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A frugal and efficient lifestyle

A frugal and efficient lifestyle

Proven ways to make your day to day more efficient, prevent unnecessary waste and save money.

Stop using bottled water.

We have calculated that for many years we were spending around 500 euro a year buying bottle water for no benefit whatsoever.

We wrongly assumed that our tap water was not safe enough to drink and all our drinking water, except for boiled water used for making tea, came from bottled water. 

One day we decided to challenge our decision and bought a drinking water test kit only to discover that our tap water is perfectly safe for drinking.

You may be in the same situation so you may consider to invest a little money against purchasing a drinking water test kit because that decision may also save you hundreds of euro.

The cost of drinking bottled water

If you want to learn more, have a look to this post about how to test your home water quality. Alternatively, use this calculator to:

Calculate how much money could you save from stopping or reducing bottled water consumption 

Bottles water yearly cost calculator
Bottled water

Do you want to know more about the electricity and water usage for producing water bottles? Have a look to this ‘Bottled Water and Energy Fact Sheet’.

Stop buying sparkling water

In some countries sparkling water is very popular and, as with the stilled bottled water, the prize of one bottle of sparkling water may not seem that high but the economic impact is quite noticeable in the long run

In the following table we are going to compare the costs of buying sparkling bottled water against a making the sparkling water ourselves by using soda maker machine. As side note, we have chosen Soda Stream for this example because this is the branch we are using at home.

bottled sparkling water Vs soda maker

Install a water softener

Hard water, scale and scum will accumulate in your pipes and in those appliances that regularly use water like kettles, washing machines or dishwashers, causing them to fail prematurely.

Additionally, hard water makes more difficult for the chemicals to dissolve leading to the need of having to use more a more chemicals, like detergent, just to get an effective clean.

And the negative effects of hard water will not only be limited to our appliances or chemicals but washing in hard water will leave soap behind causing dry skin and itchiness to the point that it may cause eczema symptoms to worsen.

If you want to know more, have a look our post Water hardness, soap scum and limestone: How they may be affecting our household and our health

Measure Home Water Hardness Level.

If you suspect to have hard water in your house have a look to this YouTube video about how to measure the home water hardness level.

Hard water test

ECO button

For our home, we bought energy efficient appliances for which we paid a premium. We are speaking about a dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer.

As those appliances were rated as Energy Start A+++ or A++, we wrongly assumed that they are more efficient by default but we learnt that to really use them as efficiently as possible we had to use the ECO buttons.

Appliance ECO function

By using the ECO button, you can save on water and electricity. 

It may not seem a lot but for families who have to put four or five times the dishwasher and the washing machine every week, it actually represents a significant saving opportunity

Dishwasher electricity and water usage

Laundry washing ball

A laundry washing ball works by using a combination of magnets and mineral and ceramic balls. This combination it is used to increase the water PH value so impurities can be loosen more easily and washed away.

You just need to put the washing ball inside your washing machine drum along the clothes and that is it. Your clothes will be washed and no harmful substance or bleaches from detergents will finish up as part of the groundwater.

Laundry washing ball

Washing with a laundry ball it is much cheaper than washing with detergent. IF you want to know more, have a look to this post where we explain our own positive experience with a laundry ball.

Coffee pods Vs Coffee beans

The cost of a single cup of coffee is not that high, nearly negligible when compared to the rest of the household expenses. Still, for those households with two or three coffee drinkers, the cost of buying coffee quickly adds up over time.

This is why it is important to step back and have a look to small expenses like buying coffee. Or, even more important, to have a look to the overall cost of buying a new coffee machine plus the cost of buying coffee over time.

Look at the big picture and you may come to realize that a more expensive coffee machine may actually be a more cost effective option over time.

coffee pods vs coffee beans

Use rechargeable batteries

To use rechargeable batteries may save you a considerable amount of money if you are commonly using AAA or AA batteries at home.

Not only that but, potentially, you may be able your environmental footprint by using rechargeable batteries instead of disposable batteries.

For all the pros and cons, the advantages and disadvantages, have a look to our rechargeable batteries post.

Rechargeable batteries Vs disposable batteries
How to save
How to save
How to earn
How to earn


Effiworkx blog

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