Saving money is a part of life. Whether you need to pinch pennies to help make ends meet or you just want to live a frugal lifestyle, you probably know that bills for your home stack up quickly. And sometimes, the usual methods of turning the lights off when you leave a room or limiting your shower time isn’t quite enough to make a significant difference in your monthly finances – you’ve got to get creative! If you need some ideas for some savings shortcuts, look no further. Here is how to save money on your monthly home expenses.
Carve Out Your Cable Bill
Let’s face it – in the world we live in, there is no need for a cable. With all the subscription services on the market – Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video – cutting your cable services isn’t a big deal. It’s recommended! Internet costs are high themselves, so why would you pay for Wi-Fi and television channels that you barely watch? Cutting the cord from your cable provider can save you upwards of $100 a month! To keep up with your live shows and sports, you could opt for services such as Hulu Live, or you can spring for a one-time purchase of a digital antenna to grab your local channels.
Warm Water Washes
Washing your clothes in hot water is simply not cost-effective. The cost of electricity to power the washer is minimal, but the energy required to heat the water is significant. And – brace yourself – it’s not even necessary. Laundry detergents perform the best in water that is 65 degrees to 85 degrees, so cold and warm water is just as effective as hot water in keeping your clothes fresh and clean. Consider dialing back the water temperature on your washing machine to save some money on your monthly energy bills.
Check & Change Your Air Filters
Your HVAC system is another huge factor in your monthly energy costs. But managing your thermostat is only scratching the surface for keeping those expenses low! If your furnace or air conditioning filters become dirty or clogged, your system’s efficiency will plummet. Your AC or furnace will have to work harder to push air through your home, which means they use way more energy than necessary, and it could even reduce the lifespan of your system!
Check your filters often, and change them every couple of months. If you have pets or lots of people living in your household, you may have to change your filter every month because of excess pet hair and dust. It’s a quick and simple task that will keep some money in your pocket and keep your HVAC system running smoothly for years to come – sans expensive repairs!
Switch Your Fan Direction
While you’re changing the filters for your HVAC system, give it one more helping hand. Switch your ceiling fan’s direction to help circulate air in the right direction based on the season. Here’s what I mean: in the summer, run your ceiling fans counter-clockwise to blow air down on you. That will help circulate the cold air once it comes out of your HVAC system. In the winter, run the ceiling fans clockwise (on a low speed) to pull the cold air up to the ceiling where warm air tends to gather. This strategy will keep your furnace from working harder to produce more warm air than necessary – which saves you money on your energy bills!
Most ceiling fans have a switch that makes it easy to toggle back and forth between clockwise and counter-clockwise rotation. Check under the glass light fixture or near the motor housing – the switch may be horizontal or vertical depending on the model.
DIY Household Cleaners
There seems to be a cleaner for every kind of surface, right? Glass cleaner, disinfectant, all-purpose cleaner, carpet cleaner…if you buy one bottle of cleaner for every surface in your house, those costs add up quickly. Not to mention all the harmful chemicals swimming around in those solutions!
Instead of springing for several different bottles of cleaner, grab some spray bottles from the Dollar Store and make your own cleaning solutions at home! All you need is one quart of warm water and four tablespoons of baking soda for an all-purpose cleaner. For DIY glass cleaner, mix ½ cup of vinegar with two cups of water. There are plenty of recipes online for more specialty cleaners, too – you can make safe, natural cleaners at home for a fraction of the usual cost!
Away With Energy Vampires
Put down the garlic and wooden stake – we’re talking about energy vampires, here! The Department of Energy estimates that 75% of home electronics’ energy consumption occurs when they are turned off. In other words, even when your electronic devices are turned off, they’re sucking up a ton of your home’s energy!
The best solution is to cut them off at the source. Unplug your appliances or electronics when they’re not in use, or plug them into a power strip that you can control with the flip of a switch. And don’t worry about losing settings on your television or computer – they store your information on a memory chip and will set everything back to normal when you power them back on.
Get Rebates for Your Usual Shopping
Cutting coupons is all well and good, but it takes so stinkingly long, right? Even snipping digital coupons is a chore! Instead of cutting out coupons before you go shopping, why not earn rebates for the things you’ve already bought?
Check out apps such as Ibotta that will give you cash back on grocery purchases. All you have to do is snap a picture of your receipt, and – oh, that’s it! Ibotta scans the photo of your receipt for any items that have rebates and credits that cashback to your Ibotta account. Once you have a balance of $20, you can withdraw that amount with PayPal or Venmo.