Working from home in a small, rural commuity means that all the work post needs to be ferried to the nearest village post office, which is three miles from here.
In true frugal fashion, I try to limit post office visits to four trips each week, so I've been thinking about ways of cutting these associated costs by any means possible.
The obvious solution is to walk to the post office, but I can be lazy and I hate to get soaked through when there's nowhere indoors here for drying wet clothes. I might try the walking option next summer, but it's dependent on time of day for traffic, as the narrow lanes aren't all that safe when there are tractors trundling up and down towing all sorts of lethal looking machinery, plus there's no pavement running along the main shore road once I reach it, an 'A' route that's like a free for all as far as speed driving is concerned. I had all but given up hope and couldn't see the obvious choice I should be making!
Don't laugh, but I had one of those 'Eureka' moments down in the village earlier this afternoon. My moneysaving solution is so simple that I have astounded myself!
Normally, the journey to the post office or local store is a 6 mile round trip in the car. I have a budget of £25 per month for petrol costs, so that doesn't really allow for many trips further afield. I also try to fit in one trip per month to the nearest town, which is almost 20 miles away, so my £25 worth of petrol does't take me far.
By making this one incredibly simple change, I should be able to save myself one sixth of my regular weekly petrol costs and get a little bit fitter into the bargain. Have you worked it out yet?
If I park the car in the layby half a mile this side of the post office, I can walk the remaining distance, thus shaving a mile off my driving costs each trip and reducing carbon emissions. On top of that, the mile walked while carrying the mail will burn nearly 100 calories extra on each trip. That's only 17.5 (best call it 18) trips to the post office to burn off the equivalent of an extra half pound of fat! Coincidentally, 18 is the approximate number of times I need to visit the post office each month! How ingenously simple is that? Better still, if it's raining, I can simply take my huge golf umbrella, bought free with my eBid buddy points!
But there's more! There are other lay-bys, so it needn't be restricted to a one mile walk each trip. There's a much larger parking area on the shore about a mile from the post office. I plan on using this one for dry trips when the mail bag isn't too heavy. Who knows, by next summer I could be a frugal, slender 'green goddess'!
Frugal fun, frugal fitness, frugal moneysaving to help make owning the car more affordable.