From money-saving products, to household hacks, to DIY projects, there are a variety of opportunities to save when it comes to our homes.
Here are 7 easy ways to get the most from your money when it comes to your household:
1) Pay Attention to Utility Usage. Do you sometimes stand at the fridge, door open, and hear your parent’s voice in your head saying, “Close the door, you’re letting all the cold out!” There’s a reason for that – it wastes energy, which wastes money. Be attentive to your utility and energy usage.
- Minimizing the length of opening your fridge or freezer door will reduce how many times it kicks on to cool it down
- Turn off unnecessary lights. While you’re at it, change over to low-energy lighting, such as compact florescent bulbs or LED bulbs. *Pro Tip: Check your electricity provider’s website – they may have available a free energy-saving kit for your home! We received one from our electric company that included 12 compact florescent bulbs, a low-flow shower head, and a furnace filter whistle.
- Fix that leaky faucet to save water costs
- Limit water usage
- Be attentive to your thermostat – do you really need it that warm, or can you and your family wear an extra layer of clothes?
- Add a draft stopper to that drafty door, like this one from Amazon. Or better yet, save money – make your own!
- Turn off the TV when not in use – get out of the habit of having it on just to have sound in the background
- Be sure to visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s EnergyStar website for more great energy-saving information
2) Negotiate Your Bills. Remember, it never hurts to try to negotiate. Yes, that includes your bills! Contacting your providers for services such as internet, electricity, propane, natural gas, telephone, and cable can save you money. I saved $15/month on my internet bill by contacting my provider when our 1-year promotional period ran out. Also, if you get your cellphone service through a provider (versus prepaid cards), make sure you check with your cell provider to see if any discounts are available through your employer or any clubs/organizations you’re a member of.
I get a 22% discount on my monthly cellphone bill through my employer.
3) Set Up Payment Plans for Medical Bills. Many years ago, I used to pay my medical bills off with my credit card. Don’t make this same mistake I did! Credit cards accrue interest, medical bills don’t. Contact your medical institution’s billing department to discuss your bill. Don’t be afraid to ask for a write-off, ask for options to pay the least amount possible, and/or ask to set up a payment plan.
Typically, there is a reduced cost program available; however, you must qualify for this based on income. If that’s not an option for you, ask about paying the least amount possible. If you have the money, this often will mean paying a larger lump-sum of the bill, for a certain percentage off.
I just called about one of my husband’s medical bills – they said if i could pay the full amount, they could take 10% off of the bill.
If 10% off isn’t enough to fit in your budget (like it wasn’t for us), then set up a payment plan. Payment plans through the medical institution’s billing department can typically be set up for 3 to 6 month installations. If your bill is particularly large (like it was for us), and the payments are still too big for your budget, let them know! They may have additional options. I got my husband’s medical bill broken up into $50 payments per month for 23 months through MedFinancial – much more manageable than $150 per month!
4) Consider Refinancing. This one is for the homeowners among us. Do you remember what your mortgage interest rate was when you purchased your home? I do! Ours was 4.5% when we purchased our home 1 year ago. Fast-forward to now, during my mom’s purchase of a home, I found out that current interest rates are 3.75%. That .75% makes a BIG difference when we’re talking about a large sum of money! I’m looking into refinancing at the lower interest percentage. It’ll reduce the length of my loan and reduce my monthly mortgage payment – win/win.
5) Make Do and Mend. A phrase born out of the WWII era, the Make Do and Mend movement focused on just that – make do with what you have, reuse what you have, re-purpose what you have, and mend/fix what you have instead of buying new. This mindset is always relevant! What a great way to save money, reduce waste, and learn new skills. Plus, we have the luxury of having YouTube to learn how to Make Do and Mend. Kudos to our ancestors who went through this with many fewer resources.
6) DIY. In addition to the Make Do and Mend movement, I’m a fan of the DIY surge. For those who don’t know, DIY = Do It Yourself. Yes, Savers, you can DIY to meet so many of your needs. DIY will typically save you money, too! One DIY I use consistently is laundry detergent. Another great source for DIY is Road to Homesteading – check out their DIY natural, all-purpose cleaner and give it a try for your home.
7) Use Norwex – or a Similar Product. Using Norwex products is a frugal move, not a cheap one. Obtaining Norwex products can be an investment – but, one that pays off long-term. So, what is Norwex? It’s a cleaning and home-goods company focused on providing effective, chemical-free products.
The coolest part about Norwex cleaning products – all you need to effectively clean your home is…Water!
Yes, your days of purchasing multiple cleaning products for your home will be over. I had no idea what Norwex was until I attended a friend’s Norwex party. I liked the company’s mission, the function of the products, and had heard good reviews from friends; so, I purchased a cleaning set that included an EnviroCloth, Window Cloth, and dusting mitt.
It cost me $55.00 at the party. That was 2 years ago – I haven’t bought a mulitpurpose cleaner or window cleaner since. The only cleaning product I was continuing to buy at that time was toilet bowl cleaner (and I’ve since stopped buying that, thanks to this DIY toilet bowl cleaner hack from Live Simply).
My husband was a skeptic, until he used only water and the EnviroCloth to more easily cut through and clean off the grease from the side of our microwave than he was able to do using a regular wash cloth and kitchen cleaning solution! Another bonus…our kids help us clean the house and we don’t have to worry about them around harsh cleaning chemicals – all they need are their Norwex cloths and water.
If you like the idea of saving money (long-term) with Norwex, but don’t have the extra money in your budget…host a party.
That’s what I did, and I was able to get an EnviroWand and Superior Mop Starter System for free! (Note: I’m not a Norwex sales consultant and I get no kick-backs from Norwex. I’m just a happy and impressed customer!)
Get thrifty at home, Savers!
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