You’ve got bills to pay.
A gas tank to fill.
Mouths to feed (including your own).
But do you have to work work work everyday?
Well, you’re not alone there–and you’re definitely not the only one looking for ways to reduce your household expenses.
Sometimes, the simplest things can make all the difference.
And all those differences add up to a whole lot more money!
Discover 15 simple ways to stay within budget.
1. Switch to Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
You’ve probably heard that it saves money, and for good reason: it does.
So why not switch? LEDs are the best option for several reasons: they last 2-4 longer than other bulbs, they’re environmentally friendly, and they use up to 90% less power than incandescents. Plus, they’re so bright!
2. Water Bottle in the Toilet
Ever heard of this one? It sounds weird, but it actually works: place a full, plastic water bottle in the back part of your toilet to displace some of the water when you flush. Every little bit helps!
Bonus: for the really hardcore (or if you live alone), abide by the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” rule and don’t flush every time you relieve your bladder. Just… maybe keep the toilet seat down.
3. Low-flow Shower Heads
Everybody knows that taking shorter showers saves money on water, but did you know you can buy shower heads that will use less water, too?
Some spray a mist, but others just squeeze the water through smaller holes. For maximum efficiency, look for ones that have a flow rate of less than 2.5 gpm.
4. Turn Off the Lights
This one’s so simple it’s ridiculous: turn off the lights when you leave a room!
If you have to place sticky notes by your light switches to remind yourself, do it! Don’t leave your lights on!
5. Unplug and turn off
Did you know that devices draw power even if they’re plugged in but not turned on?
Obviously, some things need to stay plugged in, but other things, like phone chargers, kitchen appliances, and hair styling tools (you should never leave those plugged in anyway!) should be unplugged when not in use to save electricity.
Turn down your hot water heater too!
And if your going out of town- turn the hot water OFF.
6. Cancel Cable
It’s sad but true: with so many media streaming options, cable television is slowly becoming more obsolete.
If you’re not a heavy cable user, then consider cancelling your subscription to save money. Nowadays, you can find most cable TV shows online or on streaming services anyway. It’s the way of the future.
7. Evaluate Your Subscriptions
Please, for the love of all that is good in this world- CHECK your subscriptions.
when it does come to media streaming services, consider evaluating the ones you subscribe to and ask yourself if you really use them (or need them).
Maybe you regularly watch Netflix, but do you need Hulu, YouTube Red, and Verve, too? Spotify, Pandora, AND Apple Music? Pare it down to your most-used services and your bank account will thank you.
8. Brown Paper baggies, anyone?
Come on, not this one again!
Packing lunches is such a pain, and it’s easy to forget to do it. Not if you plan for it, though!
Pack the night before, buy foods that can be assembled easily, or box up leftovers.
Even if you only pack lunch three days out of five, it can still save you big time if you’re prone to eating out.
You don’t have to meal prep.
Simply grabbing connivence food from the grocery store will save you a ton compared to fast food restaurants.
9. Stock Up!
Is buying in bulk really cost-effective, you may ask?
It is if you buy in bulk the things you use the most.
Obviously, buying bulk perishables isn’t always the best idea (unless you really do go through that much milk), but for nonperishables and freezer items, the savings can be huge.
10. Buy Out of Season
Department stores are smart–they know that when summer rolls around, people will be more willing to pay more for swimsuits because they need them now.
Same for winter coats, etc.
But if you’re willing to endure your old coat or swimsuit for just a few more months, then you can score some pretty good deals at the end of the season when stores put those things on clearance.
I set a reminder in my phone to start checking the clearance items for things that I know I’ll need for next year.
BOGO markers? yes please
discounted swim suits? ill take two!
11. Shop at Thrift Stores
It’s definitely become more of a trend in recent years, and for good reason: thrift stores are a great place to find lightly used clothes, furniture, and more at (often) very low prices.
Skip the pricey, name-brand clothing store–you’re likely to find name-brand clothes at thrift stores anyway, and at a fraction of the price.
Bonus: Do you have name-brand, quality clothing that you don’t wear anymore? Research your local consignment stores–these are thrift stores that give you a cut of the profits when someone buys your clothes off their racks. It’s a win-win!
12. Reduce, reuse, recycle
Next time you need household items, instead of hitting up the local furniture warehouse or homegoods store, consider shopping around at garage sales first.
A lot of people sell unwanted furniture and kitchenware, often in good condition–and often for an extremely discounted price. (And if you’re bold, you can always haggle!)
Just beware of falling into the trap of buying things you don’t need. It’s tempting, but don’t!
13. Take Advantage of Rewards Programs
“Are you part of our rewards program?” asks every store ever. If there are places that you shop at frequently and you haven’t signed up for their rewards programs yet, do it!
It’s generally free to do so and a lot of stores these days have rewards that can be redeemed at gas stations. At the least, you’ll get extra discounts!
14. Keep Your Tires Inflated
Tires lose pressure over time, but keeping them inflated gives you better gas mileage.
So find a local gas station that has a free air station and check the air pressure in your tires every month or so. Your car’s manual will tell you what the recommended PSI is. Fill them well, and often!
15. Visit Your Local Library
Local libraries are a great resource nowadays not only for books, but for movie rentals, too. Skip the Redbox: check out your local library’s stock.
If there’s something you want to rent that they don’t have, search their catalog and request it from another branch.
Better yet: search ahead of time and put it on hold so all you have to do is pick it up!