Everyone knows that saving money around the house is easy. All you have to do is get rid of all the services and conveniences that are not absolutely necessary. And before you can go completely mad from having no cable or Internet service, you’re saving money. But that is a lot like going on one of those diets where you can’t eat anything you actually enjoy. You will probably lose a few pounds. But it is not sustainable.
Saving money around the house may not be done hundreds at a time. It may be done in the 10s and 20s at a time. But those 10s and 20s add up. And before you know it, you are making a real impact on the budget. Let’s take a look under the virtual couch cousins, and find some small savings that can make a big difference:
Check for Better Electricity Rates
Most Americans are not used to price-shopping for electricity. That is because, for such a long time, most Americans didn’t have a choice in their provider. If you lived in the PG&E territory, then you were a PG&E customer. The only way to save money on your power bill was to use less power. For most of us, that is still probably not a bad idea. But if you are already doing the best you can with energy savings, then you have a few options remaining.
But since the era of deregulation, many Americans now have a choice in their energy provider. For instance, if you live in the state of Texas, then you very likely have a choice. What you pay for energy in kWh. can vary greatly between providers. It also depends on the type of service you get. You could be paying as much as 11.5¢ kWh, or as little as 7.7¢ kWh.
You are probably not going to purchase a brand-new oven just to save a few dollars a month on your energy bill. However, you are going to have to purchase some new appliances, eventually. When you do, be sure to replace the ones you have with more energy-efficient appliances. There are quite a few solar-powered options that might be worth a look.
Even if you don’t go solar, there are plenty of ovens that waste less heat. Your choice of pots and pans can even make a difference. Some products and materials conduct heat much better than others. Lower cooking temperatures mean less power, which means more savings.
Take Less Expensive Showers
I’m not suggesting that you take fewer showers, or even that you spend less time in the shower. But there are still things you can do to take less expensive showers. At least one website I visited suggests you can save up to $200 annually just by switching to a low-flow showerhead. While no one wants to take a wimpy shower, low-flow shower heads have come a long way, and provide a perfectly satisfactory shower experience, with significant savings that really add up. Don’t take shorter showers. Take smarter showers.
Of course, these are not the only ways to save money around the house. But once you start thinking in these terms, other ideas will come to mind. Just remember, you don’t have to upend your lifestyle to impact your budget for the better.