May 19, 2014

Easy Money Saving Tips: Round Three

This article is part of a series. You can read the others here, here, here, and here.

As I shared in a previous post, we do many things to cut costs to make my being a SAHM possible. Here are a few more of the things we do for the third round of this series. Not all these tips will work for your family. I encourage you to read through, pick the ones you think might work and give them a shot. It doesn't hurt to try!
  1. Limit eating out and ordering in. Let's face it, paying someone else to cook your food is more expensive and not as healthy. We save a ton and feel better by cooking meals at home. Our goal is to spend money at restaurants no more than once a month at a casual dining, family-friendly restaurant or on pizza. (I'll admit, sometimes we slip up on this. It is hard!)
  2. Use energy efficient light bulbs. It's a bit of an investment at first, but we saw our electricity bill go down after we swapped out all the bulbs. Plus, they last longer.
  3. Install water efficient shower heads. For about $25, we got pretty nice shower heads that work as a traditional head and have a sprayer function which makes cleaning the showers and M2 much easier. You can get ones for even cheaper than that. Just look for ones that say "water sense" or "eco water" on them and compare how much the savings will be with each one (most tell you on the packaging). Ours also have a little button so that you can turn the water to a trickle while we soap up for added savings. It's very easy to swap out the old shower heads. If you're in a rental, hang on to the old one(s) so you can swap them back in and keep your nicer ones when you move.
  4. Purchase energy efficient appliances. I'm not saying run out and trade in your functioning appliances for brand new ones. But, when you're in the market for a new fridge, washer, dryer, dishwasher, etc., take a look at the energy ratings. We had to get many new appliances for our house, including a completely new heat pump system, when we bought our new house. Energy efficiency was one of my top requirements. Because of that, our electric bill is actually now the same or less on a house that is twice the size with bigger and more appliances than our last place that was a rental with crappy energy sucking appliances. Our heat pump is much larger as well and still uses less energy while actually heating and cooling the house better.
  5. Use windows and ceiling fans instead of AC. When it's nice out and not sweltering, we take advantage of it. I turn the AC off and open up all our windows, turn on the ceiling fans if you need a an added cool boost and enjoy the fresh air (and money savings). One of the big pluses of this house is a ceiling fan in every room. Those are a ton cheaper than running the AC. The fresh air will help you air out your house and get rid of that staleness you get from it being closed up, too.


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