It’s the end of the month and the pile of bills is sitting on the kitchen counter waiting to be paid. For most people it seems that more money is going out than is coming in. Well, it’s time to change all that. By making some simple changes, homeowners can take back their hard earned money and keep their bank account on the plus side. How may you ask? The below list will provide you with 30 money saving tips that touch on all areas inside and outside of your home. Read on to see how you can protect your cash, help out your bottom line and also help the environment.
2. Unplug electronic items such as toasters, radios, computers etc. that you’re not using. It is convenient to have these items ready when you need them but they also draw power referred to as phantom loads, when they aren’t in use.
3. Buy energy efficient light bulbs. Upfront they are more expensive but over their lifetime they use 75% less energy and they last much longer than traditional incandescent bulbs.
4. Seal any cracks around windows and doors. Drafts suck out the hot air causing you to use more energy to heat your home. Keep the heat inside where it belongs.
5. Take a look at the insulation in the attic and basement and add more insulation where it’s required. No need to heat the neighborhood.
6. Wash your clothes in cold water. Your washer uses the most energy when it has to heat the water to clean your clothes. Cold water works just as well and all detergents will work in cold water so there is no need to buy anything marketed as a ‘cold water’ detergent.
7. Instead of using multiple cleaners use vinegar and water in a spray bottle. It can be used to clean the windows, counters, floors, coffee maker and your dishwasher.
8. Keep the tub clean by using baking soda. It works as effective as the brand name cleaners and best of all its environmentally friendly.
9. Inspect all of the faucets in your home. If you find faucets that have a small drip, break out the wrench and tighten them. A leaky faucet is usually caused by a small washer that stops the water from flowing when the tap is shut off. Fixing it is a simple repair – turn off the water, pop off the faucets cap, unscrew the handle and the big nut and pull out the valve stem. Replace the washer and put everything back in reverse order.
10. Test your toilets for signs of leaks. Take some food coloring and put some into your toilet’s tank. You can either wait a few minutes or come back in a couple hours. If you see the colored water going into the toilet bowl, you have a leaking toilet. To fix this, install a new flapper valve. The installation is simple – turn off the water, flush the toilet, let the water drain from the tank, take off the old flapper, clean the area to make sure you have a good seal and put on the new flapper.
11. Only use the dishwasher and washer when you have a full load. If you have to do a small load then most washers/dishwashers have water level settings so adjust it to match the load you’re doing.
12. Instead of using the dishwasher’s drying feature, let the dishes air dry.
13. Turn down the thermostat on your water heater to 120F to save power.
14. Hang dry your clothes and minimize the use of the dryer.
15. Invest in a programmable thermostat. This device controls the temperature in your home and maintains it at whatever level/schedule you select. Using a programmable thermostat can cut your energy bill by 10 to 20%.
16. Give your appliances a tune up. Take some time and inspect your appliances for any dust build up that might clog any vents. Fridges, dryers, air conditioners have vents that can collect dust and reduce how well the appliance works and how long it will last.
17. Be your own repairman. If an appliance breaks, instead of calling a repairman attempt to repair it yourself. There are lots of resources available such as repair videos, books, troubleshooting videos etc. about fixing, troubleshooting appliance issues. Search out the appliance problem and more than likely you’ll find out the solution, and if you’re comfortable then do the repair.
18. Take a 10 minute shower instead of a 15 minute one. Being in the shower 5 less minutes will save over 4500 gallons of water.
19. Swap your normal shower-head with an energy efficient model.
20. Keep a jug of water in the fridge so you’ll always have cold water ready. You won’t have to let the tap run to have cold water again.
21. Reuse the water from cooking and washing fruits and water the household plants.
22. Adjust the sprinklers or purchase ones that release big drops of water and are closer to the ground. The smaller the drop and the longer it’s in the air, the more easily it will evaporate before hitting the ground.
23. Set the sprinklers to come on either in the early morning or at night when the air is cooler.
24. Keep the sprinklers off on windy days as the droplets will blow away and evaporate quicker.
25. Make a grocery list. Go through your cupboards, fridge, and freezer and write down the items that you need and stick to it when shopping. Planning out what you need will save you a bundle and no matter how tempting some items are – if it’s not on the list it doesn’t go in the cart!
26. Gardening – If you have the space then plant your own garden and grow your own vegetables. All you need is some space, a tiller, some plants, fertilizer and a green thumb.
27. Invest in a crock pot. Not only are these are a great time and money saver for families, they make elaborate recipes really simple. There are lots of great recipes and cookbooks available. Pop in the ingredients turn on the crock pot and when you get home supper is ready.
28. Organize your home. Being an organized homeowner will help you save money because you’ll know exactly what you have in the cupboards, closets etc.
29. 10 Second Rule – When you’re out shopping and put an item in your cart, ask yourself questions like why am I buying this? Do I really need it? It’s on special but is it really a deal? These types of questions will help you to make better choices and protect yourself from impulse purchases.
30. Keep at it. It can be tough trying to save money but always keep an eye open for deals and savings. There are lots of websites and resources for helping you save money so search them out. Keep reading and never stop learning!