Wrap your eyeballs around that dear reader because this is what’s ahead of us. Remember the glory days when a litre of gas cost $1? Oh how we chuckled when the gas stations had to add an additional digit to their signs to accommodate rising prices.
If you're like me your budget is as tight as a lid on a pickle jar and there's no way it can accommodate an $81 tank fill. This is why I take the TTC and why I imaginary high fived Mayor Rob Ford when he pushed to declare those suckers an essential service.
However, the rise in gas prices will impact us all regardless of our mode of transport and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it so it’s back to our budgets. But how do you tweak something that’s already been tweaked to within an inch of its existence? You have to get creative. I had to go to the big guns on this one. My Aunt. As someone who lived through the blitz she knows a thing or two about stretching a buck or in her case a Pound Sterling. We had a nice long conversation about how the world has gone to hell in a designer hand basket. She had lots of hints and tips but I’ve selected a few that you can call ‘Green’ rather than cheapo!
1) Store bought cleaning products.
My Aunt had plenty to say about the price of Mr Clean. Apparently during the blitz people cleaned their windows with vinegar and newspaper and their kitchens gleamed after a good scrub with baking soda. I was sceptical at first and my roommates were concerned when they saw me throwing baking soda and vinegar down the toilet bowl but I have to admit that homemade cleaning products aren’t bad. They’re not brilliant either but maybe you can use them along with your store bought products to reduce cleaning product costs rather than eliminate them.
HOME MADE GLASS CLEANER
2 cups of water
½ cup of vinegar (clear)
Mix and pour it into a spray bottle.
ALL PURPOSE CLEANER
4 Tbsp baking soda
4 cups of warm water
Mix and apply to a damp sponge.
Sprinkle the bowl with approx ¼ cup of baking soda
Pour on ¼ cup of clear vinegar ***caution*** do not inhale as I did!
2) Gift wrap.
I’m not sure if this is a tall tale or something that people actually did but apparently back in the day people carefully opened their gifts to preserve the wrapping and later they would iron it and reuse it. With the price of gift wrap at the minute I’m willing to give it a whirl.
3) Get a chicken and a vegetable garden.
We live in a time where it’s cool to be Green. You may fear that people will think you’re mad as a hatter but getting your free range eggs from your very own chicken will earn you the well deserved title of Captain Planet. I know you hate this idea and think it’s ridiculous but if you have or had a dog, why not a chicken? I actually have a friend who keeps a couple of chickens. He swears that they practically keep themselves. He also claims that the ladies love it. Vegetable gardens are a fun and easy way to save money on anything from lettuce to tomatoes and beans. I don’t have a garden but I do have an herb window box that I love.
4) Join the library.
Sorry to all of the struggling authors out there but the price of a book is a budget buster. After talking to my Aunt I joined the library and was gobsmacked to discover that not only can you borrow books you can also borrow DVD’s, CD’s and even a pedometer. Your local library is truly a gem. You can use the internet and read the daily newspapers. There are also additional services like literacy classes and afterschool homework programs. The library is a good time. Join.
These are just a few of her tips on how to cut spending...again! People who have budgets to consider always have great ideas for saving money so go ahead and tell us some of yours, please!