot of water, it also waste some water in areas where no water is needed at all. So, I would use a small plastic tub (or labador sa pilipinas) to wash dishes, collect the water, transfer to a pail, and then, use the recycled water for our plants outside. Really helped us a lot in saving for our water bills. I had been thinking before how we can collect the water when we take shower since the dishwashing water is not really a lot to water all our plants, I guess, I never become a mom to know there is such a baby bath to stand on :) and that will collect water. Thanks so much Soy, now, I know how to collect our water when we take shower, which we also do 2x a day. I just hope the baby bath is cheap? But it will be for the long run, as we have been using the same pail for 3 years, hahaha! So, I guess, the initial cost of baby bath will pay off in a matter of time.

We're like you too, we would usually just wear more clothing to cover ourselves and we use heated blanket, than heating the whole house when there are just 2 of us, it would be very expensive.

like you, i do my own nails, and i consider it my therapy each time i do my own nails. No one sees it, but it feels good anyway, hihihi. LIke sometimes, I would do make-up, but only if I am not going to school, since I don't know how to put make-up very well, instead of looking good, I think I look really ugly with my make-up. But, I still love putting make-up, and then just wash it off. i do that whenever I need some calming moments :)

Ruthi said...

Very clever. Applause!!!! You deserve the "Best and Most Efficient Housewife Award". Seriously, it is our responsibility as housewives to not only help our husband pay the bills but to help lessen them. it's crazy the way things are now. your husband is lucky to have you... Pinay kasi. hahahaha. anyway, water here in Maine is not our major problem... we have our own well so we dont pay for water bill... but heating oil is. indeed a major one considering that is it fall not and weather is freezing. i am adjusted to the weather now too so i can adapt your tricks. but with regards to manicure and pedicure... i just don't do it anymore. I just clip my nails and that's all about it. though i have my own manicure set and i used to do my own nails before but now i'm too lazy to do that so i just clip my nails. :)

d3nd3n said...

wow, someone there does home service. i wish we have it here too. i'm not too fond of doing my own esp toenails. hehe.

well done for saving water. :) i hardly ever have long baths anymore. and using timba+tabo is more tipid than shower i find. :)

caryn said...

its funny, i used to remember my mom going on and on about saving energy, but we always thought it kind of extreme. now i find myself in the same position ;-) funny how life goes around in cycles no?

HiPnCooLMoMMa said...

getting home service once in a while is good, like a reward or something...

Joy said...

You are a very creative person and so are able to think of ways to save pennies :D I do my own nails, too, because I don't see the point of having someone else do it when I change the nail polish colour every week! It's kind of my 'me' time.

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comments. Have a great week ahead!

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Moonlight-Mom said...

I was able to get valuable tips from you :)

PinoyXfat said...

Amazing how you were able to devise simple ways (simple but can be difficult considering that these involve kicking old habits) to cut costs.
You've a lovely family!
Have a nice day!

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