5 Quick Ways to Save Money in Your Home
Here are five easy ways to save money in your home without sacrificing too much luxury.
1. Reusable Towels
Our household used to go through paper towels like crazy. Especially when the size of each sheet is growing bigger and thicker these days, it just seemed like such a waste. Sometimes I just need to wipe up some spilled coffee or simply to dry my hands. But the best thing we ever did was buy a pack of cheap terry cloth towels from Costco. We found a pack of 45 in the auto/car washing supplies aisle. They were cheaper than the packs of ten hand towels. We keep a few clean towels around the kitchen for clean hands after washing and clean-up towels to wipe off small stains and crumbs. Ever so often we throw the towels with our laundry and reuse. No more wasted paper towels.
2. Dryer Balls
These Dryer Balls are amazing. I don't miss the regular dryer sheets at all. I used to be a big dryer sheet user, throwing in two sheets every time because I loved the smell and feel of soft, freshly washed clothes. But my boyfriend saw these and wanted to try them to save costs on dryer sheets. Not to mention limit our exposure to the ever increasing amount of chemicals we are constantly engulfed in. And they really work. Clothes are still soft and fluffy without all the chemicals released from dryer sheets. Plus, they cost less than $10 and last for years (ok, if you have more than a 2-person household, maybe just a year). I haven't had to replace them yet. Note: They also have anti-static dryer balls too. We don't have problems with static with our clothes, so we don't need it, but I don't think the regular dryer balls is enough if you do have a lot of clothes prone to static.
3. Dishwashing soap is not just for dishwashing
I use dishwashing soap for all the cleaning in the kitchen--countertops, sink, and stovetop. If you think about it, most of the stains you get in your kitchen comes from food anyway, which is what we use dishwashing soap to get rid of on our plates. So why not on other surfaces? Instead of getting specialized cleaners with a lot more chemicals that I wouldn't really feel safe about having so close to food, just use the gentle soap you use for all your eating utensils. Put a little on a sponge (I would recommend a different sponge for general kitchen cleanup), get some water in it and you can probably clean your whole stovetop with that amount instead of many sprays of Clorox or something similar. Take a wet reusable terry cloth towel to wipe off the soap.
4. Turn down your water heater
It took awhile before my boyfriend and I reached a happy compromise on this. I love taking hot showers. Even in the middle of summer, I like my water hot. But my boyfriend keeps turning down the water heater to save energy costs. Basically it takes a lot of energy to keep the water heated, and much of that energy is wasted because most of us don't use up ALL the hot water in any one use. The shower is probably the time when you need to use the most hot water, but if at the end of your shower, your hot water faucet isn't turned to maximum (meaning you've still got plenty of hot water available), then you can turn the water heater temperature down. But if you have a big household where people take showers at the same time or one right after another, you might have a more valid reason to keep it up. But if you don't have many people or can schedule your showers so that there is 20 minutes or more between them, nobody would notice and your next energy bill will be noticeably lower. If you want to go more extreme, my boyfriend has suggested that I turn it up 15 minutes before I shower and then turn it back down when I'm done.
5. Plastic Bags
Someone once told me that it's really unusual for me to keep all my bags from stores. I literally have a huge bag filled with plastic bags as well as a bunch of nicer paper ones from clothing stores. I always find some use for bags, whether I'm packing for a trip and need a bag for dirty, smelly clothes or simply to use for trash bags. I don't know if people are still buying trashbags, but I've never ever purchased trashbags (except the huge big black ones for parties). We use regular plastic bags for our kitchen trashcan as well as each bathroom trashcan. It might seem too small for a kitchen trashcan, but it's really good incentive to take the trash out often, which is a good idea anyway.