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20 Ways to Save- Even if You Don't Live in a Tiny House

 Yes I did just dump the change from my change bowl on the table for this photo! 

Yes I did just dump the change from my change bowl on the table for this photo! 

 

Before we built our tiny house we knew we needed to cut back in order to save more. We didn't use all of these tricks to save money but if you read this list then hopefully you will think of your own inventive ways to save! 

1. Join the DARK SIDE

Cut your electric bill by embracing the darkness on a regular basis. True story- I had my electricity cut when I moved into my first place. It took two weeks to get it back on and in the mean time I loved lighting candles, walking to the grocery store every day and spending more time out and about! If you make it fun and track your dark days with your electric bill you are bound to be surprised at how much money you can save. I should also mention this helps with mindfulness. No internet, phone recharging or Netflix binge watching can occur with no electricity. 

2. Stockpile free anything

Either you have done this or thought about doing this, but seriously if you take free napkins, ketchup packs or mini soaps and lotions make sure that you actually use the items! 

3. Hang your clothes

Clothes dryers use a huge amount of energy, if you plan well enough it shouldn't affect your wardrobe at all. Not to mention your clothes will last longer. 

4. Wash your dishes in cold water

If you only use hot water for the greasiest pots and pans it will save you hundreds over the span of a year.

5. Loose and lost change

Collect all your change and check your car, purse, pockets and couch for lost money on a regular basis. We like to use our collected change for food shopping once we have enough. 

6. Don't buy alcohol with dinner

When you go out to dinner just order water to save on the bill. 

7. Plan your driving to save on gas

Carpooling and running all your errands on the same trip can help to conserve gas. Get to know your car and buy gas on the same day every week, that way you can see how much you can save by the time your gas day comes around.

8. Stop paying for your trash bags

We shop at two grocery stores, one that give away plastic bags and the other charges 10 cents a bag. We save the bags from the free grocery store to use as our trash bags and use our cloth bags for the other place. It's a win-win! 

9. Buy generics

Name brand doesn't usually mean that it is better. Try the generic version of something you buy on a regular basis, and if you like it you can save a lot over the course of a year.

10. Cancel your subscriptions

Keep an eye on your bank statements and look out for subscriptions that you don't use anymore. Also be on the look out for free trials that have run out and that are charging you for something you don't want. 

11. Stop smoking

'Nuff said.

12. Have a “no spend” day

Challenge yourself to have a no spend day- if you are really competitive see if you can do it for the whole week! 

13. Reuse things

Plastic zip bags, paper bags and tin foil are all reusable if you take the time to even rinse them once before throwing them out you will have do buy them less frequently. 

14. Get a smaller fridge

If you get a small fridge and sell your big one you will not only waste less food, but also save on the electric bill. Many families in Europe are able to use a small bar fridge with a freezer for a four person family. You may need to hit up the grocery store a bit more often but in the long run this can mean better fresher food!

15. Leave your credit cards at home

If you are trying to pay down credit cards, leaving them at home or in a place that is not accessible can help you avoid the urge to buy something you don't have the money for right at that moment in time. 

16. Meatless Mondays

Meat usually is the biggest ticket item in your grocery cart. By choosing one day a week to go meatless you will help the planet and your savings account! Before I started dating Patrick I was a lazy vegetarian- which meant I didn't want to be involved with defrosting, marinating or cooking meat which meant I spent all of $50 a week on groceries! 

17. Buy a reusable water bottle

This one is really obvious, don't buy bottled water! A reusable water bottle can save you so much. Use the tap or get a water filter if you need it where you are. 

18. Buy off season

We use a wood burner for heat in the winter and by purchasing what we need for the winter in the summer, we can save hundreds of dollars. You can buy clothes, beds, outdoor equipment and decorations off season to save tons. 

19. Measure your pet food

It's easy to get lazy when feeding your pet, a handful here and bowl full there. Instead get a automatic pet feeder or just use an old measuring cup at regular set times in order to make sure no food is going to waste. This will also keep your pet at a healthy weight because an obese pet also costs money! 

20. Make your own food staples

Baking your own bread, making your own pasta, slicing your own meats, and whipping up your own granola will not only be healthier for you but also so much cheaper! Once you find a go-to recipe that you like it will be really simple to make on a regular basis.

Bottom Line

If you are serious about saving- look closely at everything you do, there are lots of ways to save. But don't stop there. Step it up a notch by putting the money you would have otherwise spent in an account that you want to build up. For example, every time we make pizza at home we deposit $10 from our personal account into our fun account, instead of paying Domino's or allocating that money to something else we don't necessarily need to buy. This is the fastest way to see serious money accumulate or to see your debts decrease.

