When budgets are tight and we are looking for ways to spend less and save money, we often look at how to cut back on flexible expenses like groceries or gas and where we can cut out things we don’t need like extra cable channels or phone services we don’t use. But there is another place we can look when we need to cut costs to save money – how we manage and operate our home.
Here are some easy but effective ways to save money by doing things differently inside your home.
Switch to a Smart Thermostat
The energy used to heat and cool our homes is one of the biggest expenses related to our homes other than the mortgage. Smart thermostats let you program what temperature your house is kept at over the course of the day. You can set it to be warmer/cooler when you are home and have the temperature adjust when no one is at home to reduce energy costs.
Eliminate Phantom Power Use
We generally think that our appliances are using power when they are in use and not using it when they aren’t. But some of our gadgets use power whenever they are plugged in, whether we are using them or not. This is called phantom power use and simply keeping things unplugged when they are not in use can cut down on your power use, reducing your electricity bill.
Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Most of the laundry we do can be safely and effectively washed in cold water. Using cold water decreases the cost of doing each load by eliminating the energy used to heat the water. You can decrease your laundry costs even more by hanging laundry out to dry whenever possible and using your dryer as efficiently as possible when you do use it.
Install Low-Flow Shower Heads
When you live in the desert, water is always at a premium and conserving water however you can means saving money. Swapping out your standard showerheads for new low-flow showerheads can cut your water use by 25 to 60%.
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans can really help save money as they cut down on the cost of cooling and heating your home. This means you can cut back on how much you use air conditioners during the summer months and keep temperatures more comfortable during the fall and winter months. Just make sure the ceiling fans can be run in both directions as the normal clockwise rotation provides cooler air and running the fan in the opposite direction will push the warmer air down into the room.
Reorganize the Fridge
If your refrigerator is unorganized and/or jam-packed, cleaning it out and imposing some organization can help save money on the grocery bill. When the fridge is unorganized it makes it difficult to see everything and to find what you need. This leads to buying things you don’t need and failing to eat things before they go bad. A clean, organized refrigerator will help eliminate both of these problems that are costing you money.
- How to Keep Cool in Arizona Without Breaking the Bank (fillyourplate.org)
- 9 Tips for Eating Right Even When Money is Tight (fillyourplate.org)
- 5 Quick Fixes to Help You Family Stretch Your Family’s Food Dollars (fillyourplate.org)