Monday, June 20, 2011

Save Money At Home

I love reading posts on other blogs or articles about saving money - not just about coupons - so I thought I would share some of these tips I have come across. Most of these are things I do. Have any other tips? I'd love to hear them!

  • Switch lightbulbs - Replace your old lightbulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs. You'll save about $56 over the life of each bulb. Our power company (Progress Energy) actually has a quiz you can take on their website to see how to lower your power bill. This is one of the easiest ways to save money at home!
  • Use cold-water detergents and cycles when washing most clothing.
  • Skip rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Newer machines can handle the crud and it can save 5000 gallons of water a year. Unfortunately, our dishwasher (currently about 8 years old) doesn't do well with the "crud". It's better for us to rinse the dishes rather than have to run two cycles just to get everything off. So use common sense!
  • Use the microwave more; it uses less energy than a conventional oven. Although there are also many arguments about the radiation from the microwave, so on this one you will have to choose what you feel comfortable with.
  • Open curtains on south-facing windows in winter to let in the sun's heat and close them in summer to keep it out.
  • Turn the heat down by 5-10 degrees at night and when you're not at home, and turn the air conditioner up by the same amount. That can cut your energy bills by as much as 20%.
  • Call your home and auto insurers to make sure you're getting every available discount.
  • Shop around for lower rates by calling other insurers every couple of years to see if switching will save you money.
  • Buy energy-saving appliances. You can get a rebate on Energy Star appliances and this could save you about $100 a year... if you need new appliances anyway. I don't really recommend going out and buying a bunch of new appliances just for the heck of it.
  • Stock up on energy-savers. Make sure you have weather stripping on your windows and doors. Add insulation, cover your hot-water pipes, and lower your water temperature to 120 degrees. If you're really serious about it, go solar!

No comments: