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Frugal Anywhere

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Another article on MSN offers 50 ways to trim your budget. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a chart outlining the average household expenditures as a percent of income, much like I did earlier this month.

In each of the categories, the article offers some suggestions for cutting back costs. Many of these I’m already doing. For example, the temperature has been above 90°F lately, and I’ve been keeping my small apartment cool by keeping sunlight out and using the air conditioner only sparingly, and turning it off whenever I go outside.

Another suggestion in the article is to “avoid over-packaged, over-processed and highly advertised foods.” Although I couldn’t say that I eat well or healthily, I do opt for the store brands in most cases.

I looked through the list to find some options that can be applied to my life, and in most cases the items either don’t apply to me or I am already doing it. On the other hand, I could probably save some money by canceling all but the basic television channels (though I enjoy some of the cable stations on occassion and I do have a reduced rate) and bringing lunch into work (I haven’t been diligent).

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published June 27, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .


avatar Darren R. Sussman

I’m not so sure that turning the air off when you leave the house is saving you money. In fact, in many cases, it probably costs you more since the house is heating up while you are out and then the AC has to work twice as hard to cool it back down. What would probably be better would be, perhaps, to turn the AC up a few degrees when you leave, and then put it back to where it’s comfortable when you come back in. This way the heating up and cooling down are not as drastic.

avatar Luke Landes

From what I can tell from researching this, energy experts recommend either turning the central air off or setting the thermostat high enough to almost match the outside temperature. Both save the same amount of energy. Turning the air conditioner off when I’m out of the house for a long time definitely does not increase the energy used, even if the A/C has to work (slightly) harder when I return.

Often, I also use a fan that drops the room temperature 10 degrees, allowing me to leave the thermostat high, anyway. I’m positive that these fators have saved me quite a bit of money in the summer.

avatar Darren R. Sussman

Huh. Okay. I guess I’ve been operating under mistaken assumptions, then. I’ll have to give that a try. (Unfortunately, I do end up spending most of my time actually here in the house, what with working here and all…. :P)