12 Ways to Save Money Around the House
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.
More Frugal Living Tips
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.
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.