By Leanne Manning
UNL Extension Educator
During times of drought, family income may be at an all-time low, but family expenses still need to be paid. Discuss, as a family, how family members can pitch in to help cut living expenses or contribute to family income.
- Babysit for others.
- Mow lawns.
- Remove snow.
- Sell items no longer needed.
- Ask for a raise at work.
- Seek a second job.
- Work part-time.
- Turn off lights, televisions, and other electronics when not in use.
- Take shorter showers to cut down on water and electric bills.
- Turn the thermostat down at night in winter and up during summer.
- Wear your clothes more than once before laundering.
- Buy clothes on sale.
- Clip coupons and watch for rebates on personal care products.
- Carpool or walk whenever you can.
- Inflate vehicle tires properly.
- Use bartering or work exchange to get the things/services you need.
- Make toys instead of buying expensive new ones.
- Cook more meals at home.
- Discover inexpensive entertainment options.
- Rent out part of your house if you have extra space.
- Line-dry clothes rather than using a dryer.
- Wash clothes and use the dishwasher only when you have full loads.
- Use the microwave or electric frying pan or slow cooker rather than the stovetop. Stovetop burners use 3½ times more energy than an electric frying pan.
- Shut off the water while washing dishes or brushing teeth.
Cutting Family Expenses (G1932-G1937), a series of University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension NebGuides offers a variety of ways for families to reduce costs. See these and related Extension resources at UNL Extension Publications under Financial Management.