Some of you may have noticed that you’re spending far less than usual due to social distancing. However, that also means that you’re probably spending more time at home which may result in increased bills in other areas. There are things you can do around your home that don’t require sweeping changes in order to keep more money in your pocket.
We have quite a few ways to save money around the house.
- When cooking, use lids on your pots and pans to trap heat inside and cook foods faster.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Set it to turn down the heat when you go to bed and turn it back up a little before you rise for the day. Not only is it better for your health to sleep in cooler temperatures, it will save you money as well.
- Depending in the type of light bulb you use, develop the habit of turning off the lights. If you’re using standard incandescent light bulbs, if you leave the room, turn them off. However, LED and Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) require less energy and can be left on for about 15 minutes before impacting your utility bill.
- Wash a full load of dishes, not just a partial load, and forgo the drying cycle, allowing them to air dry.
- Back to cooking, use the correct size pots and pans for the burners you’re using. If the pot or pan fits the burner, you won’t be wasting heat on an empty space.
- When baking or roasting, resist the urge to open the oven door to check on your food. You will lose up to 20% of the heat every time you do so.
- Check your doors and windows. If the weather stripping is in poor condition or completely missing, replace or install it. Stopping drafts in your home will help you save on your heating bill.
- Light up less frequently used rooms with a motion sensor.
- If you’re going away, unplug appliances as they will continue to use energy, called “phantom” usage. Most electronic devices use a bit of power even when you’re not using them.
- Insulate your hot water tank.
- When doing laundry, wash full loads and use cold water.
- Pay annually when you can. For example, insurance companies generally offer a discount if you pay up front. You’ll also find that paying annually or quarterly for LifeFone’s medical alert systems will help you save money.
- Make a shopping list. This will limit impulse purchases and help you plan your meals ahead of time. You might even consider ordering your groceries online for pickup.
- Make a list of when all your payments are due and be sure to pay on time to avoid late fees.
- Find generic brands of foods and products. You may find that you like them just as well, if not better, than the brand-names and will save you money at the grocery store.
- Go after age-related discounts. Many states and businesses offer senior discounts. It’s a benefit of getting older so flaunt it.
As we head into fall toward the winter months, make a list of things you can do to save some money.