domestic tips

I must admit I tend to be a domestic pedant, and prolific in reminding people of things like; not leaving sharp knives on the edges of work surfaces, and to use less heating and lighting where possible.

Now my pedantry is more focused on the expensive nature of things we fill our lives with. It’s a wonder why my mind hasn’t always taken the more frugal approach with the things I have bought in the past, but I am learning.

In a previous article, Maria informed us of some home appliances to save you money in the kitchen. I, for one, didn’t realise that a Crock Pot is the same as a Slow Cooker (mind blown). But what other domestic tips are there to consider?

In case you’ve missed something with your domestic purchases, here are a few more things to run through the checklist:

1. Change Your Vacuum Cleaner

From September 2014 here in the U.K there will be a ban put in place for selling Vacuum cleaners that exceed an electricity usage of 1600W. In 2017 it will be reduced further, to the limit of only 900W.

Whilst there have been protests from leading companies like Dyson, this sort of energy labelling makes me throw my pedantic hands in the air and say “Yes! The world is getting more sensible!”

A vacuum cleaner shouldn’t be something that uses as much electricity as they tend to, and as the technology and designs of the latest vacuums get more creative and efficient, we should be turning our attentions to the eco-friendly nature of the latest appliances.

Some people may still have an old, tonne weight 1970ies vacuum cleaner that no longer has a place in our world of gadgets. I admit the problem with the new appliances is they can seem to be flimsy in suction, but the truth is we don’t need all that power (unless you house llamas or a really, really hairy dog).

The other neat thing about modern technology is that with so much new kit on the market we only have to wait a few months for them to be reduced in price. There are eco-friendly vacuums out there that are still way overpriced. So, here are a couple examples of reasonably priced models to Eco Up your life:

GreenRay – PurePower Cylinder Vaccuum Cleaner (TGP1410)

This gadget seems to have it all with improved suction, filter for allergen protection, large dust capacity, energy saving performance and even a special tool for woods and laminate vacuuming.

Price – £69.99

Eureka – AirSpeed Exact Reach (AS3008A)

Another clever gizmo that is said to have efficient air path (improving distribution of dirt), multi surface cleaning capabilities, a smooth glide and never loses suction (claims to be better than Dyson).

Price – £99.99

2. Buy Used Furniture

In charity shops all around our cities there are gems waiting to be given a new home for a fraction of their original price.

I can understand if you’ve worked hard to earn some big bucks you will want to furnish your surroundings with lavish interior and only the best varnished woods and materials. However, if you are like me and a table is just something you put things on, then do shy away from spending hundreds on something you could theoretical just make yourself or purchase for a few quid.

The contents of my house are made up of things my brother and I got on the cheap. In a couple of cases we acquired hand-me-downs and gifts from family and we’re very lucky in this respect. However, these are the pieces of furniture I gathered on my travels to put in our home:

Small Black Coffee Table – £4

Metre Long Wooden Table – £10

Wooden Side Table – £5

3 Fold up Wooden Kitchen Chairs – £10

Metre Long Computer Desk – £12

Whilst I have lived a life of relative ‘poverty’ down the years, such items will remain examples when it comes to future purchases. I love the rustic feel of used furniture that, so long as they’re in a decent condition, is great for filling your home with character and savings.

3. Purchase Cheap Kitchenware

In a similar vain to furniture, cutlery and cooking pots are simply things we use to live comfortably and to fill our bellies. In most homes there is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the amount of ‘stuff’ we have clambered into our kitchen cabinets and drawers. The fact is we don’t need all the latest gear from the fancy shops.

Totalling up our spending for kitchen items my brother and I have worked out that we’ve spent as little as £15 on the little things that enable us to eat. As the cook of the house I have found that everything I use, except for appliances, is purchased at the pound shops or acquired from family. Here are some examples that I bought:

Sharp Knife Set of 2 – £3

12 Piece Cutlery Set – £2

Stainless Steel Frying Pan – £7

3 Set of Bowls – £2

There are so many things out there waiting to be given a new home that will save you a wad of cash in the long run. I believe we should be looking to be eco-friendly and cashflow-friendly by shunning the big companies and their big prices, and look to use less energy and less materials.

One roundabout way to see it is; trees were chopped down to make tables and chairs. Those same items are sitting in charity shops devoid of use whilst shoppers are buying new, shiny furniture from big stores that have been made through further deforestation. Buy old and unwanted and use as little electricity as you can!

What tips to save money and the planet you’d like to share? Please don’t be shy! Sharing is good, sharing is empowering.

photo credit: Robert Scarth via photopin cc