Author Bio: Miss T blogs at Prairie Eco-Thrifter. She grew up in the Canadian prairies and still lives there today. She is passionate about saving money, being healthy, looking out for our environment, and most of all having fun. Her blog shares tips on how you too can live a green, debt free, and fun life.
*(The Following is part of a Blog Swap through the Yakezie Network where we were paired up to switch blogs and discuss the topic of how to save money on everyday activities/purchases)*
Since our houses are where we spend most of our time, it would make sense that our houses would account for our largest expenses. Whether it is the day to day upkeep, the repairs and renovations, or the mortgage, we allocate a big portion of our income to our homes. Since the bills for our home are large enough, why not find ways where you can trim your budget and save a few pennies. Here are some things we have tried that could work for you too.
1. Use energy efficient appliances
Having energy efficient appliances can save hundreds of dollars a year. Last year we bought a new energy star freezer that costs us less than $40 a year to run.
2. Get a home audit
Phone your local gas and/or electric company and see if they can come and do a home audit. They will be able to identify ways you can save hundreds on heating and cooling costs. The best part is, many companies now have cost saving programs where you can get a tax return on your investment.
3. Check your phone bill
Go through your phone bill and see if there are any charges on it for items that you don’t use, like three way calling. Eliminating these charges could save you $50-100 a year.
4. Insulate your water heater and your pipes
This minimizes your heat loss. We just finished insulating all of our pipes and we have already noticed the difference on our monthly bill.
5. Use LEDs
Using high efficiency lighting requires less energy and can last 10 times longer than traditional bulbs. As bulbs burn out, replace them with LEDs. This saves you money as well as minimizes your carbon footprint, which is also important.
6. Wash in cold water
When doing laundry, use cold water. Things come out just as clean and fresh and you don’t waste energy on heating the water. Using cold water can literally cut the required electricity per load in half.
7. Hang your clothes to dry
I hang all of our clothes to dry. Not only does this limit my use of our dryer but the clothes also dry crease free. This is especially nice when it comes to our dress pants and dress shirts.
8. Make your own cleaning products
You don’t need expensive products that are bad for the environment to clean your home. You can make what you need out of simple ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and tea tree oil. Just Google “homemade cleaners” and you will find a ton of recipes to try. We have been making our own stuff for a while now and are quite happy with the results.
9. Make your own beauty products. Just like the cleaning products, you can make your own facial cleansers, shampoos, and soaps. Not only are they 100% natural products that are better for your skin, but they are also cheaper. Once again, Google is your friend here for recipes.
10. Meal plan
My husband and I meal plan every two weeks what we are going to eat for dinner. We pick the recipes we want and write out the ingredients we need to get. We also make sure to pick quick recipes during the week when we are working. This system stops us from ever feeling the need to get take out as well as ensures we are eating a healthy diet. It also helps us save money, since restaurant food is expensive. We also keep the leftovers from each night and freeze them which results in a freezer full of lunches for work. Beats buying lunch every day.
11. Workout at home
For the last 6 months or so, my husband and I have been working out at home. It works really well because we don’t waste any time driving in rush hour to get to the gym. We also save money on membership fees. There are a ton of workouts you can do that require no equipment, so don’t think working out at home requires a home gym.
12. Walk instead of drive. For the last year, since we moved, I have walked to and from work. This has saved us a ton of money on gas and parking as well as wear and tear on the car. It has also been free stress relief for me. If you can’t walk to work because of where you live, make an effort to walk to the places that you can, like the grocery stores or the market. We are fortunate to live in an area where we can pretty much walk anywhere we need to go.
With a little thought and minimal effort you can save hundreds of dollars a year around the house. Start making these changes today, and imagine how much more money you will have in your bank account in the future.