How to Save Money Around the House (Guest Post)
It seems everyone is looking for ways to save money these days. Even people who have never really concerned themselves with coupons, shopping sales or turning off the lights when not in use in the past are suddenly becoming conscious of these money saving habits in an effort to reduce their expenses.
There are a number of things you can do to reduce household expenses that will save you money over time, and most will not require a huge change in your lifestyle or quality of living. Here are some tips to help you save more money:
The electric bill is a big one for some families. Did you know that about 40% of all of your electricity use is from the electronics that flash lights or display digital clocks, even when they’re not in use? So the DVR clock that’s always on, the stereo that has bright green lights flashing tempting you to turn it on, or forgetting to power down the VCR when done watching a movie all cost you when the electric bill arrives. Plug your electronics into power strips and hit the off switch whenever you’re not using them; or simply unplug from the wall when you turn them off. This way you won’t waste electricity or pay for electricity that you aren’t even using.
Do you leave your computer on all the time? A computer uses a 300 watt power supply that will draw power even when it’s just sitting there waiting for you to come back to check your email. If you would be turning it off and on a hundred times a day, at least adjust the screen saver settings to put your computer in sleep mode when it’s idle. This is a lower power mode that saves you electricity and keeps the computer ready to use at a moment’s notice.
Most households overspend on groceries. If you run to the store to pick up just bread or milk, for example, how many times have you ended up coming home with a bag or two of groceries that you didn’t intend to buy on that trip? Getting in the habit of meal planning and writing a grocery list will eliminate the need to run to the store for one or two things. Less trips to the store will result in less impulse spending and keep your grocery expenses lower.
Do you pay a water bill? You’ve probably never even considered how much you’re paying for water if the bill is low, but chances are you could reduce what you’re paying even more with a few adjustments. First, fix any faucet that may be leaking (usually only requires a washer that you can pick up for 50 cents at the hardware store!) – even a small drip can cost a lot of money over time (not to mention the wastefulness).
Installing a low flow shower head uses less water when showering, and the new adjustable ones still give you a good amount of pressure. There is nothing worse than showering under a shower head that feels like a light rain and in fact, it seems to take longer to rinse the soap out of your hair so does that really save water if you spend more time in the shower?! Make sure you pick out a low flow shower head that still gives enough pressure to rinse off, and you’ll save water and still enjoy the shower.
Often there are alternatives to what we’re doing or buying that would give us the same results for less money. You just have to take some time to find these options but the money saved is well worth it.