We have all heard that “a penny saved is a penny earned.” But most of us take it for granted.
Still, that saying is spot on. Every time you spend money, you have to make up that cost before you can even begin to work toward a profit.
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In other words, spending money makes it twice as hard to grow your accounts.
So wherever you can cut costs, you should. And there are some surprisingly easy ways to save money around the house which you may have overlooked. Let’s check them out.
1. Cut back on your water bill.
Do you really need to flush the toilet after every use? Do you really have to wear all your clothes only once before washing them? So many households use way more water than they need to. Make simple changes to your habits to curb that water bill.
2. Unplug your electronics.
Do you leave your electronics plugged in at night when you aren’t using them? They are sapping power, and power is money. Unplug them and you’ll get a little change back in your wallet.
3. Install low-flow faucets.
If your faucets currently blast out more water than you need to wash dishes or shower, consider replacing them with lower-flow models. Doing this could save you up to 60% on your water bill.
4. Upgrade your light bulbs.
If you currently using traditional incandescent light bulbs, replace them with compact, energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs with ENERGY START certification. They use less power and last much longer.
5. Seal your windows and doors.
According to the EPA, sealing up cracks around windows and doors and installing proper insulation could save you up to 15% on the cost of heating and cooling your home.
6. Switch from drinking bottled water to using a filter.
Bottled water is ridiculously expensive, and not nearly as good for you as you may think. A simple portable filter can save hundreds of dollars a year over drinking bottled water. It’s healthier too.
7. Make smart use of blinds and curtains.
Trying to warm up your house in the winter? Conventional draperies can reduce heat loss by 10% if you use them correctly. If the sun is streaming through a window, pull the drapes out of the way to let in the ambient heat. In the summertime, turn to reflective blinds to keep the heat from overwhelming a cool room.
8. Buy generic.
This advice is often touted for prescription medicines, but it applies to numerous other products as well. You can buy generic equivalents for clothing, food, toiletries, and so many other products. Big brands and designer brands cost money, but don’t necessarily offer superior quality.
9. Switch to space heaters and program your thermostat.
If you heat your entire home during the winter, you are wasting a tremendous amount of power and your utilities bills are going to skyrocket. Switch to using space heaters in the rooms you are actually in. Heated mattress pads also work great and save a ton of money.
While you are at it, invest in a programmable thermostat. If you must use central heating, at least have it set up so that it will only run when you really need it. This can save you hundreds of dollars a year easily.
10. Add insulation to your water heater.
This is a great way to reduce the power you need to use to keep your water hot. You could tack on up to 9% savings to your budget this way.
11. Take advantage of free vet clinics.
If you have pets, you can save hundreds of dollars per year if you wait to schedule physicals and vaccinations for your pets on free clinic days. Many vets host them a couple of times each year.
12. Never shop online without looking for coupon codes first.
Seriously, you should never hit “buy” online without running at least a cursory search for coupon codes. You can often save 5-30% at major outlets. While you are at it, sign up for email newsletters from your favorite stores. They will often send out special deals for subscribers.
13. Shop when things are on sale.
Buy winter gear during the summertime and buy summer gear during the winter. This is when these items are cheapest.
14. Replace the air filter in your car.
Did you know that a clogged-up air filter can cost you 7% of your gas mileage? That adds up fast! Getting the filter changed is relatively inexpensive and will pay for itself fast.
15. Clean out your dyer lint trap.
A clogged lint trap can reduce your dryer’s efficiency by as much as 75%. Cleaning it will extend the life of your dryer and reduce your energy bills.
16. Make smart cooking and eating choices.
If you use small pots and pans on larger burners, you waste all that extra heat from the burner. This can be more expensive than simply buying some smaller pots and pans. Make sure you have the right cookware for the job.
While you are at it, cut back on eating out. Invest in a crock pot and make some larger meals which go multiple days. You will save a ton of money eating in and simplifying your meal preparations—probably thousands of dollars per year!
17. Say goodbye to cable TV.
You could easily save hundreds of dollars per year switching from cable TV to an online service like Netflix. Cable is quickly becoming outmoded. There are much better, cheaper options out there.
18. Make gifts instead of buying them.
Numerous families actually take on debt to shop during the holidays. There is no reason to do this—ever. This year, consider making gifts for friends and family instead of shopping for gifts. You will save money and give something more personal.
19. Mend your clothing and forget about moving with the times.
Let go of the habit of constantly replacing your entire wardrobe. If you learn how to sew, you can mend most tears.
Stop worrying about keeping up with the latest fashion trends. Move beyond trends and find a personal style which suits your personality instead.
Most of your clothes will last you for many years if you take care of them. Shop at thrift stores and you can find amazing attire at ridiculously low prices.
20. Ditch your vices.
If you drink or smoke, this is the single most important change you can make. Drinking and smoking are incredibly expensive, and can easily chew through hundreds of dollars a month. Overcoming these vices could raise your entire standard of living.
These ideas should help you to significantly cut your household costs.