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This month we are taking a look at all the ways to save money in our budget. These savings can go a long way towards paying off debt, increasing an emergency fund, or saving for a vacation.
Let's take a look at how to easily save the most money on utilities. Although it may seem like we are stuck paying hundreds of dollars each month to the utility companies, there are numerous steps you can take to reduce your monthly bill without feeling the pinch.
Here are 15 easy ways that you can cut your bill down every month of the year.
These inexpensive wool balls can be used to decrease drying time for your clothes. They allow you to skip fabric softener as well, saving you even more money. Another economical version of this is to use aluminum foil.
Cold water requires less energy to wash which saves you money.
As your current bulbs burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) or LED bulbs. Personally – I don't like the light from CFL's, so I'm trying to buy LED's as my current light bulbs die… and they're MUCH cheaper than they used to be! Check out this 6-pack on Amazon! And it's nice to know I can go another decade or so before I have to replace them again.
Moving your thermostat up or down a few degrees will save you hundreds of dollars each year. Especially if you use electric heat anywhere in your house.
If your water isn’t being heated over 120 degrees, you are saving on energy.
Run the dishwasher, washing machine, and dryer later at night when energy costs are cheaper. Utility companies will charge more for energy that’s being used during peak times. Plan to run these appliances when costs are cheaper.
But – this will only work if your utility company is had “dual time” rates. Many have flat rates and it doesn't matter what time you use energy.
This might be hard to do in the colder months, but once it's nice outside, I LOVE the smell of line-dried clothes.
Save money by buying your filters in bulk. Just search for the right dimensions and specs and you can find 6 or 10 packs on Amazon for a fraction of the cost of the big box stores.
Get in the habit of not just turning off the lamp but unplugging it. Even items that are turned off pull electricity when they are plugged in. An easy way to do this is plug things into a power strip and unplug it when you are not using them. You can also upgrade to a smart power strip which might be easier.
There may be some cost-savings programs available to you. There are some companies installing remotely controlled thermostats that are set to shut off from time to time. You won’t notice the difference except on your monthly bill.
Not only should you cover drafty windows with plastic in the winter, but you should also install weather stripping around doors which allows air in and out. You can also install insulation pads to go inside electrical outlets and add spray foam around windows that will allow your utility costs to decrease.
These following 4 options will require some up-front costs; use as many outlets for saving yourself money on these before purchasing.
These will help keep the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The cost savings comes because they use less energy than the furnace or an A/C unit.
You can purchase a low flow shower head which doesn’t cost a lot and will push out less water. Or you can purchase a slightly more expensive shower head with ShowerStart technology.
These shower heads conserve all the water that runs while you wait for it to warm up and alerts you to it. The cost of these shower heads should be recovered in just a couple of months.
Set the thermostat to lower during the day when you aren’t home and at night when you are sleeping. By using a program, you won’t forget to lower it before you leave and wind up heating an empty home (I hate when this happens!).
With today's technology, there are even some thermostats that program themselves! This thermostat by Nest automatically changes and learns your daily routines without you having to do anything.
Don’t rush out to upgrade right away, but when one appliance breaks down consider replacing them with the best energy saving appliance you can afford. Bonus savings: There are sometimes tax exemptions for these purchases as well.
With just a few simple, no-cost or inexpensive changes you can easily lower your utility costs this month. Adding in a bit of an investment into your home with a programmable thermostat, an upgraded shower head, or new appliances may cost you now but will pay off in the long run. Any of these 15 steps will save you money on your utilities right away.