This summer, through some extra work, we are hoping to save a few bucks by cutting out certain conveniences. Not only that but it will prep us for being off grid and finding alternative ways to deal with every day necessities.
No Vacuuming - This one I've already started (except for yesterday when I was cleaning house like a mad woman for the real estate guy to come.) I've already taken up all but two rugs in the house. One still protects my floor from my desk chair and the other is in the breezeway to catch dirt. Anyway, I plan to sweep every day and mop once a week.
No Dryer - My arms will be buff after putting clothes up on the clothesline all summer - I know this will be hard for me to get a handle on. I will need to take advantage of the sunny dry days. It might be okay to do loads in the dryer of socks and underwear because who wants stiff undies? Don't go there...
No Air Conditioning - After fixing our attic we think we might be able to better endure the summer without A/C. It will help that now our attic actually vents (long story that would be nice to keep in the past). With a few fans, well positioned windows, and lots of popsicles we'll be golden. We might need to turn the A/C on if we have a showing on a really hot day, but then again maybe we need to show off our awesomely vented attic!
No Dishwasher - This one is up there on the list of me whining about it, but I need to get used to it. The dishwasher, the dryer, and the vacuum are some of the highest energy consumers in the house. We have come to love Mr. Electricity's Website . He thinks against the norm and promotes alternatives to energy consumption. We love that kind of thinking.
New phone system - We have been considering getting something like the Ooma Telo Free Home Phone Service. The idea stems from us having to have our PC on all day long so that our Magic Jack phone would be on. The Ooma system is connected into your network, but does not have to go through the computer. This would save us a few bucks by not having the PC on all day. I think we can transfer our current magic jack number somehow too. This is definitely an option that we are looking into.
Food- I'm not sure how much this is a money saver as much as it's just a non-lazy approach to food. We've already begun this, but hopefully we can continue to make good choices regarding our food intake. Not that we have to only get beans and rice, but to be thoughtful in our calorie/fat consumption and try to put veggies into our bodies that are full of great nutrients. I'm not a minimalist when it comes to food. If we eat a lot of the right stuff, we gain energy to keep our bodies going, which I believe is a natural motivator for the rest of life's activities.
There it is. Don't expect me to keep it perfectly now, although I would like to go a whole month without those conveniences just to say that I did it. I will give it the good ole college try.
You people have yet to find out how badly I have princess syndrome. Going off grid will be gruesomely good for me! :)