What do you do to save money? 

 

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The Fallacy of a Cheap Tiny House

It may be easy to overlook these hidden costs to building a tiny house- but keeping them in mind can save you from unwelcome financial surprises! 

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How Building a Tiny House with my Husband Saved our Relationship

I used to smile to myself as I read states about the number one most common things couples flight about. For example the Top 6 Marriage - Killing Money Issues, "haha!" I would think, none of those things effect us. Until a bigger problem started appearing in our relationship, BOREDOM. 

 You gotta keep it spicy! 

You gotta keep it spicy! 

At the time I was working two jobs part-time and pursuing my masters full time. Patrick on the other hand was working a 7-3pm shift and paying most of the bills. When we finally had a moment to spend together- we wasted it watching TV, movies or being on our devices. 

This may be normal for some couples, but our relationship has always flourished when we work as a team toward something incredible. When we first meet we quickly learned that we loved projects, trying new things, traveling or building. While we were planning to move to New Zealand, we had a singular focus on the goal of saving enough and making a home here. Once we arrived, we traveled and went about the huge project of setting up a home in a new country. But once we figured everything out and the day to day started getting mundane, we started picking fights. 

Rock bottom was when Patrick wanted to return to the USA while I was still in the midst of my studies. But luckily we had both been marinating a plan in the back of our minds. And when the opportunity arose to act on it- we had nothing to lose at that point. 

So it was all or nothing, and I am so glad to say we left nothing behind and gained everything by trusting in our teamwork and ability to manifest our wildest dreams.

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The Tiny House Pathway to Wholehearted Living

The Tiny House Pathway to Wholehearted Living

Dr. Brene Brown's book, Daring Greatly mentions ten guideposts that she discovered some of the happiest, well adjusted and resilient people all had in common. In the post I discuss how building and living in a tiny house has helped us to become wholehearted! 

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It's never too late for shutters

Hi there,
This is our first post since hearing the disappointing news about the election. The best way we found to keep from crying was to get started on a small project!

Pat used some free pallets, primer, paint and his nail gun to whip up some shutters for the house. I will let the photos speak for themselves. 

Thanks for reading!

-Pat and Cori

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Modifications- Improving the Tiny House!

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Modifications- Improving the Tiny House!

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HI Readers! Pat and I have just finished a long day of cleaning and "renovating" and wanted to share some photos with you!

Living in such a small space means everything really has to work well. Things have to be convenient and useful. Otherwise you might find yourself wanting to give up all together. For example, when we ordered our storage crates, we were still undecided about what sort of seating we wanted. Little did we know that the plush seat we made, bumped the height of our "couch". It wasn't a huge deal, just a slight inconvenience when we were watching TV or on the computer. So we decided to cut off the very short legs of the crate! While we were down there we decided to insulate the wheel wells. Turns out there was a bit of a draft coming from under the crates. We only noticed it once the weather got a bit colder.

When we built the house we knew there would be things we would want to change, so it was really straightforward and only took a few hours.

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I hope it makes a big difference. Otherwise it would have been a waste of tape and insulation!

Along with the insulating of the wheel wells, we also decided to finally get our record player out of storage and install it on the wall so we could use it whenever. It was a job for patty cakes!

I had found a perfect green suitcase (for 5 bucks from the EcoStore) and it worked a charm! See below:

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Thanks for reading!

We will be in the states soon, drop us a line if you want to say hi!

Cheers!

Pat and Cori

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Tiny House Living

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Tiny House Living

Hello from the othersideeeeeeee....... We haven't posted in awhile because we are busy living our lives in our tiny house!

In case you don't have time to read the whole blog we spent 2015 building a tiny house on a used trailer. It took up every weekend of the better part of a year and $15,000. We are electrically off the grid via three solar panels, we use a wood stove for heat and a composting toilet for you-know-what. We also have gas hot water and a cooking stove top. Check out these photos of our life in the tiny house! We couldn't recommend the lifestyle more.

 

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Thanks again!

 

-Pat and Cori

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Video and new Porch pictures!

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Video and new Porch pictures!

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Hello hello! We have great news! Our tiny house video by Bryce of Living Big in a Tiny House was completed!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xd7ZNuzvYRs&w=560&h=315]

We had a great time filming and chatting! Sadly the filming happened before we had a chance to finish the porch but it is finally complete.

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For more you can visit his website: http://www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com/tiny-home-built-recycled-materials/

Cheers!

Pat+Cori

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First Night Stay at the Tiny House!

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First Night Stay at the Tiny House!

