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8 Easy Tips for Saving Money Around Your House
Being a homeowner can be expensive, but you don’t have to break the bank to live a comfortable life. Luckily, it is easy to save money around your house by following a few easy tips.
These adjustments can save you thousands of dollars per year– and you won’t even notice the difference in your lifestyle.
1. Lower Your Thermostat and Water Heater
Your house doesn’t need to feel like the Caribbean during the dead of winter. As long as you have decent insulation (or own a sweater), you can be comfortable no matter the temperatures outside.
Set your thermostat at a maximum of 68°F (20°C) during the day and 60°F (15°C) at night. Cooler temperatures help you sleep better, and will also improve your health.
If you’re struggling to survive in those conditions, consider this alternative. Invest in a programmable thermostat, which will allow you to control the temperature so that it’s warmer during the hours you are home, and cools down when you are away. This way, you won’t be paying to heat (or cool) an empty house.
While you’re at it, you can also lower the temperature on your water heater; 120°F (48°C) or 125°F (52°C) degrees should be perfect. You don’t need to have a scalding hot shower. This is shown to reduce your health, drying out your skin and hair. Try to avoid taking baths, which use more water. Be careful– most home water heaters are set so high they can be dangerous, especially if there are young children in the house.
2. Upgrade your lighting
Don’t throw out perfectly good light bulbs, as your existing bulbs burn out, replace the old ones with compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs.
They cost a bit more up front, but are energy efficient and will last at least ten times longer than other light bulbs. Swap your bulbs out one by one, and watch for sales on more energy-efficient bulbs and fixtures.
3. Rethink your landscape
Grow perennials and other low-maintenance plants that don’t need to be replanted and cared for year after year.
Choosing native plants, which will thrive in your area with much less maintenance, can help to save both time and money. Invest in hardscaping features that add value and functionality to your home while reducing the amount of work you have to put into making your yard look nice.
On that note, keep in mind that even if you have a swimming pool, it doesn’t need to be a money pit. Save money on your pool costs by using a solar cover to retain heat, and only run your pump at night, when electricity costs are lower.
4. Eat wisely
Check your refrigerator regularly and take inventory of what you have to help you reduce the amount of food waste.
If you have leftovers, eat them! Reduce the frequency you eat out and don’t throw out food unless it’s inedible. Meal prepping and planning is a great way to force yourself to eat healthier and save money at the same time.
Using a slow cooker is another fantastic way to reduce your energy expenditures. Slow cookers are nearly 75 percent more efficient than the oven or stove, and they let you be a little lazier in your food preparation, too. There are dozens of recipes online that allow you to use up those old leftovers or close-to-expiring refrigerator ingredients to make a tasty, energy-efficient meal.
5. Repurpose, Reuse, and Recycle
Save the planet and reduce your bills? Sounds like a good deal. Recycle paper, plastic, and aluminum to lower your garbage removal expenses, and see if your community offers free recycling days to get rid of large items and electronics that are cluttering up your home. You won’t have to pay to dispose of them, and you’ll save money in the process.
You can also repurpose household materials to save money, too. Make cleaning supplies out of vinegar and baking soda, allowing you to clean your house without buying expensive chemicals.
6. DIY your landscaping
Whenever possible, DIY your landscape.
You can mow your lawn yourself and seed, fertilize, and plant with relative ease. Choosing perennial plants and buying materials (like mulch or hardscaping equipment) in bulk can also help save money. With that in mind, be thoughtful of how to best use your time. If there’s a landscaping task that can be hired out to a lawn care company, do it– don’t spend time on your landscaping if your time could be better spent doing something else.
7. Repair preventatively
Spending a few hours to seal up your home can save you hundreds of dollars.
Make sure you have sealed all door and window drafts, and invest in energy efficient windows. These quick fixes can help prevent energy from being zapped from your home. If you can’t spare the cash to replace your windows, to limit the amount of heat that is lost from your home hang heavy curtains or sunshades.
8. Avoid power leakage
Be as efficient as possible in how you use electricity.
Run your dishwasher only when it is full, and remember that it’s sometimes better to hand wash your dishes (particularly if you only have a few to do). Make sure you unplug appliances when they aren’t in use. Consider using power strips that are close by, then turn the power strip off at night to make winding down easier. You can install timed light switches that turn off on their own (a bonus if you have kids that “forget” to turn off the lights). You can even create a family charging station to create a central location for electricity usage. This will remind your family members when it’s time to power down, helping to save money.
By spending a few extra hours this weekend, you can improve your home's energy efficiency and save thousands of dollars. Don’t delay on implementing these easy tips for saving money. Your home should be an oasis for relaxation and comfort– not a money pit.
About the Author
James Witts is an eco-conscious home improvement writer. He is constantly trying to find new ways to live off the grid while living in a tiny home with his wife, Andie. James can barely contain his excitement for spring so that his famously colorful garden will start blooming again.