A home is not only where the heart is but also where most families blow way too much money. From electronics to appliances to power to food to everything else, it is easy for your home to become a financial black hole. We, like many others around the world, found ourselves asking where we could cut back at home in order to live more frugally and responsibly.
Hope these tips help you out.
1) Use Power Strips and Unplug Them at Night
Many people leave everything plugged in 24 hours/day. This uses up lots of electricity. Don’t unplug them individually. Put 5-8 things on the same power strip and you can turn off the power strip (or unplug it all together). Getting in a habit of doing this each night before bed or after use can save as much as 8-16 hours of standby electricity use.
2) Buy Off Brand Products
Do you really need Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? Coca Cola brand cokes? Doubtful. Buy everything off brand and watch your grocery bills decrease bit by bit. Even better, track what you spend each month on groceries and have a contest each month to see if you can spend less than the previous month.
3) Drink Water 2-4 Times a Day
Drinking water is not only good for you, its cheap. But don’t buy a 24 pack of water bottles every week. Either refill a few bottles or use a cup. Drinking water in the long run saves money on the cost of sodas, helps you avoid overeating, and also saves money on health costs associated with being overweight.
4) Eliminate One Toiletry and One Kitchen Item
Bathrooms and kitchens slowly use up lots of cash. Buy off brand cologne (or eliminate it by using good deodorant), stop using conditioner, avoid your regular candle purchase, or cut out one regular snack. Pick your poison.
5) Watch TV Online and Cut Cable
Most all the popular TV shows are online. Eliminate your cable package, watch movies online (Hulu is free, Netflix costs very little), and you’ll also eliminate your monthly DVR fees, movie channel fees, and watch less TV.
6) Cut the House Phone Line
Who needs a house phone line today with cell phones? Many people have them only as a matter of habit. Do you really need it? (Warning: Many DSL plans require a house line for your internet to work. If this is the case you can often request a reduced rate phone plan only for DSL that doesn’t allow you to make calls).
7) Romantic Dinners at Home
Don’t buy the lie that romance only occurs while “out” on a date. Get creative with date nights at home that include a pizza dinner, a free online movie/show (see #5 above), and less distracted time with your spouse/family.
Would love to learn from our readers about other ways to save money around the house. Please post your ideas, suggestions, and thoughts in the comment area below.