One of the comments that I get over and over again is that I do so much to save, even with my limited energy. I went back and read over a few of my Frugal Friday Wrap Up posts and realized that yes, I do a lot but a many of those things are what I refer to as "passive frugal doings". They take little and sometimes no energy at all. Let me give you some examples:
1. We dropped our satellite TV subscription and now watch the one local station we get and a few PBS channels on the TV in our bedroom. That TV is hooked up to a big old fashioned TV antenna that was here on the house when we bought it. The other shows that we want to watch are watched online via my computer. This costs us nothing but the electricity to run the TV and my computer and takes absolutely no effort on my part.
2. Watering the gardens. The main gardens are set up with soaker hoses and sprinklers. All I have to do is turn them on, along with my timer so that I know when to switch the splitter so that I can then water another garden. I do hand water one small garden area along with the potted plants and some flower beds by hand, and a few fruit trees, but that goes quickly and for the most part I use water that I have collected in buckets while the other gardens are being watered, the run off from our swamp cooler or water from our rain barrel. I save time, energy and water this way. It also makes it really easy for when we go somewhere and have someone come in and stay with the fur babies to keep the gardens watered too.
3. Making bread is easy For years now I have used my breadmaker to make most of our bread. It takes me about 5 minutes to get everything in it and make sure that the dough is the right texture. The machine does the rest of the work. When I do make Cuban bread, I use my Kitchenaid mixer, which also does most of the work. I just have to punch it down after the first rising, put it in bread pans, let that rise again and then bake it. The recipe does 2 loaves at a time so I do not have to make bread every other day like I do with the sourdough bread that I make in the breadmaker. I will be making some more Cuban bread today.
4. Hanging our laundry to dry on the clothesline is another huge savings but one that takes very little time and is actually something that I really enjoy doing. My clothesline is in my backyard maybe 30 steps from my back porch. It has 5 lines on it so I can hang up quite a bit at once. There is something very calming to me about standing out there hanging the laundry out while listening to the birds chirping and the squirrels chattering back and forth with one another. I also enjoy taking the laundry off the line while it is warm from the sun, folding it and putting it in the basket. It is then ready for me to put away.
5. I use my crockpots to make lots of different dishes. I love the convenience of being able to throw the ingredients for a meal into the crockpot and just let it go for the day. I make soups, stews, lasagna, kalua pig, pork chops, roasts and many other meals in my crockpots. I also make applesauce in them. And yes, I do have multiple crockpots. I currently have 5 of them.
6. Cooking and freezing future meals is a huge time and energy saver. For the most part, I cook in large quantities because I don't know any other way. ;) I was raised to help run my childhood home because my mother worked full time and also ran us kids around to many different activities. She was a teacher so her work day did not end when she left the school. There were still hours of correcting papers and lesson plans to do every night. My father started out as the assistant manager and then became the manager of a exclusive resort in Hawaii. He had to be onsite both day and night on his work days because there had to be a manger present 24/7. He spent an average of 4 nights a week there, after having worked all day long and help entertain during the evenings. My mother joined him in entertaining guests for dinner there quite often also. On my father's nights off, he was usually gone at meetings or officiating football games. We actually saw him more at work, when we would go down for the day on weekends, than we did at home. This left my mother with very little energy to get everything that needed to be done at home so she divided up the work at home between us kids and herself. Since I was the oldest, a lot of that fell onto my shoulders. I quickly learned from my mother to cook and bake in large quantities so that there would be leftovers for another meal or to make large stockpots of soup and freeze some for future meals. She is an amazing cook and also taught me how to find the best bargains and stretch our budget and food. That is why I will still cook in large quantities and freeze part of what I make or even freeze leftovers for future meals. It saves me time, money and energy and gives us a great variety of things to just pull out on those days when we are busy or I am not feeling well. Cook once, eat 3 or 4 times in our case. ;)
So there you go. Those are just a few things that I do to save money that take little effort, time or energy on my part and that I consider "passive frugal doings". We have tried to set up our lives to do these things to make our lives easier and more enjoyable while saving money. I find that as we get older, I am trying to find even more ways to make our lives easier while still living on a strict budget. Speaking of doing things to save money, the sheets and towels just got done in the washing machine and I need to get them hung out to dry. Be blessed and have a great day!