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8 ways to save money around the house



Simple solutions that could help your bottom line

saving money, home, heat, AC, garden, waste

If you’re looking for ways to save money around the house, it can be hard to know where to start. Sometimes, it helps to examine what you can and cannot live without. For example, many homeowners discover that they can switch to a streaming service and cancel cable entirely, while others wouldn’t dream of it.

Regardless, it’s essential to understand your overall finances and look for ways to save money around the house whenever you can. From cooking at home and storing leftovers in a French door refrigerator to wearing more layers in the winter months, here are eight ways to save money around the house.

1. Avoid Food Waste

Food waste is an enormous problem in the U.S. and a huge waste of money for most homeowners. For example, CNBC suggests that the average household wastes $1,500 per year on food. But how can we guarantee not to waste food? One way is to follow the same rule as restaurants: first-in, first-out. In other words, always store the recently purchased food toward the back, keeping the earlier-purchased foods in the front, reminding you they’re available.

Some other ways to avoid food waste to save money is to plan weekly meals and create a grocery list before you go to the market. This prevents unnecessary spending. You can also make food in larger batches to have leftovers (just remember it’s there!) In general, take notice of what you tend to eat and what you keep passing up for something else. If you find lettuce and salad bags keep going bad, only purchase them when you have a planned meal. 

2. Start a Vegetable Garden

Plant a vegetable garden and grow your own produce to reduce grocery bills each month. Head to your local nursery and pick up a cheap pack of seeds or some sprouted seedlings to start. Even if you lack the yard space for a decent-sized garden, you can still plant a few tomato bushes on your deck or grow some herbs on your kitchen windowsill. Plus, if you have children, it teaches them the value of food, where it comes from and how much work goes into maintaining a garden.

READ MORE: Dig your hands in the dirt!

3. Reduce Phantom Loads

The U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA) reported the average monthly electric bill to be $117.65. By implementing a few easy changes, you can save money by up to 10 percent. Unplug electronic devices when they’re not in use to avoid “phantom loads.”  According to research from the nonprofit energy company NOPEC, the annual cost of these phantom loads can accumulate from laptops, game consoles, desktop monitors, printers, coffee makers and stereo systems. Instead, plug devices and electronics into a power strip and turn it off when not in use, especially at night.

4. Turn Off the Dishwasher Heat Cycle

Dishwashers are quite efficient at cleaning, but only when you run a full load. However, the heat-dry at the end of the cycle is not and uses a lot of energy. Save money in your house by lowering your dishwasher’s energy usage and turning off the heat-dry setting. Instead, bring out the dishes and allow them to air dry.

5. Examine Your Air Conditioning

The EIA points out that homes in Southern states have a high monthly expenditure in order to keep cool. But even though the climate you reside in is a significant factor of how much you run the AC, there are still some easy ways to save money on your monthly bill. Set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and invest in smart thermostats that can learn your daily schedule. Instead, use ceiling fans and tabletop fans to circulate the air. On sunnier days, keep curtains closed to reflect and reduce thermal heating. You could also turn off the air completely, using only a wall AC unit to keep an airflow.

6. Cut Back on Heat

Same as your air conditioning, you can also cut back on heat. While homeowners in Southern states experience a skyrocketing bill for AC during the summer, Northern states see an increase in the winter for heating. But you don’t have to shiver inside your home. For starters, stay warm by dressing in layers with a sweater, scarf and wool hat and socks. Sleep on flannel sheets and add a heated mattress pad during super cold nights. Opposite of the summer, you want to keep curtains and blinds open to invite sunlight. Also, be sure to reverse your ceiling fan blade rotations to clockwise to push hot air down. These little adjustments can mean a huge difference!

7. Avoid Watering Grass

It pays to be attentive to the outside areas of your home as well—for instance, gardening and watering the grass. While watering your vegetable garden for summer-long produce is worth the extra water expense, watering your lawn is generally unneeded. Instead, keep an eye on the water and wait for the rain. In long periods of drought, water the garden when necessary. You could also get a rain barrel to collect water!

8. Cancel Your Cable

Cable TV can be quite costly. According to Decision Data, the average cable bill is around $217 per month, which is higher than our basic essential utilities of water and electricity. Completely cancel your cable television service for immediate savings. While some homeowners and families may find it challenging to cancel entertainment entirely, you could instead sign up for a streaming service, such as Netflix or Hulu. Better yet, sign up for a bundle package for deeper savings.

How Will You Save Money Around the House?

Take one or several of these tips and tricks to save some money. Start with something easy like planning your weekly meals and managing your food waste. During the summer and winter, cut back on your AC and heating, draw or close the curtains and hang dry clothes instead of running them through the dryer. Small changes like these, and even larger ones, can truly save money around the house. What methods will you try?

Provided by AbtElectronics, an independent retailer of consumer electronics and major appliances




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