Reducing Household Expenses

There are many people who are looking to reduce household expenses and save money. There are many benefits to doing so. For one, reducing unnecessary waste can end up saving a lot of money in the long run that could be used toward generating savings, and another reason is that many times, reducing expenses can have a positive impact on the environment.

Save on Household Services. There are many services every household utilizes, such as Internet, Cable, and phone services. It is a good idea to do an inventory of your current service and shop around for a better price. Often times, you can call your current service provider and mention you are thinking of switching, and you will be amazed at the kinds of deals they send your way to keep you as a customer. The same goes for other services you might pay for, such as lawn care, or gym fees.

You can also do things like get ride of caller ID and call waiting on your home phone or cell phone. Some people do not feel they need this service and can save up to $10 per month by cutting back.

 Utilize Coupons and Buy in Bulk Whenever Possible. Check your local paper on online for coupons and sales on the items you buy most often. Also, if you see a sale on an item you tend to buy over and over again, like dish soap or toothpaste – buy as many as you can afford and store long term. This is because stores will often offer discounts for goods bought in bulk. In fact, do not be shy about asking a manager about their discount policy. You might find that by buying a whole box of protein bars, you could get 10% off! Buying in bulk in this way will help save money in the long run, and reduce trips to the store.

Lower Your Energy Bills. Energy bills are one of the biggest bills in many households. There are many ways to lower energy bills at every price range. If you have the money to invest in things like energy efficient appliances or energy saving windows, you are likely to see a dramatic reduction in energy costs that tend to pay for themselves over time. However, if you are unable to make such an investment, even small changes or strategies can end up saving tons of money. For example, in the summer or winter months, try keeping the air conditioning a few degrees warmer or the heat a few degrees cooler in the home. This can end up saving hundreds of dollars over the course of a particular season. If you are brave, in the summer, you can try forgoing air conditioning altogether, or getting a window unit if there is one room you really need to keep cool.

If you have large windows make sure you cover them with heavy drapery – which can help keep the sun out on hot days, and add a protective barrier against the cold during colder months. If you have a problem with drafty windows and doors that do not close, you can try adding an air barrier that looks like long, thin bean bag or make one yourself. Keep this item against the door and it will keep air from seeping through. For drafty windows another option is to get clear plastic shrink wrap from the hardware store and place over the windows just during the winter months. This easy to use barrier can dramatically warm a room with a drafty window and can be removed as soon as it gets warm.

 Other Money-Saving Tips:

  • Keep your fridge and freezer full. This is because the items will help to insulate each other keep everything cool more efficiently. If you do not have enough food to fill the fridge, simply fill up old plastic jugs with water.
  • Wash all your clothing on the cold water cycle except for very heavily soiled items.
  • Take shorter showers, and do not take baths, which use much more water.
  • Water the lawn during the cooler time of day to avoid sun evaporation.
  • Start a garden and compost your vegetation to save on fertilizing and top soil costs.
  • Start a family game night instead of heading out to eat or go to the movies.

Tell us how you’ve reduced your household expenses.

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 Budgeting, Saving Money

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