Moving from Hawaii to Florida has its challenges. Although the cost of living in Orlando was listed as 38 percent lower than Honolulu, Hawaii, two-years ago, there are changes in wages and other expenses. With a smaller income and lower cost of living, I have made it a personal challenge to cut costs in things we need versus what we want. Orlando has the benefit of several businesses and community events that can help you to live frugally in Orlando, yet not give up the quality. In addition, when you save money on the day-to-day things, you’ll be able to use your time, energy and money for fun activities for the kids.
Discount Grocery Shopping: ALDI
Aldi is an international grocery store; however they don’t have any branches in Hawaii. Most likely due to the inability to keep costs low, in which they are well known for. Aldi’s has their own brand of products in which both my husband and 9-year-old who are admitted brand name snobs, have begun stealing my Aldi brand cereals. Of which are low in sugar and often half the price of the well commercialized boxes. Aldi has fresh produce, milk, bread, can goods and everything else that you may need when going to your favorite grocery store, just without much of the marketing mark up. This is a great way to be frugal and not cut quality.
Orlando Farmer’s Markets
Orlando has Farmer’s Markets in parking lots across Orlando every weekend. There are many local businesses which sell local and low cost fresh produce; you can read more about the Lake Eola Farmer’s Market every Sunday along with where to buy farm fresh products here.
Electricity and Water
The cost of oil and fuel continues to escalate and we all need ways to reduce our energy and utility bills. Simple steps in living frugally in Orlando, Florida are to make good use of the strengths of the location. This equates to solar. If you own your home or are looking for a rental, see if the hot water heater is powered by solar.
If you have automated sprinklers, be sure to follow the days and times that are allowed for your home address and city or county guidelines. Check to see if you have a functioning rain detector, which will turn your sprinkler system off if it is raining, so you don’t waste water.
One of the things that residents are keenly aware of in the Orlando area are the numerous toll roads. If you are living frugally, you’ll want to know alternate routes in which there are no tolls. Fees of 25 cents up to $2.00 per toll can quickly add up. In one round trip to the gym, a half hour from my home, if I use the tolls, I pay roughly $2.00. Not a big deal. However, if you add up all of the tolls in a month, going to work, shopping, errands and other drives, you could estimate an addition $80 a month easily on tolls alone. An additional savings can be made to those living or visiting the Orlando area by purchasing a low cost Sun Pass prepaid transponder, found at many convenience and grocery stores. You could save roughly 25 cents per toll.
Other articles of interest
Tips and Tricks on Saving Money on Household Expenses
Where to Buy Farm Fresh Food in and Around Orlando, FL
Living Frugally in Orlando While Enjoying the Theme Parks