Since young, mom has drilled into me about not wasting and the importance of saving for a rainy day. Which is why unnecessary waste really annoy and irk me. In a resource-scarce country like Singapore, I think we should all do our part in saving resources, big or small. Because every bit will translate into less spending and thereby stretching our dollar. So, what are some of the ways I have learned to save?
- Electric outlets. I have developed the habit of turning off all my electrical outlets, except the fridge of course, whenever I leave the house. I even switch off the outlets to my TV and setup box. Power points get switched on only if I need to use the appliances, e.g. oven, kettle, coffee machine, charging, etc. Once after use, these are turned off. This I found help to reduce my electricity bill. It is also good as a reboot function, which is sometimes necessary for our electrical gadgets.
- In our hot weather, I know many of us use the aircon often. Some cannot even sleep without the AC. Luckily for me, I grew up without AC. So, I have never gotten used to sleeping in an aircon room. What I have is a ceiling fan in my bedroom. This baby is what keeps me cool at night and ensures I have a good night’s sleep. On a few very hot nights during the year, I may sometime turn on my AC for 15mins to help cool down the room quickly, but the fan takes over after that. I don’t think I have turned on the 2 AC units in my living and dining room the past 2 years. Not using the AC keeps my electricity bill down, I found.
- I handwash some of my more delicate clothes; my underwear, it is every day. After soaking and washing in detergent, I will rinse twice. I usually save the water from the 2nd rinse to use for next day’s soapy water by adding more soap powder/detergent. The water is pretty clean and just a bit soapy since it is already the 2nd rinse. Sometimes, I even save the water from the first rinse to wash the toilet or shower area. This really helps to save water. By the way, the shower area is best washed/scrubbed right after a shower. It is already wet, so you don’t need to waste precious water to wet it. The shower floor really needs regular scrubbing (2 or 3 times a week) to keep the grim away – otherwise, it gets too slippery which is dangerous.
- Tubes of lotion/cream. Like most people, I have the habit of throwing out a tube of whatever once it runs out and becomes too time-consuming and difficult to squeeze. It can be my moisturiser, face wash, foundation BB/CC cream, and even toothpaste. I discovered that if you cut the tube in half, you will usually find enough lotion/cream for another 2 weeks’ worth of use. Toothpaste probably not because we usually flatten the tube before throwing away.
- We all need to do our bit for the environment. In my house, I have 2 wastepaper baskets – one for the normal trash, which I throw out every 2 or 3 days if I don’t cook, and one for recycle trash. The latter I bring to our recycle bins whenever it is full. It is amazing how many items we throw out regularly which can be recycled.
- As part of our recycling efforts, I am sure we have started buying refills, if these are available, rather than throw out plastic bottles. Usually, after I have refilled the bottle, I will add water to the refill pack and use the content, truly emptying it. I have done it with shower gels, handwash, detergents and shampoos. It is amazing how much additional use you get out of this!
- Wiping before cleaning. This is my mom’s habit. She always uses cheap toilet paper (although in Covid times, toilet paper is premium!) to wipe off the oil and sauce before washing the crookeries with detergent and water. If it becomes easier to wash, then you will use less detergent and water which is savings all around. I sometimes adopt this for cleaning my fans or very dusty/dirty surface – wipe with paper first then clean with a wet cloth. The wet cloth then requires less rinsing and therefore use less water.
I am sure there are more ways to save and stretch your dollar. Feel free to share so that we can learn from each other. Happy saving!