Hello Again! Friday night was the very first night we slept over at the tiny house. We arrived at about 9:30pm and found the house to be warm and when we turned on all the lights, very well lit. The pillows and kitchenware were quickly put away and we had a nice quiet evening with a glass of wine and a good book. We were very comfortable, warm and everything we needed to relax for the evening was easy to access and use. We slept very well and the hot shower in the morning was amazing. We were both able to cook and be in the kitchen area at the same time without running into each other and the eggs and hashbrowns were delish! It was a great night and we were sad to go the next day. We did make a short list of item to improve but over all we did a great job of planning and anticipating our needs.

Tiny House Quick Video..."what weird birds? ohya"

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Composting Toilet

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Composting Toilet

Hello! We finally got around to making our toilet, it took a while to find the right raw materials, but Pat scored a sweet crate that we painted, cut a hole in the top, and mounted hinges. The toilet seat is a special slow close seat (you can afford to upgrade your seat when you're pooping a bucket.) We need to work on sourcing a regular source of sawdust, but we still have some time. 20151129_122938

Sorry we don't have more pictures. I wasn't around to document and supervise Pat.

Thanks!

 

-Pat and Cori (mostly cori)

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Building the Deck

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Building the Deck

Hello! This morning, bright and early we began to install our deck. As you may know  we already attached a porch roof to the tiny house and used three posts to support it. We attached the deck to the posts and used wooden legs for the rest of the support. The deck was made of recycled materials sourced from a jobsite. It was pretty much already pre-built so it was put together very quickly. It still needs a coat paint but otherwise I think it looks great. We have doubled our living space, after only a couple hours of hard work. We will use the porch to store our shoes, barbecue, and other items that we wish to keep dry. 20151128_08563520151128_08563920151128_08562820151128_09243220151128_09350420151128_09351720151128_11380220151128_113805IMG_20151128_09360220151128_11381020151128_11381820151128_12181020151128_12181720151129_12334720151129_123443IMG_20151128_105504

A nice coat of deck paint will bring these former walls back to life with a new purpose. Thanks for reading.

Pat and Cori

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Raising the Roof!

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Raising the Roof!

Hello Blog Readers, Today at the tiny house we took down our crappy awning and have replaced it with a more permanent roof structure. Our goal is to add more living space to our tiny house and will be complete once we finish building the attached deck.

I have built the roof out of pallets I got for free and the corrugated iron was left over from building the tiny house. I purchased three used rimu timber posts to support the roof from the ground, and some roofing screws. The total cost of the roof was about 40 dollars. We had help from our awesome land owners to lift the roof into place with his loader. Thank you so much!!

 

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Thanks for reading and stay tuned for the composting toilet and the deck!

 

-Pat and Cori

 

 

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Mounting the Solar Panels

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Mounting the Solar Panels

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Hi Everyone, This weekend at the Tiny House we mounted our solar panels to the roof. I had help from a good friend from work and it went really smoothly. We installed two 265 watt solar panels and two 12 volt 325 amp hour batteries to create a 24 volt system. Our goal from the beginning of our build was to be free of electric bills. We are now generating our own electricity and it is amazing to see the whole thing finally come together.

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Thanks for reading! Next up- water, deck and a toilet.

-Pat and Cori

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Moving Day!!

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Moving Day!!

Hello everyone, Today we shifted our tiny house to its final location. The new location was only about 1 minute up the road in a great big paddock with some sheep. The move went really well and the Terrano towed it surprisingly well. The next step is to build a nice big deck on the front so we have a nice place for our grill and additional living space.

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As soon as we got the tiny house lined up at the gate all the llamas just had to come over. Nosey pricks.

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The llamas were very excited to finally see the Tiny House move! They all came over for a visit.

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Pat just took off as soon as the coast was clear.

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Into the paddock it goes.

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It looks so tiny! We feel so much better now that we safely moved it with no issue. Now we can actually start putting things on shelves and organizing our lives. Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more tiny house action. And also we should address the common question, "So is it done yet?" the answer is no, It will probably always be a work in progress. But for the time being our goal is to get it livable. We need a toilet, water, electrical and gas. Everything is tested, all we need to hook everything up!

Also shout out to all my wellesley girls/badonderz/CFYM and our family and friends, thank you for your interest and excitement, I (cori) had a great time at home and miss everyone already.

LOVE LOVE LOVE to everyone!

-Cori and Pat

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Book Shelving & Kitchen Drawer

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Book Shelving & Kitchen Drawer

Hello Everyone, Things are starting to finish up at the tiny house. We just have a few items left on the list and we can finally call it home.

Today I decided to build a shelving unit to go around the television. I used one of the crates we got for free and some left over scraps we had laying around. I also quickly built a small kitchen utensil drawer  out of some left over materials. It is nothing fancy but it will work.

Hope you like!!

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