How can it be possible to save money on Shabbos when you aren’t allowed to spend any? There are actually many things we do that are related to Shabbos that end up saving us money (and are good for the environment).
∞ Use timers. We use a timer on our crock pot, our living room lights, and fans and humidifiers in the boys’ bedrooms. This way these items are only on when we need them and save us on our electric bills. We would use timers on other lights in the house, but I was told by one of the bulb manufacturers that you cannot use certain timers on compact flourescent bulbs, which we have on many of our other lights. The timers will constantly leach energy and the bulbs will then burn out faster. Timers usually go on sale around Christmas and you can often find them for a percentage off after the holiday (especially at Target).
∞ Take the time to tear toilet paper rather than use tissues. Your pipes will thank you and so will your wallet.
∞ Eat your leftovers, even leftover cholent. We love to make a meal of leftovers or even enjoy them sometimes for lunch on a weekday. Don’t let them go to waste!
∞ Make your own soda or seltzer. If you like having soda for Shabbos, why not make your own? We invested in a soda maker a few years ago and it works great! The cost is minimal to get refill tanks several times a year. There is the initial output to buy the machine, but it definitely equals a savings versus buying seltzer or soda every week. See my post on SodaStream soda makers!
∞ Make as much from scratch as you can (and have time for). Look at my blog postings on Making your own challah and (More) Make your own… for ideas of things you can make on your own and thus save money.
∞ Use real dishes. At least for the two main meals of Shabbos we use our real dishes. We often use disposables for Shalosh Suedos because I can’t bear to add more dishes to the huge pile in the kitchen at that point. This one definitely requires someone who is willing to wash dishes after Shabbos (thank you, sweet hubby). We use real dishes throughout the year and then bring out our disposables for Pesach. If you do use disposables, and want to buy them as cheaply as possible, see my post The advantage of buying paper goods online.
Enjoy your Shabbos and maybe you can try some of these ideas next week!