11 September 2008

8 Ways to Reduce Food Cost

(There are many cheap, affordable but quality food stuff available on the market these days. Image source: http://www.blinman.com)

One good way to reduce food cost is by making sure that we only buy what we really need.

One good way to do this is to have a grocery list and making sure that we browse through the many brand and produce source to get the best but the cheapest item (one good source is buying Tesco brand items and purchase direct from the wet markets)

Another way of reducing food cost is by growing our vegetables - among the vegetables that are easy to grow in Malaysia weather is chilly and onion and sometimes tomatoes (all depending on the available space to grow them - when I had a larger space available some time ago, I had corn & green peas as well)

Tips from the SimpleDollar.com:-

I utilize the grocery list. I started compiling a grocery list faithfully every week before going to the store and when I’m in the store, I adamantly oppose buying things not on the list.

I have a garden. A small vegetable garden is incredibly valuable in terms of reducing your food bill. We primarily focus on staples that we’ll eat, like tomatoes and onions.

I buy foods in bulk. Many of my food purchases are bulk purchases because the cost per unit is much cheaper. Multi-packs of items we use frequently are wonderful - they’re much cheaper per unit and the remainder can go into storage until we need it.

Read more tips here

21 August 2008

10 Ways to Cut Your Medical Bills

(Image source: http://www.campusaccess.com)

Medical bills are expensive these days and coupled with stressful lifestyle and poor eating habits, high medical bills are here to stay.

Insurance.com lists out 10 ideas on how one can reduce medical bills:-

1. Practice prevention

2. Shop around for health insurance

3. Cut the cost of prescription drugs

4. Check your medical bills

5. Join your spouse's health plan

6. Keep track of your medical expenses

7. Negotiate a discount with your health-care provider

8. Contribute to a flexible spending account

9. Take advantage of free health screenings

10. Get to know your health insurance

(Click here for more details)

Whilst prevention is the best way to reduce medical bills but with the current lifestyle, prevention may not be possible all the time – so one need to look at alternative ways to reduce the bills.

Read Also

5 Ways to Lower Your Medical Bills

14 August 2008

25 ways to save water at home

(Image source: http://keetsa.com)

Water is a precious resource. It is estimated only 2.5% of the water source in the world is fresh water source.

When the Selangor State Government announced that there will be a 20% waiver on the water bills, many cried foul. Not on the reduced water bill but rather on the anticipation of more water wastage.

Whilst there are many ways water is leaked through old pipes, faulty pipe and improper water management, there is little an individual could do to reduce water wastages. However at home, there are many ways one can save water.

Eartheasy listed 25 ways on how one can save at home. Some of the easy ones that one can practice at home is a follows:-

1. Check for hidden water leaks

Read the house water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, there is a leak.

2. Don't use the toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket

Every time you flush a cigarette butt, facial tissue or other small bit of trash, five to seven gallons of water is wasted.

3. Take shorter showers.

One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. A four-minute shower uses approximately 20 to 40 gallons of water.

4. Turn off the water after you wet your toothbrush

There is no need to keep the water running while brushing your teeth. Just wet your brush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

5. Rinse your razor in the sink

Fill the sink with a few inches of warm water. This will rinse your razor just as well as running water, with far less waste of water.

6. When washing dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing

If your have a double-basin, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have a single-basin sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a panful of hot water. If using a dishwasher, there is usually no need to pre-rinse the dishes.

(Read more tips here)

Read Also

49 ways to save water

13 August 2008

5 ways to make money from blogs

(Image source: http://www.masternewmedia.org)

Most of us already have Google Adsense up and running on our blogs.

Sometimes we have no choice - we have to be creative to look for alternative source of income. But is there more than just Adsense (and other “variants” of it such as Nuffnang and more)?

