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Over the past several years we have seen the costs of utilities such as electricity skyrocket, alongside the other increasing costs of living. It can be pretty painful on the hip pocket at times, taking even larger portions of our hard earned money and leaving less for splurging or saving. Far from awesome!
11 Ways to Save Money on Home Expenses
I know we would much rather be spending that extra $20, $50, $200… on saving for our next family holiday, or adding to our mortgage redraw so we can own our home faster.
So finding ways to save on home expenses is a huge help for any household and the great thing is, many of these changes that can save us a few dollars here and there, are actually really easy to implement at home.
They are so easy that you can start doing most of them right this minute!
1. Shop Around
With rising costs of utilities and other bills, it helps to shop around. Household services and utilities can be very competitive and often you can find a better deal than the one you currently have. It can save money fast by switching providers. We have saved over $1000 recently by switching. This is something you should also do at least once a year or at the end of your minimum contract periods to keep saving money.
2. Energy Efficient Appliances
When purchasing new appliances and whitegoods, look for products with a high energy efficiency rating. Yes, they will usually be more expensive up front, however they will likely pay themselves off over time with the savings in electricity bills, by using less energy when operating.
3. Cut Down Use
While a clothes dryer is a great convenience, much like some other non-essential home appliances, the cost of running a dryer can be very expensive. The same goes with air conditioning units and heaters, as other examples. Consider only using such appliances when you absolutely need to. Hang clothes outside to dry. Keep the curtains drawn in summer to keep the sun from heating the house quickly. Simple steps like these will cut down on your appliance use and save money on your electricity bills.
4. Turn Off Lights
It can be a bad habit to have lights on all around the house at night and while the savings are small, turning off lights as you leave a room is one of the ways to save money on your electricity bill. Teach other members of the household the same good habits.
5. Upgrade Lightbulbs
These days there are so many different types of lightbulbs on the market, although many of the poor efficiency types have been removed from sale these days. Make sure you have energy saving light bulbs installed and for an ever better value option, that does come at a higher cost but lasts far longer, consider LED lightbulbs. They can last up to 20 years and save up to 85% of energy costs. That means buying less lightbulbs and cutting costs on bills.
6. Rechargeable Batteries
With so many gadgets in most households these days, especially if you have kids, batteries can be an expensive household cost. Consider purchasing a battery recharger and several rechargeable batteries so you can recharge instead of purchasing new batteries all the time. Rechargeable battery packs can be a little expensive up front, but in the long run = bigger savings.
7. Reuseable Cloths
One of the items we were often purchasing for cleaning was Chux style clothes for wiping benches and cleaning other areas of the home. Over time, the number of packs and the cost can add up, when instead you could be using a reusable cleaning cloth. We recently started using products from Norwex when my niece started a cleaning business, and by having several of their different purpose cleaning clothes, we no longer buy disposable cleaning cloths, but simply wash and re-use.
8. Homemade Cleaning Products
Chemicals in the household aren’t a great option, and I know many parents worry about having their children exposed to this type of stuff. It’s also really expensive. Consider doing more of your cleaning with natural products such as the magic combo of vinegar and baking soda. These are all-natural, plus super cheap, with most homes having these products in their pantry already. You can find my natural cleaning tips for the home.
9. Maximise Product Capability
Instead of putting on your dishwasher or washing machine with a half load, wait until it is full if you can. This means less loads and therefore less energy use, which is of course another of the ways to save money on your bills.
10. Reduce Food Wastage
If you don’t plan ahead with meals, you can often end up wasting a lot of fresh produce due to it wilting or rotting before you get to use it. Try meal planning, so you are only buying ingredients that you need and not just random stuff you throw into the trolley that sounds good at the grocery store. No more food wastage means no more throwing money away.
11. Cut the Clutter
Reducing household clutter and excess means you are better at finding what you need when you need it and reduces the need to spend money buying things you can’t find. It also means you are less likely to ‘accidently’ purchase two or more of something because you didn’t realise what you had hidden amongst your clutter.
12. Recycle & Reuse
Instead of purchasing new every time, some things can be recycled. Or alternatively you can use a reusable version. A great example of this is bottled water. Don’t buy new bottles when you are out. Take a water bottle from home. You can do similar with travel coffee cups, making your coffee before you leave in the morning. Use containers instead of plastic packaging and paper bags for lunches.
13. Choose Services Wisely
When choosing services for our home, such as phone and internet providers for example, it helps to know what is included and to make sure you are getting the right package for you. Know your typical usage and make sure your plan has you covered to avoid excess charges, such as when you exceed download limits. On the flipside, also make sure you are not paying for far more than you need, such as unlimited internet when you only use 30GB a month or 1000 minutes of talk time, when you never ring anyone on your mobile. Beware the hidden charges too
14. If You Don’t Need It, Don’t Buy It
Many of us are guilty of spending money on unnecessary items like clothes we never wear, gadgets we never use and everything in between. From now on, when you go shopping, one of the ultimate ways to save money is to reconsider and stop yourself from buying something you don’t need. Imagine the savings!
You don’t need an 8 bedroom house if there’s just 3 of you, or a mini bus if you have 2 kids. Unless there is a reason for going big, you could reduce the size of certain things in your life and therefore also reduce the costs associated with bigger homes, cars and appliances.
What are your favourite ways to save money on home expenses?