1. Put your utilities on a budget plan
Now this one isn’t so much about saving money, as it is about cutting down your monthly budget expenses. I was actually surprised with how many people don’t know that you can actually put your utilities on a budget plan! If your utilities fluctuate or you’re having trouble paying them, then opt for a budget plan. A lot of times you can do this online, or simply by calling your utility company. Now, a quick word of caution with budget plans. Just because your budget plan is a certain amount, does not mean that you are only using that much of the utility. If you are using more, and normally your bill would be more expensive, then what happens is that outstanding amount goes into a separate account which you are responsible for at the end of the year. The good news is that sometimes this amount evens out and you won’t have to pay anything, or it may be a little amount. However, if it doesn’t you may receive a bill with more money than you had expected. So, just because you are on a budget plan does not mean you can just keep your lights on all the time! You still need to practice good habits to keep those energy bills down. If you’ve read my Budgeting 101 blog post, which shows you how to begin budgeting, one tip is to add about $10 a month to your utility budget. That can possibly help to soften the blow of that possible outstanding account.
2. Turn down your water heater
Does your water scald you whenever you turn it to hot to wash dishes? Well, that is a good indication that your hot water heater is TOO HIGH! Your hot water heater should be set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Most hot water heaters are set at 140 degrees, because that is the manufacturers setting. So go turn down that hot water heater and enjoy some simple energy savings!
3. Turn off overhead lights and use floor and table lamps
This was another tip that I was surprised to learn about, but it’s true! Floor lamps and table lamps use less electricity than that big overhead light in your living room or dining room. So turn off that big light and turn on some more mood lighting! I personally love using floor lamps because it makes our house seem so much more relaxing. I love just popping on a few floor lamps for mood in the evenings and reading a good book 🙂
4. Wash your clothes with cold water
Heating up that water in the washer takes electricity, which means it’s costing you more money. Wash your clothes with cold water! It still does the job of cleaning them, helps with shrinking, and saves you money!
5. Hang your clothes to dry
This is something I have recently started doing, but I wish I would have done it sooner! Hanging your clothes to dry, first of all, helps them to last longer! I can’t count how many clothes I’ve either shrunk in the dryer, or my husband has shrunk, or just didn’t last as long because I was always putting them in the dryer. Hanging your clothes to dry helps them to last as well as lowers your energy bill, since dryers run on electricity. You won’t have to buy new clothes as often and you’ll cut down that energy bill! Here’s another tip, don’t have a lot of room to hang up clothes? Use hangers! hang up your shirts on a hanger then hang the hanger up. It saves space and if you’re like us and hang most of your clothes anyway, then half the work is done for you!
6. Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry
Alright, I know this seems a little obvious, but it’s so true! How many times have you gone grocery shopping hungry and bought some snacks or things that just went to waste because you thought they looked good when your stomach was empty. I know I’ve done it quite a few times! Eat a snack or something before you go grocery shopping, make a list, and stick to it!
7. Cook more meals at home
Even if you’re not much of a cook, here are some simple meals that anyone can make! It has been proven time and time again that eating at home is much cheaper than eating out. So if you’re really tight for cash, try learning to cook something!
8. Make coffee at home
Are you one of those people who need their daily Starbucks run? Well, I would encourage you to add up that amount for the month, and see how much money you spend on coffee! The total may surprise you! Now I’m not saying to completely cut out your coffee habit, but maybe try to only go once or twice a week, rather than everyday!
9. Walk or ride your bike (If you’re in town)
My husband and I live within walking distance to a few local grocery stores. Our lazy selves usually drive, but recently, we’ve made the commitment to walking! It’s so much better for you, and it saves on gas money. It’s crazy to me how lazy my husband and I can be. We would rather drive our car 8 blocks than walk. Really, it’s a waste. So if you’re able to, opt to walk or ride your bike more rather than jumping in the car.
10. Make your own cleaning products and everyday toiletries
STOP buying those awful, toxic, expensive cleaning products! Seriously! The only four ingredients you need to clean your whole house are coconut oil, vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap. By mixing 1 part vinegar with 2 parts water, you have an all purpose spray! You clean glass, leather, counter tops, toilets, and sinks! Want to take it a step further? Soak orange or lemon peels in vinegar for a few weeks, add some water and enjoy the clean smell while adding disinfectant properties! To clean out your stove, sink, grout, and other hard to clean places, sprinkle them with baking soda, spritz your vinegar spray over top and let it sit. Then start scrubbing! Rinse and your sink and stove and will be sparkling! Add 1 part vinegar, 1/2 part dish soap, and 2 parts water to make a car cleaner, fabric, and carpet cleaner. Clean wood with your vinegar spray, then condition with coconut oil by buffing a small amount into the wood. Did you know you can also make your own toothpaste by simply mixing baking soda and coconut oil? So simple! AND so much better for you! Try them!
11. I know the title said 10, but here’s a bonus! I haven’t seen too many blogs do this, so it might hurt me, or it might help me, but we’ll see. I may lose followers and I may not, but I also had to throw this one in there. QUIT SMOKING! Or cut back! If you were to add up the amount of money you spend each month buying cigarettes, the amount is ridiculous! Now take that amount and apply it towards credit card debt, mortgage, car payment, savings, whatever! How do you think your financial situation would change? Now, I know quitting is easier said than done. I am no professional on how to quit smoking, but I do know that it is a major income killer. Check out this site from the American Lung Association, for tips on how to quit smoking and get help. I really don’t think I need to get into the issues of health with smoking, those are pretty well known by now. But, if there is anything I can do for you, even if it’s just praying for you and your journey, please comment. I would love to help anyway I can.
And there you go! Those are some simple ways you can save money by not adding too much extra work to your already busy life 🙂 Hope you got some good ideas! Let me know any tips you have to save money for those with an extremely busy life!