If you’re like most people, you’re always looking for ways to save more money.
But, no one wants to save money by no longer spending on things they want or enjoy. This is why most people try to save on boring things like household costs instead. (Or is that just me?)
Luckily, there are a few easy ways you can save on household costs all year round.
1. Change Your Thermostat
Did you know each degree you turn your thermostat down in the winter can save you up to 3% on your heating costs? This is why I keep my temperature set as low in the winter as I can stand, in order to save on both energy consumption and my heating bill. Similarly, I adjust my thermostat up in the summer to save on air conditioning.
You would be surprised how much of a difference you can make in your bills by using this trick to help you save on household costs. In addition, you might want to change your old thermostat to a programmable one. You can get one for around $30. Then, all you have to do is set your temperature preferences and walk away. The savings will pay for the cost of the new thermostat in no time.
2. Install Fans
If you are turning your thermostat up or down as discussed above, you can grab a sweater when you are cold and turn on a ceiling fan when temperatures heat up. But did you know you can reverse the direction of most ceiling fans? This helps you blow warm air down in winter to keep you warmer and up in summer to cool you off.
In addition to ceiling fans, consider installing a whole house exhaust fan to help suck the heat right out of your house and get the air moving. My parents did this in the house I lived in as a kid and it really made a difference in our comfort level in the summer.
3. Keep Up with Maintenance
When was the last time you did a once over to check on needed repairs to your home? Look for air escaping around doors and windows. Then, install weather stripping and caulking to the places that have gaps. Fixing these problem areas can boost your savings from 5% to as much as 40% on cooling and heating costs.
Change your furnace filters on a regular basis. Every other month might be often enough unless you have pets. Then you may need to change it more frequently. You can obtain greater efficiency in your heating and cooling system by keeping your filter changed regularly and save 5% to 15% on your bills.
A lot of people forget duct work needs to be cleaned occasionally, especially if you own pets. This can keep you from having to change your furnace filters as often, as well as cutting down on pollutants in the air that can make you sick. Even if you don’t see a reduction in your heating and cooling costs it may help you cut down on medical bills.
Check your home for leaky faucets. If you have even one that is fast dripping, it can cost you as much as $200 per year. If you have the know-how, you might be able to fix the leak yourself for under a dollar by putting in a new washer.
4. Unplug Appliances
One small thing you can do to help you save on household costs all year long is unplug appliances and electronics around your home when not in use. It doesn’t take a great deal of time to do and the savings add up. Look things over each night before you head to bed and unplug toasters, coffee makers, mixers, and other appliances.
5. Turn Down the Water Heater
You don’t have to have blistering hot water in order to keep your home clean and have a hot shower. Turn your water heater down a few degrees to lower your bills and conserve energy. But do pay attention to the recommendations of OSHA. They say setting them lower than 140 degrees Fahrenheit can allow Legionnaire’s Disease bacteria and other microorganisms to grow. Simply set it a little above that and save up to $8 per month.
6. Conserve Water
Water conservation can help you lower your overall household costs in several different ways all year long. Turn off the water while you brush your teeth or shave. Install low flow faucets or water restrictors. Put shower timers on the shower your teenager uses to limit the amount of time they spend letting water run down the drain. Collect water in a rinsed out milk jug rather than letting it run down the drain as you wait for it to warm up. Then, use it in your toilet tanks or to water flowers and plants. If you hand wash dishes, use a plastic tub in the sink and only fill it with soapy water part of the way full to save water and money.
For outdoor savings and conservation, cut down on the number of times you water your lawn if possible, because overwatering wastes both water and money. Consider installing timers on your sprinkler system to help you control watering times so you can water at night to reduce evaporation. You can also help by planting drought tolerant grass, plants, and shrubs to further increase your conservation and money savings.
7. Use Mother Nature
Whenever you can, use mother nature instead of paying for lighting. Throw open the curtains to let the light in. In addition, you can open windows to let in a breeze and shut off your air conditioner. For water, look into creating a system to collect rain water and use it for watering flowers, shrubs, and lawns.Save money on boring household costs instead of sacrificing things you enjoy. Click To Tweet
8. Shut Out the Cold (and Heat)
I know I mentioned opening the curtains to let in the light and turn off your lamps, but when it really heats up in the summer months it might be counterproductive. During these times you are also letting in heat. As an alternative, when the thermometer approaches triple digits, shut blinds and drapes to put a barrier between you and the sun and save on your cooling bills. When cold weather approaches, take the same approach to lower heating costs. Add a blanket or draft stopper to the bottom of outside doors to keep cool air out and reduce heating bills.
9. Negotiate Household Bills
Your household savings isn’t limited to certain seasons when it comes to negotiating your bills. Call your cable and cell phone providers to see if you can get lower rates. Although you may not get a bill reduction, it only takes a few minutes of your time to ask.
10. Stop Unused Services
Why pay for services you aren’t using? If you lack the time to read magazines and newspapers, why are you paying for them? Are you using the gym membership you are paying for? If any of these services are going unused, turn them off and save yourself money all year long. When you do have the time, pick up a newspaper at the grocery store. Go for a walk or run on your own to get exercise. Turn off pricey cable packages and take only basic cable, or none at all, if you aren’t watching television anyway.
Reduce the number of times you go out for your meals by cooking at home. You can save a lot of money in household costs by cooking yourself. To reduce meal costs further, clip and use coupons. You can shop for grocery items when they are on sale or at lower prices. Grow a garden if you have time and outdoor space.
The truth is, there are tons of ways to save on household costs. Look for ways to save on your household expenses every day and keep more money in your pocket.
Have you done any of these things to save on household costs? Which ones worked best for you?