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We’re trying to live more frugally and save money. We’ve budgeted, cut back, sacrificed and even got a second job or side hustle.
You still want to save even more money, but where? There are many ways to save right there in your own household.
Here’s more than 30 of them:
The Living Room
The living room is where many families spend most of their time (other than the kitchen). There are a lot of opportunities to save money here.
1. Windows – There are several options to save money with your windows. One way is to apply heavy duty film. Not only will the film application save you money in heating and cooling costs – up to 50%! It also helps reduce UV exposure and sun glare.
Some come with a mirrored side that offers privacy as well. The other option is to buy thermal insulated blackout curtains. These also can prevent heating and cooling loss through your windows and can match your décor.
2. Electronics – We use a lot of electronics in our lives and these are energy hogs that burn holes in our wallets yearly. Experts say to unplug them when not in use, but you and I know there’s very little chance that they’re “unused”, right?
Instead, you can use a power energy saving device. These plug into your outlet, then the electronic are plugged into it and it’ll balance the current and prevents spikes and drains of electricity. This also prolongs the life of the appliance too so that’s an extra savings bonus.
3. Power Bars – You can save about $100 a year by plugging in your electronics into a power strip and then turning the strip off at night. Electronics like the television, DVRs, DVD players, and more are energy sappers, even when they are turned off
4. Roku Streamer – Save money on those cable packages that offer channels you don’t even want to watch. Instead of spending at least $100 a month, get a Roku stick and stream many channels for free or for much less. In fact, SlingTV offers a free Roku stick and 7 days free viewing and they have over 30 channels for only $20 a month.
5. VoIP Phone Service – Dropping your expensive phone service and switching to a VoIP service such as Vonage will save your household about $50 a month. My family uses MagicJack which is only $35 a year!
Not only do we use this room a lot, it’s one of the biggest money wasting areas of our home. Not only do we waste food (we waste about $2,000 worth of food in a year), but we buy a lot of products that only serve one purpose that clutters our countertops and drawers.
6. Blender/Food Processor Combo – Instead of having a blender and a food processor taking up counterspace, buy one unit. The extra components can be stored away on a shelf and now you only have 1 small base occupying a small space.
7. Vacuum Sealer – One way to save money is to buy your groceries in bulk, especially meats, and portion them out into meal sizes and vacuum seal them. Another great reason to get a vacuum sealer is to lessen food waste due to spoilage.
8. Water Filters – If you don’t like your tap water and are buying bottled water instead you’re spending way too much money already! There are a few alternatives:
- Buy a water filter for your fridge water dispenser – these filters out the things you didn’t want in your tap water and is out of the way and just replace every six months.
- Buy a tap filter – this attaches directly on to your kitchen tap and filters as you use it. The filters need replacing every three months.
- Buy a water pitcher – These take a little longer to filter water but the water will be nice and cold when kept in the fridge. These need replacing every 2 months.
9. Coffeemaker – You may remember that I frequently mention cutting out that trip to the drive-thru coffeeshop as a way to save money. Getting a coffeemaker will save you $1,000 a year over those drive-thru coffees.
10. Portable Mug – For those days that you want the drive-thru coffee, then get a portable coffee mug. Starbucks offers a 10¢ discount on coffee if you bring your own mug, so that’s $30 saved a year.
11. Crock Pot – Not only do these save you time and energy in cooking and your dinner is ready when you arrive home from work, using a slow cooker saves in energy costs as you’re not using extra electricity to heat or cool your house from a hot oven.
12. Deep Dish Skillet – This is another multipurpose appliance that you can do a variety of things in – fry, saute, bake, and roast a variety of food in it. This skillet will save room and electricity – not just by not using your oven and stovetop, but with your water bill as you’re not washing a variety of pots and pans that this skillet can replace.
The bathroom is where we waste a lot of water and electricity, so let’s see how we can save in here.
13. Water Efficient Showerhead – Install special water saving showerheads in each of your bathrooms to save about $30 per person per year, so a family of 4 saves $130 a year.
14. Hair Clippers – This is where many men (and some ladies) can save a lot of money, get a good pair of hair clippers and cut your own hair. I honestly can’t remember the last time my husband has gone to the barbershop for a haircut.
He trims his own hair and our daughter (she has an undercut and the rest is in a bun). We’ve been married almost 20 years so we saved about $3,360! (average man’s haircut $28 every 2 months for 20 years). Hey, get a pair to use on your dog as well and save around $30 to $90 a trim.
15. Dual Flush Toilet – You may have heard of this energy saving toilet that works by picking which amount of water to flush with. These toilets are pretty costly to buy and replace, but there is a much cheaper alternative and it’s by converting your existing toilet to one by just replacing the handle.
16. Use a Brick – grab a brick and put it into the tank for the easiest water saving solution. The brick takes up room, there’s less water used per flush and less money going out to your water bill.
The bedroom is our retreat from our busy lives so let’s make it more peaceful with these money-saving products.
17. An Electric Blanket – On cool nights use an electric blanket instead of turning the thermostat up. You’ll read later on in the article that with every degree you turn the thermostat down you take 3% off your electric bill.
18. Ceiling Fan – Just the simple fact of using a ceiling fan to blow down warm air in the winter and suck up cool air in the summer can save your household money by giving you the feeling that you’re cooler (or warmer) than it actually is. Using a ceiling fan allows you to turn your thermostat up 4 degrees in the summer and down 4 degrees in the winter, that’s about a 12% savings.
