2008-09-09

Frugality Tips from a Setsuyaku No Tatsujin

I don't ordinarily think of BusinessWeek as much of a source for frugality tips, but the September 15, 2008 issue of BusinessWeek mentions some frugality tips from Japan in its article, A Nation of Yen-Pinchers. In particular, it features some of the ideas from a leading Japanese personal-finance blogger named Yuki Wada, a setsuyaku no tatsujin—master penny pincher. Inflation is a big problem in Japan, where gas costs $7.15 a gallon and average household spending is expected to go up about $840 for the year. So Wada and other Japanese bloggers writing on how to save money are quite popular!

Wada's tips mentioned in the article include:

  • recycle bathwater to do laundry and clean toilets;
  • track how much electricity each appliance uses;
  • cut power to most of the home when going out;
  • save tangerine peels for use in polishing shoes;
  • clean refrigerator to improve performance;
  • put a brick in the toilet tank to reduce the water used in each flush; and
  • save sour milk for use in polishing floors.

I'm not sure how many of these might be for me, but I was interested enough to try and find Yuki Wada's blog. It didn't come up quickly (though other articles about her did). Perhaps it's in Japanese and inaccessible to me in any event. Yuki Wada's overall tip, from the article, is:

I tell people you shouldn't be thrifty just in response to rising prices. It should become a daily habit.

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