Microsoft’s Small Business listed a few more:-

1. Sell advertisement (obvious one)

2. Sell other’s product

3. Solicit contributions (it is a long shot but…)

4. Market your services (perhaps as a writer?)

5. Improve relationship with readers

(Read the details here)

We have to change our lifestyles - which means more income, less expenses. That is the way to go. And making money from blog is one way of getting more income. More to come...

11 August 2008

10 ways to save on clothing

(Image source: http://www.blinman.com)

We all have to buy clothes at one point at a time – some on monthly basis.

Back home, I have a closet full of clothes but only half is worn on regular basis. The remaining clothes is “collecting dust”. We gave away plenty of clothes to charity and relatives but still there is plenty more. We still need to buy new ones – because of the wear & tear but also due to “enlargement” of our body size.

But there are ways to save on clothing and here are some ways that I practice (from Garment care):-

1. Read Care Labels.

Believe it or not, failure to follow the care instructions on clothing is the number one reason an item gets ruined in the wash.

2. Don't Wash Clean Clothes.

If you wear a garment for a few hours only and it still appears clean and smells fresh, there's no need to wash it again. Wear an item a couple of times before washing to preserve its life. For example, a dress you only wear to church on Sundays might last longer if you take it off and hang it in your closet when you get home.

3. Wear Aprons.

Ever wondered why your grandmother wore aprons every time she entered the kitchen? She understood the importance of taking care of clothing. While cooking, grease and food tend to get splashed on clothes easily. Wearing an apron might not be fashionable, but it's worth the trouble if you're planning to keep your clothes a while.

4. Sewing Buttons.

Learn a few sewing techniques so you can make small fabric repairs to your clothing as needed. For instance, learn to sew on buttons or repair small tears in seams. Many people simply throw away a garment when a button falls off. What a waste! A simple five-minutes of sewing could have saved the garment and the money spent to purchase it.

Why spend money on new clothes when you can keep your clothes in great shape and enjoy them for many years?

(Click on for more tips here)

That’s right! Why wash clean clothes? That often happens to my jeans – it will be 2 weeks before it is sent for washing but I do make sure that it is clean and fresh. If it is dirty and starts to smell – it is sent for washing immediately.

The key idea here is to make sure the clothes are clean and well taken care to make them last longer

07 August 2008

How to Save Money on Food?

(Having a balanced diet. Image source: http://www.diabetes.org)

The fuel price goes up and with it, the price of food and household items goes up too. Roti Canai at one time used to be one of the cheapest foods around but now, it is among the high priced food item.

What me and my friends did was this:-

1. Source for restaurant where the food is good but cheap.

2. We opt out from buying expensive items – squids, fish, chicken and perhaps less rice.

3. Bring cooked food from home – last night’s leftovers is the best option

4. Skip lunch altogether and instead have small meals (biscuits, oats or titbits)

So, how else one can save money on food? From Wikihow:-

1. Share food. Usually at restaurants, food advertised for two people is sufficient for three. Don't pay for more than you need!

2. Learn how to make great-tasting dishes at lower cost staple food. Instead of roast beef sandwiches, eat peanut butter and jelly. Instead of steak, dine on macaroni and cheese.

3. Remember that while processed foods may seem cheaper and easier, they are actually a lot more expensive and a lot less healthy. Focus on buying cheap, healthy foods like beans, lentils, pasta, etc that are easy to make, healthy and cheap.

4. Learn to cook from scratch. Cooking from scratch is the cheapest (and best) way to eat. Learn to roll yesterday's leftovers into today's meal. Manage your refrigerator: never let anything go bad. Eat it or use it as an ingredient in a sauce, casserole, or soup. For example, old lettuce can be chopped and put into a soup, old salsa can be added to a curry, and old milk can be turned into a quiche. Of course, don't use anything that has actually gone sour or rancid.

5. Meat and other animal products can be very expensive. So remember that there are plenty of other options when it comes to protein. Meatless Monday is a public health campaign associated with the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health that encourages people to give up meat one day a week to cut their intake of saturated fat.

Click here for more tips