Putting just a few of these tips into action could save you money every month!
#1 Switch Your Light Bulbs to LEDs
If you haven’t done so already, as bulbs go out in your home, replace them with energy-efficient LED bulbs. You could save up to $75 on your energy bill per year if you just replace five of your most often used standard lightbulbs. A bonus is that LED bulbs last up to 20 times longer than standard bulbs, so you’ll have to replace them less often.
#2 Use Power Strips
Certain appliances continue to use power even when you’ve turned them off. Adapters, computers, TVs, and coffeemakers are included in this group. Wherever possible, connect these items to a power strip that you can turn off when the appliances are not in use.
#3 Utilize a Toaster Oven
A full-size oven uses up to 70% more energy than a smaller toaster oven. When heating smaller items, you can save by using the toaster oven instead.
#4 Keep the Refrigerator Full
Does this sound strange? If you think about it, items that are close together help each other retain the cold. Overall, this results in the use of less energy. Try this hack when going out of town: Use water bottles to fill any empty spaces in the fridge or freezer.
#5 Use a Pitcher of Water
Not only will you save money (and the earth) by no longer buying plastic bottles, but you can also avoid wasting money running the faucet for a glass of water. If you place a pitcher of water in the refrigerator, you’ll always have cold water on hand when you’re thirsty.
#6 Stop Rinsing Dishes
Most newer dishwashers are capable of getting rid of food debris, so there is no need to pre-wash or pre-rinse items you are going to place there. Two minutes of running the faucet for this precleaning can consume up to 5 gallons of water, which also happens to be about the same amount of water used in each dishwasher cycle. Note that you should keep the trap clean to keep your dishwasher working at its highest ability.
#7 Reduce the Temp & Insulate Your Water Heater
If you haven’t checked, your water heater is likely set much higher than you need it to be. 120° is the standard recommendation. You can save up to 5% on your water heating costs for every 10 degrees you reduce the temperature. Save even more – up to 16% – on water heating costs by installing an insulating jacket over your water heater.
#8 Wash Clothes in Cold Water
Because of the efficiency of modern-day detergents, your clothes will get just as clean as they would if you used hot water. Making this change could cut the energy use for each load by as much as half!
#9 Use Less Laundry Detergent
Again, today’s detergents are so efficient that you really only need a tablespoon or so per load, despite what the bottle may say. The bonus here is that less detergent means less soap residue left behind (so your clothes will actually be cleaner), and the detergent bottle will last longer.
#10 Dry Clothes on Lower Heat
Not only does the permanent-press cycle use less energy, but it can also help extend the life of your clothing. Using too much heat to dry your clothes can prematurely damage them. You can reserve the higher heat for things like towels and bedsheets.
#11 Don’t Use Dryer Sheets
Did you know dryer sheets cost you around $7 for every 240 loads? Conversely, wool dryer balls only cost about $10 for several, each lasting over 500 loads each.
#12 Try DIY Cleaning Solution
You can make a homemade all-purpose cleaning solution for less than a dollar using baking soda or vinegar. Most commercial products rely on these inexpensive ingredients.
#13 Skip the Swiffer
Every time you toss a Swiffer pad, you’re tossing money. You can purchase reusable microfiber pads to use with your Swiffer. Even better, you can use a basic microfiber cloth cut to size.
#14 Cut Cleaning Pads In Half
Both scouring and magic eraser pads can be cut to a more reasonable size to extend their use.
#15 Time Yourself & Install Low-Flow Fixtures
Set a timer for 5 minutes to limit your time in the shower – the 8-minute shower taken by the average American takes up to 17 gallons of water. You can also install a low flow showerhead for less than $10.
#16 Hack Old Plumbing Fixtures
Check with your local water provider to see if they offer free water-saving kits, which can sometimes save you almost $100 each year. It’s also not unusual for these agencies to provide coupons or rebates to encourage customers to purchase water-saving fixtures. If you’re not able to replace your toilet with a water-conserving one at this time, try putting a half-gallon milk jug filled with water in the corner away from the flapper in your toilet tank, which will help save water on every flush.
#17 Program the Thermostat
You can save up to $20 per month by programming your thermostat to turn the heat down or the air conditioner up 3-5 degrees when you’re not at home and at night when you’re sleeping. You probably won’t even notice the minor temperature change. Avoid changing the temperature on your thermostat up or down by more than 10 degrees because your HVAC system will have to work hard to reach the proper temperature, canceling out any possible savings.
#18 Use Ceiling Fans
If you flip the switch at your ceiling fan base to make the blades rotate clockwise, it will help distribute heat in the winter. In warmer months, make the blades spin counterclockwise to help cool your space. Taking a step further, a whole house or attic fan can help remove hot air and spread cooler air in the summer, which will give you’re a/c a break.
#19 Create a Cross Breeze
Open doors or windows on opposite sides of the house to create a cross breeze. Depending on the draft’s direction, if you try to keep the window on the incoming side closed a bit more than the outgoing side, you can speed up the breeze. If there’s no natural breeze, or if it’s not strong enough, you can use a fan instead.
#20 Insulate with Curtains, Caulking & Weatherstripping
In colder months, you can open the curtains on any doors or windows that have the sun coming through to aid in heating your space. Close the same curtains in the summer to keep the area cool. Further, by merely sealing openings around doors and windows with caulking, you’ll see immediate savings of 10-20% on your energy bills. For doors and windows that open, you can use weather stripping rather than caulk.
#21 Don’t Buy Expensive Tools
Unless it’s one you’ll be using regularly, or you’ve calculated that the cost is justified, don’t spend money on expensive tools. Instead, you can rent them from a home improvement store or perhaps borrow from friends or neighbors.
#22 Save on Your Front Yard
There are a variety of ways to save related to your front yard. If you plant fresh flowers every year, instead of spending on short-lived annuals, try planting perennials, which will return for years to come. Also, be sure to water during cooler hours (morning or evening). The less heat, the less water will evaporate.
#23 Forgo Expensive Landscaping
To save both time and money on yard maintenance, you can replace plants that require heavy watering with drought-tolerant and native plants. Add beds of rock or gravel to add texture. Before making this change, however, check with your local water provider to see if they offer any rebates related to reducing grass, installing smart controllers, or replacing thirsty plants.
#24 Ditch Your PMI
If you financed more than 80% of your home’s purchase price, you could be paying upwards of $1,000 per year for private mortgage insurance (PMI). Once you have at least 20% equity in your home, you can contact your lender to terminate the policy. If your credit score or debt to income ratio has improved, ask about refinancing for better terms.
#25 Review Your Home Insurance Policy
Check with your insurance agent annually to be sure that your policy covers any life changes. Changes such as the installation of a security alarm can contribute to reducing your premium. Many insurance companies will provide discounts if you hold other policies – like life or auto with them. You’ll have to do some research and price comparison, but the potential savings are worth it. Finally, if you enjoy negotiating, try using another company’s quote to bargain with your current insurance provider.
The Bottom Line
While not every savings strategy will work for everyone, hopefully, this list inspires you to implement at least a few over time. No matter what, every little bit helps!