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12 Ways to Save Money Around the House

Updated on February 28, 2009

In today's economy, saving money can be a pretty nifty thing. For some, living frugally and saving money is a natural thing to do and something they've always done. For others, being frugal is an entirely new concept and some people have no idea where to begin. Well, if you're one of those people, start here. This is part two in a series of money saving tips -- for more tips on saving even more money, see the rest of Isabella Snow's Frugal Living Series.

1. Turn your lights off when they aren't needed.

And I don't just mean when you're not in the room, I mean when there's enough sunlight to make it pointless. When do you really need the lights on? When you're cooking, when you're reading, when it's night time... when else? You would be amazed by how often you don't need the lights on.

2. Use energy saving light bulbs.

Now -- I want to mention that I don't do this because I feel ill in that kind of lighting and many other people do as well. Don't use these if they make you feel sick. But if they don't bother you, they can be big money savers.

3. Turn the heat down.

My mother's house was not warm and cozy, and that was just how it was. The heater was set at certain temperature and if you wanted to be warmer than that, you had to wear socks and a sweater. Turn your heat down to the lowest level you can cope with and still be warm when dressed appropriately.

4. Stop Using the A/C

If you live in Texas, you may actually need the A/C. But if you live north of that, you probably don't. I never had A/C growing up, and I don't have it now, either. Not only does it cost a fortune, some people with allergies (like me) get quite ill when sleeping in a room that has A/C.

5. Get a fan!

We had ceiling fans when I was kid. They were cheap to buy and cheap to use. If you don't want a ceiling fan there are plenty of big oscillating fans that work just as well, and sometimes better. You can get ceiling fans, floor fans, standing fans, fans that rotate, box fans, mini fans for your desk -- there are tons to choose from.

6. Get a Space Heater

If you don't need to heat your whole house, you may want to buy a space heater. Or you might want one for your office. I had one of these when I lived in Texas and it worked quite well. There are better models now and you can find the one which best suits your needs.

7. Take a bath / Spend less time in the shower

If you really want to save money, fill the bath 1/2 way. It's plenty of water, even if you want to lay there and relax for a bit like I do. Sure, sometimes you want the water up to the brim, but on a daily basis you can save quite a bit of water this way. If you take a shower, 15 minutes is enough for any woman to do anything she needs to do. Most men can do it in 5 minutes!

8. Two piles of laundry is enough.

If you have whites (which I don't) then by all means don't wash them with your reds and blacks. But if you have light colors they can probably go in with your whites and the other colors can go in with darks. After a washing or two most things won't run anyway. I actually do one load a week with everything mixed together.

9. Hang Dry Your Clothes.

Most people in Europe line dry their clothing. Most Americans don't. Think of how much electricity (or quarters!) you would save if you hung your clothes up to dry. (Note, if you have grass and pollen allergies, it's better to dry them in a dryer if possible.)

10. Buy an electric lawn mower.

Not only are they better for the environment electric lawn mowers will save you money -- and they cost less, too!

11. Use sponges and rags instead of paper towels.

My mother cleaned everything with paper towels. Not only is that expensive, it takes a lot more elbow grease. Scrub your tub and sink with a sponge and then dry it with a paper towel -- cheaper and easier!

12. Make your own carpet freshener.

Zsuszy Bee has a fantastic tutorial on how to use baking soda to make your house smell fresh. Stop spending a fortune cleaners and pet freshener and make your own.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      We insulated our windows that we never open to keep out the heat and the cold, and make our a/c use less energy to keep cool. I also never turn on lights in the house until after six. We don't need them. We get plenty of natural light through the kitchen window.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      freeze your milk and leave it to thaw out just enough for a bowl of cereal

    • Joel Hawkins profile image

      Joel Hawkins 

      8 years ago

      I live in North Carolina. A/C is a must here. I grew up in Pa, and we never had A/C. We used fans like you said, and went to sleep hearing the crickets sing. Good tips, thanks for writing this.

    • profile image

      Fan of Fans 

      8 years ago

      Isabella, what a great hub. I am all for saving money and you have some great ideas. Summer is the best time to save and being able to dry our clothes outside is a real saving.

      Fans are probably my favourtie saving. I haven't switched on the air conditioning for over three years and have spend the money on travelling instead. This year we're going to Mexico. (at least I'll be used to the heat!!)

    • Tga profile image


      9 years ago

      I think it's really useful for our life. I will try to do that and change some habits of my life. So excellent advice.

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      9 years ago from US

      Darkening the windows with shades or blinds the sun hits in summer and letting the sun in them in winter is good too. And yes Im up a couple states up and over and there are many of us have to have that A/C, Texas may be the biggest but sure not the hottest, lol.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I live in So California.... Even during the weeks when the weather was up in the triple digits... i refused to use my AC as I used to live in IL all of my life til the past 5 years. Cali's hot weather USED to feel nice and cool to me but now i feel hot just like the natives but I still say... cali has less humidity so even triple digits dont' bother me... I'd rather just bathe one more time a day then use my AC. My mom was the ice queen literally and it was always FREEZING in her home so I can't stand the cold. Give me my oscilating fan any day and I'll be a happy camper.

      I think having a energy saving refridgertor should be added to the list also and then that to make sure your refridgerator always has food/w/e in it as a empty fridge can take up more energy to cool off for some reason. If you always have a problem with build up of ice... that effects how much energy the firdge has to use also so it's good to defrost the fridge every now and then too.

    • Muthusamy R profile image

      Muthusamy R 

      9 years ago from CHENNAI India

      I would like to endorse Mighty Mom's view

    • Isabella Snow profile imageAUTHOR

      Isabella Snow 

      9 years ago

      Hmm. Well I guess I should reword that, as Vegas is north of Texas too, LOL. Hopefully people know what I meant. Yes... lots of articles. It was actually 1 giant article and I made 7 out of it because I realized it was too long to read! Hopefully they will be helpful to people.

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      Hi Isabella! I see you are a money-saving guru today. Very timely and practical advice. Sometimes we overlook the obvious, don't we?The only one I disagree with (although I wish it wasn't so) is about A/C. I do live north of Texas. I live in the Central Valley of California, where we "enjoy" 9-10 months of unrelenting sunshine a year. Spring starts in February and the temps hit 100 usually around May. So A/C is a fact of life. What I would add to your excellent advice about fans is if you MUST use A/C, make sure your equipment is updated and able to handle the capacity. We found out the hard way when we bought our house that our A/C condenser is inadequate and we pay dearly each month for that.

      I look forward to hopping over to some of your other hubs to save even more $$$. MM


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