There are definitely some big ways to save money. But if find yourself doing all the big things and are still struggling to keep it all under budget, here are some additional, small things to stretch a dollar:
- Give up dryer sheets. We use dryer sheets to cut down on static cling, but they also coat your clothes in some nasty chemicals. Luckily, there is an awesome alternative; yarn balls. Not only will it reduce static cling, yarn balls also cut down drying time significantly; both of which save money! If you want to stick with dryer sheets, cut them in half or thirds. You won’t notice the difference.
- Don’t buy glass cleaner. Instead use this free way to keep glass clean.
- If your vacuum takes a bag, dump it out and reuse it. With 3 little kids and a dog and sometimes a bunny running around, I vacuum a lot! If I didn’t dump out my bags, I would be buying new ones all the time. It is a little gross to pull all the nasty stuff out, but these bags can be reused many times, and it saves a bunch of money.
- Don’t wash your clothes more than once. We all put clothes in the washer and forget they are there. When we find them stinking the next day and have to wash them again, we waste water, detergent, electricity, and our time. Set a timer, and you will no longer have to deal with this stinky problem.
- Don’t use paper towels. I know they are convenient and everybody uses them, but paper towels are a waste of money and the environment. Instead of grabbing a paper towel, just use a microfiber cloth. For bonus points cut out paper napkins as well.
- Adjust the thermostat. In the winter, turn the temperature down a few degrees (especially at night because cool temperatures help you sleep better). In the Summer, turn it up a few degrees, and use a fan at night. A few degrees either way makes a huge difference in the cost of your utility bill.
- Insulate your attic. While we are talking about house temperatures, consider getting your attic better insulated. Where I live, there are opportunities for energy rebates if you have this done, and there are people in my area who will do it for the same cost as the rebate; so basically no cost to you! Yay! Insulating the attic can save hundreds to thousands every year!
- Shop in your fridge before meal planning. Ideally when you go shopping, your fridge should be empty. When you plan meals, you should buy only what you need, and you should stick to this plan. This means your food should be gone before heading out again.
- Buy when things are discounted. Just as I said the fridge should be empty, the freezer and pantry should be pretty full. When chicken goes on sale, buy a bunch and freeze it. The same goes for other things you use all the time.
- Consider using cash in your budget. Check out how it works for our family here. I know there is merit for using credit cards with cash back rewards, and we have used those in the past. But we find our savings much higher, even considering the cash back, when we stick with our paper money.
Don’t find yourself deterred by the small savings around the home. These can add up to huge savings over time!
Watch for part 2 of this series when I give even more simple tips!
How do you pinch those pennies?