The cost of home ownership can be enormous. There’s the cost of doing all your own repairs, maintaining the garden, not to mention repayments on the mortgage.
But our homes are big, complicated places. And, as a result, we often miss out on the ways in which we can save money. What follows is a list of big saving idea that you might not have thought of. They range from ideas that will save you a few pennies a year, to things that will help you rake in the big money. Let’s get started.
Get Smart About Organic
Most people like the idea of eating organic food. But few actually know exactly what “organic” means. The word actually has a strict legal definition all to do with the conditions in which crops are grown. The big difference between organic and conventional is that organic farmers are limited in the pesticides they can use. This means that organic foods have less residue on them and are, allegedly, better for you.
But many organic foods don’t benefit all that much. In fact, pesticide levels in conventionally grown citrus fruits are about the same as they are in organic varieties. The trick is to find out which varieties of organic produce have much lower levels of pesticides. It’s with these varieties that you want to fill your shopping basket. Sites like goodhousekeeping.com have guides on which foods to eat organic.
Food is a big outgoing for most households. But few households could argue that they economise on food effectively. That’s because they see breakfast, lunch and dinner as three distinct, separate meals. They shouldn’t.
In the evening make a big pot of soup, stew or pasta and then use leftovers for lunches the next day. You save money and time, and you don’t end up buying expensive food while you’re out at work.
Tune Your HVAC
HVACs are prone to problems. Heating and cooling is a tricky business to get right. Having your HVAC inspected and tuned can end up saving you money in the long run by improving efficiency and making it last longer.
Pay Off Personal Loans And Credit Cards
A lot of people rely on credit cards and personal loan sites like http://PersonalMoneyStore.com. That’s great.
What’s not so great are the bills that soon arrive if credit is not paid back on time. Make sure that you’re not spending unnecessary money on interest payments and late bills. Plan your budget, reduce spending – or do both.
Planting new plants every year is expensive, even if it is rewarding. Get perennials that bloom year after year instead.
Save On Kid’s Entertainment
Playstations, Xboxes, and Nintendo consoles are expensive. And when you factor in the price of games, they make the cost of kids entertainment go through the roof.
Save money by thinking up alternative activities to have with your children. Why not do baking together or play board games? If you were feeling really creative, you could try to come up with your own games. It’s a lot less expensive, and usually just as fun, as paying through the teeth for cinema expeditions and restaurants.
Keep Your Freezer Full
Did you know that the fuller is your freezer, the more efficiently it operates? It’s because big solid objects, like a bag of frozen kale, retain the cool much better than air. When you open your freezer, the air escapes. Then when you close the door again, your freezer has to cool down the new. And that requires a lot of energy.
But when you have big bags of frozen vegetables in your freezer, they don’t escape when you open it. In fact, they act as big blocks of ice, chilling the new air as it comes in.
Use Power Strips
It’s estimated that each US family uses about $100 worth of electricity every year, just from items left on standby. That’s a significant cost.
One solution is to plug electrical equipment into a suitable power strip. Then, to save energy, all you have to do is turn off the power strip to make sure the power to your equipment is truly off.
Skip Storage Units
Over the course of our lifetimes, we accumulate a vast quantity of stuff. However, that stuff is not always welcome, especially when it build up. A lot of people decide to store their extra stuff in a special storage unit. But consider for a moment the yearly cost. Often these units aren’t cheap. A better thing to do would be either to sell or give away items that you don’t use very often. Be honest about what you actually want and what you don’t, make money and save on storage costs.
Lower Your Heat
Heating is one of the biggest household costs. But what most people don’t realise is that for every extra degree of heating, your bill goes up exponentially. That means that cost of going from 21 to 22 degrees is much higher than the cost going from 18 to 19. Keep your thermostat under twenty if you want to avoid big energy bills.
Entertain At Home
Think back for a moment to your reasons for buying a home in the first place. Did you ever imagine that you’d use it for entertaining guests? Probably. Skipping the expensive restaurants and dining at home can save you a lot of money. Plus, it’ll be better for your health to boot.
Invest In Window Coverings
Houses lose the majority of their heat through their windows and their roof. Your roof is probably already well insulated. But are your windows? Putting up thermal curtains and blinds are an attractive way to improve heat retention and keep your home nice and toasty.
Start A Vegetable Garden
Vegetables should form the basis of your diet. But all too often families find that vegetables are too expensive – at least from the store.
Vegetables that you grow yourself are essentially free, minus the time you put into growing them. And what’s more, they’re usually a lot better for you.