10 Money Saving Tips (that are also environmentally friendly!)
Who doesn't like to save money? An infinite number of ways to save money exist and each person has their own variation on it. Herein are a few tricks which may start working for you today.
Start Tightening That Belt
Every single person has to deal with money in some context during their lives. For many, money is a struggle of daily life. Something taken for granted often is the wisdom of our elders, both living and deceased, in helping to mitigate that struggle. Their ways may seem old and outdated, or odd and ridiculous to those who do not practice such rituals. Rather, people reject these thrifty habits, to employ some modern convenience instead.
What most who discard these old ways do not understand, is that even our ancestors were astute with saving money by combining resources and being more deliberate about their actions. The tips that follow come from the wisdom of those before us. Some may even seem downright silly. But each one has it's merit and will be up for the reader to decide if they wish to try them. If you don't already do these things, you might be surprised at how well they work.
Put a Lid On It!
When cooking with a pot or similar cookware, put a lid on it. Using a cover over the pot will help to reduce evaporation loss and will also reduce warming/cooking time.
This one is not always practical, but when possible, set refrigerated and frozen foods out in advance of cooking. Refrigerated items just need enough time to reach room temperature, maybe an hour give or take. With frozen foods you want to leave enough time to thaw and reach room temperature, which may require pulling them out in the early morning, or for larger items such as turkeys or a large roast, the night before. By having foods at room temperature, it will save on both cooking time and energy cost.
Oven Side Step
Baking an entrée with some side dishes? Instead of cooking those side dishes on the stove top, place them in oven safe dishes to cook alongside the main course. Not only will this save electricity, you may just find any change in flavor, delectable.
Turn That Knob Down!
There are many ways to save energy costs with the oven. As long as you do not open the oven door, about 10 minutes before baking time is up, turn the oven off. The seal of the closed oven door will retain enough heat to allow the food to finish cooking.
One more trick with the oven, when you are done using it, turn it off and leave the oven open to allow the heat to escape into the house. This won't replace a normal heating source, but in smaller homes, can definitely provide an added bonus without running additional heat.
The Heat is On?
Did you know, when you turn off your air conditioning or heat, it is actually more inefficient than just turning it down? This is because the equipment has to work harder and longer to bring it back to the desired temperature, than to simply maintain. Due to the extra work the equipment needs to start running again and bring the temperature back to the desired level, it adds extra strain to the system, and also increases energy consumption.
Dirty Little Secrets
Those air filters in your home should be checked at least once a month. This includes but is not limited to central air, stand-up units, and window units. When checked, if possible, clean the filter of any debris. This allows for better air flow which will result in energy dollars saved.
Low Watt Wins!
Anytime a bulb is needed inside of an enclosed area, low wattage or appliance bulbs are recommended. Higher wattage bulbs heat up more; heat is what shortens the life of a bulb. Consequently, using lower wattage bulbs will offer longer life in addition to the obvious lower wattage use.
Water displacement happens whenever an object is placed in water, thus leaving less space for the water, due to the volume of the object. Using this idea, a brick in the toilet tank will do just the trick. Make sure it does not interfere with any of the mechanisms in the tank. This will reduce the tank capacity, and voila, you can save a few while taking a two.
Whenever possible, hang a curtain or drapes by windows. This creates a pocket of air which will help insulate the inside of the house.
Wanting to win that water miser title you've been coveting? This strategy will definitely help put you in the running. Fill the sink or a pan with water for washing dishes instead of washing from the faucet. However, if you're like most people, you opt for the dishwasher if there is one. A little known fact, the term dishwasher is a misnomer. That means, it doesn't actually do what you might think it does. It would be more properly titled dish-sanitizer. Yes dishes can be put in dirty and come out clean, but if they have caked on items when they go in, good luck. You'll just be eating on sanitized, caked on grime, or go through the process of cleaning off caked on goodies later. I have yet to see little robotic scrubbers appear in the dishwasher to meticulously clean all the spots from that lasagna pan. When I do, I'll let you know.
These tips definitely won't be life changing, they won't make you rich, but they will start the gears of thinking thrifty. If I could have a nickle for every electric item I have turned off that someone has left on, I could probably pay my electric bill every month on just that. All of these things are simple choices we can make, nothing that even takes effort, just doing. What I am trying to say, it all adds up. Keep thrifty.
If you have ideas for saving money please post them at the bottom of this page for others to see.