Super-Simple Ways to Save Money Around the House
Saving money can be as easy as taking a look at the things right in front of you and changing your habits towards them. Consider these simple ways you can change your habits in your home to save on several common household expenses:
Use energy efficient appliances. It may seem “frugal” to hang onto that freezer from the 1920s that came with your house — but it could really be adding to your energy bills. The cost of a newer, energy efficient model will pay for itself in the savings you’ll reap later.
On a smaller note, be sure you’re also using energy efficient light bulbs. They eat up less energy and last much longer than traditional bulbs.
Turn off appliances when you aren’t using them. There’s no sense in paying to light rooms you’re not in, to leave the TV running in the background when you aren’t really watching it, or to leave your computer on overnight. Even if your PC goes into “sleep” mode, it’s still sucking energy to keep its internal processes running. So if you’re not using something, just shut it off.
Negotiate your monthly bills. You may be paying more than you need to pay for several of your regular household expenses, so why not see if you can do a little haggling to bring the number down. Don’t think you can? Think again.
Save on cleaning products. Instead of using toss-away dusting cloths, use a dusting spray and cloth rags you can wash and use again. Instead of using paper towels to wipe up spills, use reusable sponges. (You can extend the life of a sponge by placing it in the microwave for two minutes to kill the germs.) You can also make your own cleaning products for considerably less than you’d pay for them in-store. Just do a Google search and you’ll find plenty of easy-to-follow recipes.
Use hot water only when necessary. Unless your laundry is really dirty, there’s no need to wash it in warm or hot water. The same goes for washing your dishes (if you hand-wash them) — if you rinse them off when you’re done with them so there isn’t any caked-on food by the time you wash them, cold water with dish detergent should clean them just fine.
Hang your clothes out to dry. If you don’t have a suitable outdoor area for line drying, invest in a few foldable clothes racks and dry your clothes indoors. If you have outdoor space and the weather allows for it, let the natural breezes dry them — and give them that fresh, outdoorsy smell that dryer sheets only attempt to emulate.
Repair what you can. Learn simple sewing so that you mend a torn curtain or patch a hole in your duvet. Do a Google search to learn fix-it-yourself tips for things like small appliance and basic plumbing problems. You’ll save both on replacing the item and on the service charges you would have paid if you’d hired a pro to fix the item for you.
Also be sure to keep things in a state of good repair by doing maintenance as needed. Clean out your vacuum filter regularly. Remove dust buildup from the vents on your refrigerator and heating and cooling units to keep them running more efficiently for longer.
Sell things you no longer need. We all have things we’ve held onto long beyond their usefulness has expired — whether it’s for sentimental reasons or because we just haven’t thought about them. If you have items like electronics, collectibles and media that you no longer use, consider selling them online through sites like ebay or Amazon. You could also consider having a garage sale. You’ll get some extra money and unclutter your home!
Consider the size of your home itself. If you have rooms that you regularly don’t use or if your large family has flown the nest, it may be time to downsize. Not only will you save in terms of rent or mortgage payments, you’ll also save on utilities, cleaning supplies, and may even be able to sell some of your current furniture for additional profit.