Saving money around the house doesn’t require excessive penny-pinching or going without. These 10 tips will leave you with a happier hip pocket.
Keeping your drawers, cupboards and fridge in order is an easy way to keep track of what you have in the house, and therefore what you don’t need to replace on your next shopping trip. Doubling-up on things that have been lurking in the back of the pantry or veggie crisper is a sure-fire way to waste food and increase your grocery bill. Plan meals around what you already have in the kitchen and only buy what you need.
Think before you buy
Simplifying can bring calm and order to your life, so think about de-cluttering. Next time you want to take advantage of a great deal, ask yourself: “Is this really going to enhance my life?” Do an inventory of items in storage or relegated to the ‘fix-it-later’ basket, to get a sense of whether this new purchase is likely to meet the same fate.
You don’t need to go as far as hanging old newspapers over the toilet roll, but there are significant savings to be had by re-using things around the house that would otherwise be destined for the garbage. Takeaway food containers are great for lunches and save on disposable cling wraps, foils and baking paper, while old envelopes are note-worthy for jotting down lists. Old t-shirts work wonders as cleaning rags, and cost nothing.
Stick to the list
Overspending is easy when two-for-one deals and‘super-savings’ tempt you in the shopping aisles. Reduce impulse buys by make shopping lists before you leave home, and sticking to them. Saying no to the chocolate biscuits and sugary drinks that aren’t on the list will not only save you money, but make healthy lifestyle choices easier too.
Pay your credit card on time
Be stringent with credit card and bill payments to avoid interest charges and late fees. A credit card linked to a rewards program may be worth investigating for travel and accommodation savings.
Wash your clothes in cold water
Electric hot water accounts for around one third of the average household’s energy bill. Washing clothes in cold water can dramatically reduce your bill. Reduce your water use and only wash full loads.
Wear a jumper
Next time you’re feeling chilly, reach for a jacket instead of the highest setting on the heater. A temperature adjustment of one degree can reduce energy use by 10 per cent. Save on cooling bills in summer by stripping down. Curtains offer insulation with the added benefit of privacy for those sweltering days.
Save on plastic nozzles and fancy packaging by buying the refill packs for your household soaps and cleaners. Or, better still, discover the cleaning power of age-old cleaners like vinegar and baking soda.
Consider energy-saving gadgets to cut down your power and water use. Light dimmers, power strips (shut down peripheral power when they sense your computer goes to sleep mode), solar-powered chargers, energy-saving light bulbs and water-efficient shower heads can reduce your overall consumption.
Turn it off
Think twice before even using power. Turn lights off when not in use and install motion sensor lights in the backyard to reduce your lighting bill by as much as half. If the weather permits, dry your clothes on the line, as depending on size a dryer can cost anywhere from 30c to 65c, per hour to run. And don't forget to turn off electrical equipment at the powerpoint, as standby mode accounts for
11.6% of total residential electricity consumption in Australia.
Advice from BigPond.com Tues Aug 30 2011.