19. Night Light – Use a motion sensing night light for those times you need to get up in the middle of the night. They’re easy to use and help prevent accidents too.
Wait, how does the yard affect our budgeting? In more ways than you think.
20. Rain Barrel – If you live in a State that permits one, grab a rain barrel to collect rain water. This will really save on your water bill – up to $35 a month in the summer. Use this water to water your garden, your flowers, wash your car and a multitude of other uses.
21. Solar Powered Lights – I know these are so overused and passé but they do save you money. Light your walkway to the front door instead of leaving the porch light on all night.
22. Motion Detector Light – If you don’t want the solar lighting system, then get a motion detector light that will turn on when someone enters your pathway. Using this instead of leaving a standard light on all night saves you around $30 in electricity a year.
23. Gardening – It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged garden, it could just be a container garden for herbs, or just the veggies you eat a lot of. A garden will easily save you money on your grocery bill. Here’s a starter pack to get you going.
There are even small things you can do in your laundry room to save money.
24. Air Dry your Clothes – Opt to dry your clothes on a drying rack instead of in the dryer during the winter and outside on a clothes line in the summer. Not only will you save about $140 a year.
25. Recycle your dryer heat: If your laundry room is inside the house instead of the garage. Before winter starts grab a heat diverter for the dryer outlet. This releases the dryer heat into the house.
26. Cold Water – Use cold water for your laundry. Not only will this save time by eliminating all the clothes sorting, this will save on your electric bill as well.
Heating & Cooling
Now let’s tackle the big stuff, how we can save on heating and cooling our home and put some cash back into our wallets.
27. Thermostat – Change to a programmable thermostat. Get one that you can program different schedules into it. Program a lower temperature at nighttime, and for times the house is empty. Each degree you can turn your thermostat down takes about 3% off your electric bill.
28. Weatherization – Check if your local electric company or any agencies offer weatherization services (some do this for free). Having your windows and doors properly sealed as well as having your attic insulated prevents heat and cool air from escaping and making your HVAC work harder to maintain your home.
Not only can this save wear and tear on your heating and cooling system it can save you about $400 annually.
29. Water Tank – The simple act of changing the temperature on your water heater from the standard 140° down to 120° is not only safer, especially for children, but can save you 6% – 10% of your heating costs. While you’re at it, go ahead and insulate it. Again, this will save even more on your electricity.
Lastly, these ideas are for almost every room in your home.
30. Light Bulbs – Switch out all your regular bulbs to LED bulbs. These use 9watts of electricity for a 60watt equivalent. This saves about $290 a year over incandescent bulb and about $44 more a year than the compact fluorescent bulbs.
31. Area Lighting – If you live alone or are part of a couple, consider just using area lighting such as a lamp for your chair or bed area. This saves by not having to have several lights on for the whole room
32. Space Heater or Fan – Again, if you live alone, or are a couple, it may be wise to invest in a space heater or a portable fan. Having these in the room you’re occupying allows you to set your thermostat lower, this alone can save 15% on your utilities.
33. Outlet Timers – Get several outlet timers and use them pretty much everywhere. Plug them in, plug in an electronic, a lamp, or a small appliance and program it to shut off after a set time.
Set one in the kids room to turn a lamp off after their bedtime, set one for your television to shut off if you (or your teen) habitually fall asleep in front of it, or set one for the coffeemaker if you continuously forget to turn it off before running out the door.
34. Large Appliances – Get new (or like new) appliances – washer, dryer, fridge, stove and dishwasher can help you save money in the long run. Here’s how they do that:
- Energy Efficient – they use electricity much better
- Larger capacities – they can hold more so you use them less often
- More “options” available – more cycles and specialty choices to pick that saves water, heat and energy.
35. Low Flow Taps – Installing Low Flow Efficiency taps in your kitchens and bathroom sinks can help you save about 30% to 50% of your water usage. That’s a lot of water!
36. Battery Charger – Use a battery charger and rechargeable batteries for all your home products and keep recharging them to save money. For example, a kid’s videogame controller can go through batteries quickly – 24 batteries in a month according to one dad – about $12 a month. Switch to rechargeable and you won’t need to replace them for several years.
I know reading these individual itemized savings doesn’t seem much – “$30 a year on electricity”, “3% off your yearly bill”, and so on. But don’t look at the small picture, think of the combined savings.
IF you just did only the following for Electricity:
- LED bulbs – $290 a year
- Motion Detector Light – $30 a year
- Turned down your Water Tank Temperature – 6% annually
The average family electric bill for a year is $1,320 (it really depends on where you live). After initiating your savings your bill is now $920. That’s a savings of $400 for only doing 3 things!
How about if we used some products for our Water:
- Got a Rain Barrel – $35 in the summer months, lets go with 4 months = $140
- Got a hi-efficacy washer – $50 a year
- Installed water efficient showerheads – $130 a year
The average family water bill is $840 a year (again it depends on where you live). After buying the 3 products I mentioned, the bill comes down to $520 a year. You saved $320 just with 3 things.
Add those savings together and you have saved a total of $720 a year alone. Imagine how much you could save by implementing more of these savings ideas?
Do you use any other money-saving products in your home that isn’t mentioned here?