12 Easy Ways to Save Money Around the House
If you take a moment to look around, you can find many ways to save money at home. Whether you rent or own your current home, or are asking yourself what is the best way to save money for a house, the following top money-saving tips will get you on your way to saving big.
1. BUDGET AND SAVE
The best way to save money at home is to create a weekly or monthly spending budget. Include your rent or house payment, utilities, internet and phone, food, gas, recreation, and other expenditures. Keeping a daily or weekly record of your expenses also helps you determine your spending habits.
Include a weekly or monthly savings target as well. Resolve to save money every paycheck, even if you think it is a small amount. Every dollar you save adds up, and working toward a target savings goal will become a habit. Creating a visual chart that shows your monthly savings can also be motivational.
2. CONSERVE WATER
Conserving water is one of the easiest ways to save money at home. Start by not wasting water. Don’t leave water running. While washing dishes, keep water turned off until it’s time to rinse them. Wait until you have a full load in your dishwasher before running it. Washing larger loads of laundry will also help you conserve.
Instead of filling up your bathtub, take showers instead and keep them short. Keep an eye out for leaky faucets and repair them right away. Spot check toilets and make sure that water stops running once flushed. Double check your hot water heater regularly for leaks and corrosion.
3. CONSERVE ELECTRICITY
Did you know that your appliances can eat up electricity even when they aren’t turned on? Make it a habit to unplug your television or other appliances, as well as cell phone chargers, when you’re not using them.
Another way to save money at home is to turn off lights in rooms when you aren’t in them. When light bulbs burn out, purchase energy-efficient LED bulbs to replace them.
Maintaining your appliances is another easy way to save money around the house. Cleaning the lint filter on your clothes dryer makes your dryer run more efficiently and protects it from overheating. When the weather is nice, drying your clothes outside will not only save electricity but also make them smell nice. During colder seasons, air dry clothes inside.
When you need to replace a big home appliance, such as a dishwasher or refrigerator, consider buying an energy-saving unit. You also may be able to deduct the cost of the appliance on your taxes.
Lowering or increasing the thermostat by one degree, depending on the time of year, will help you conserve energy and save money at home. On temperate days, open your windows and sliding doors. Inspect your windows and outside doors to make sure they are air tight.
Purchase timed motion-sensing lighting as an alternative to illuminating the exterior of your home all night. Solar outdoor lighting is also an energy-efficient alternative to illuminate pathways and door entrances.
4. CHECK YOUR REFRIGERATOR
Before heading to the grocery store, check your refrigerator and pantry to make sure you don’t buy items that you already have on hand. Use food items before their expiration date and eat produce right away so it doesn’t go to waste.
Make an itemized list for shopping trips. Avoid buying impulse items, which are usually located at the store front or near the cash register. A top money-saving tip is to always ask yourself if you really need an item before purchasing it.
Look for specials, use coupons, and stock up on frequently used items when on sale. Make large portions of meals and freeze the leftovers, so you don’t need to cook every day. Try grocery shopping at discount stores. Less expensive brands often contain the same ingredients as name brands.
Donate items that you don’t use, or have a garage sale. Save the money you earned instead of spending it. Keep track of the items you donate and make sure to include the donation on your tax return.
To save on kids’ clothing and toys, swap hand-me-downs with friends or family members. Shop at consignment shops or thrift stores for clothing, toys, and puzzles, or gently used household items and appliances.
6. GIVE UP EXTRA ITEMS
Make a list of everything you purchase on a regular basis and ask yourself if you need these items. Expensive coffees? Cigarettes? Wine or Beer? Instead of getting your hair and nails done often or going out to dinner every week, consider doing so every other month or every three months.
7. GROW YOUR OWN FOOD OR SHOP LOCAL
To save money at home, try growing your own food in a garden or outdoor containers, install a rain barrel garden, or grow herbs in your kitchen window. If you have friends or relatives with gardens, ask if they can donate a small patch for you to grow your own food. Join a community garden or food co-op. If you don’t have a green thumb, buy from local farmers who sell their vegetables, milk, eggs, or honey at markets and roadside stands.
8. PACK YOUR LUNCH AND SNACKS
Packing your work lunch and your children’s school lunches is another way to save money around the home. Making your own coffee or tea and taking it with you on the road, and preparing snacks for you and your kids will also stop you from spending extra money.
9. DO-IT-YOURSELF MAINTENANCE
Instead of hiring contractors, work on household projects that are within your capability. Enlist the help of your family in caring for the yard, washing the car, painting a room, or cleaning up the house. Maintaining your home to prevent costly problems from happening is one of the best ways to save money. This includes keeping your HVAC unit in top shape by changing filters regularly.
10. HIRE A HANDYMAN OR BARTER
Another way to save money at home is to help a neighbor or friend (and ask for help in return), or hire a handyman to help you do jobs around the house or yard. You can also barter or swap services with friends or acquaintances who specialize in plumbing, putting up drywall, or doing electrical work, and ask them for a reduced rate for helping them with something they need in return.
Carpool with friends and neighbors to get the kids to and from school or activities. Ride share to work or join a van pool. Doing so will save you gas and wear and tear on your vehicle. Consolidating your driving trips also is a money saver. Instead of making frequent, small trips, save all of your errands for one day of the week.
12. CREATE YOUR OWN ENTERTAINMENT
Looking for another way of saving money around the house? Have a family movie night instead of going to the movies. Make your own popcorn. Also consider hosting a potluck dinner night with friends. You can get creative with themes, such as Mediterranean food night, or pizza and pasta night.