Who doesn’t love to save money? While it may not be the most fun of topics, money is crucial for our everyday lives and something that most of us could use more of. By being able to save money in less entertaining sections of our lives, we open up the possibility of being able to do more enjoyable things. Here are some easy ways to save money in your household with minimal to moderate effort.
Let’s be honest, a huge chunk of our budgets goes to food. Whether it is eating out or cooking meals at home, we all need to eat and want to enjoy our food. What can trip our budgets up is the lack of planning, which can tend to cause excess take out and last-minute grocery trips. When you plan out your meals for the week or month, make sure to be realistic but also cost-conscious. If you are used to going out for dinner twice a month and getting takeout every week – maybe cut it down to a dinner out once a month and takeout every other week. Even this small adjustment could easily save $200/month. By planning your meals in advance, you will also save time spent during the day wondering about what you’re going to make for dinner that night, as well as lowering your stress level.
Limit Grocery Shopping
Every time you walk into a store, you risk making impulse purchases. Stores count on this and specifically merchandise themselves to try to get you to buy things you don’t need. The less often you walk into stores, the less likely you are to purchase things on an impulse. Make your grocery plan once a week, and if you run out of something before your next planned trip to the grocery store – try to make it work without it.
Adjust Your Thermostat
During the summer, try setting your AC a degree higher each week. Eventually, you will get to a point where it is too warm for your liking, but it’s very likely you will find that a few degrees higher than what you were originally set to is not noticeable in your everyday life – but it will be noticeable in your electric bill. Do the same during the winter with your heat for savings year-round. Ideally, you should be wearing similar things inside as you do outside – so during the winter have the heat set so that you are wearing sweatpants and socks, and during the summer have your air conditioning set so that you are wearing shorts and tanks.
Keep Up With Maintenance
The better you keep up with the standard maintenance of your house, the less likely you are to have major issues. Regularly clean your appliances (such as your dishwasher and stove) to keep them running efficiently, and change out your air filters on a regular basis. Keeping all your systems running smoothly will help save money in the long run.
Check Your Insulation
You can call your energy company for them to do an audit of your house to see if you have leaks that are causing your air or heat to leave the house unnecessarily. Check your crawl spaces and attic to make sure they are effectively insulated, as well as checking to make sure your windows are sealed properly. If they are not, you can either replace them with energy-efficient windows (which admittedly can be expensive in the short term), or you can use the plastic sealer to keep the breezes away.
Change Your Lightbulbs
When your old lightbulbs burn out, replacing them with LED lightbulbs will not only lower your electric bill costs, but it will also save you time as they last significantly longer than traditional lightbulbs do. There are also many options on the type of light available, such as daylight, so you can have a better quality of light available in your house as well.
Have you ever called your cable provider to ask for a lower rate? If not, you could be losing hundreds of dollars over a lifetime. The same can be done for all service providers, such as your cell phone service, internet provider, and even security systems. Doing quick research online you can find what deals they are offering for new clients and deals their competitors are offering – use this to negotiate rate decreases and make sure to ask when it will expire so you can call back then.