If You Haven’t Replaced Your Furnace Filter In A While, You’re Wasting Money
Changing your filter when needed is a necessity: it makes your furnace run more efficiently and prolongs its lifespan. If you want to save money in the long run, replace your filter. During high-usage periods of the winter, replace your filter once a month. Freestanding or wall unit air conditioners only need to be replaced yearly, but they still need to be cleaned every month. Following these steps will keep your electric bill down significantly.
Preparing coffee in the morning is a comforting ritual that millions of people participate in. However, the costs of single-use items can majorly add up. Getting a reusable coffee filter saves you from throwing out a paper one every single time. The reusable filters last roughly 3-4 months. Reusable K-cups will also save you cash, but be warned: buying the cheapest brand available is not recommended. Invest in a higher-quality cup unless you want the cup to break after a few uses. In the long run, you’ll still save tons of money.
Speaking of your electric bill, did you know electronic appliances consume electricity while turned off? In fact, 75% of the electricity used to power homes and appliances is being used while those appliances are turned off. That’s so much waste! Save your money and the earth by unplugging appliances while not in use. Flip the power strips off when you’re finished with them. TVs, home office electronics, kitchen appliances, and chargers are the main culprits of this “phantom energy,” so make sure to unplug them!
Did you know an empty fridge can actually cost you money? Keeping your fridge 3/4 full allows it to operate at maximum efficiency. The air circulation is increased, the food stays colder, and your electric bill lowers. Even if you don’t have enough food for optimal fullness, you can always take old empty containers or boxes and put them in your fridge for the same effect. This is especially helpful when going out of town!
Creating your own cleaning products is a fantastic way to save some cash. Many homes own wooden cutting boards or have wooden counters. Wood stains easily and can be difficult to clean. However, lemon juice can make your wood boards as good as new. Slice a lemon and rub one of the wedges on the stain. The acidic juice will rub off the stain like magic. You can even let lemon juice sit on boards overnight to disinfect them.
Cleaning your lightbulbs seems odd, but it can actually save money. Dirty bulbs emit 30% less light than clean ones. Dusting off the bulbs and cleaning the light fixture will provide more light. You won’t have to replace dim bulbs as often. You might even be able to get away with using fewer lightbulbs in a given room. Turn your power off and make sure the bulb is cool before cleaning. Use a dry rag, don’t use a spray or damp cloth; moisture can damage the bulb.
Toaster Ovens and Microwaves Use Less Electricity than Ovens
Microwaves use 80% less electricity than conventional ovens. They also generate less heat in your kitchen, which means a lower air conditioning bill in the summer. Toaster ovens use 50-70% less energy than the full-sized oven. Obviously, you can’t use a microwave and toaster oven for everything, but using them when possible can save you money.
Clear nail polish can fix loose screws, buttons, and many other things. If the screws on your glasses are loosening, dab nail polish on them to keep them in place. A drop of clear nail polish on the tip of your matches will waterproof them. You can use the polish to easily thread a needle by painting some on the end, letting it dry, then poking it through the needle. Painting the bottom of metal containers, such as shaving cream, will prevent nasty rust rings.
If you’re like me, you may use paper towels for everything, but that can get expensive. Not only is it costly, but it’s also wasteful. Save your money by using reusable rags. Wipe up whatever spill you have with a rag and throw it in the wash. Rags are even better than sponges for wiping up spills because sponges degrade faster. Purchasing paper towels for $2 a roll adds up to $220 a year. Save your $220 and use rags.
You don’t need to buy liners for your small trashcans. Stop throwing away grocery bags and use them as trash liners instead. In fact, grocery bags have many uses. When walking your dog, you can take the bags to clean up after them. You can use them as makeshift shower caps. If you need to transport anything you don’t want to touch, like dirty or wet shoes, they are great to have on hand. You can also stuff them into purses or shoes to retain their shapes. All of this is free for you if you hold onto your grocery bags.
As your old lightbulbs begin to die, replace them with LED bulbs. Led is the most energy-efficient bulb you can buy; they use 75% less energy than your standard bulb. Not only are they just as bright as a regular bulb, but they also last much longer. The average American household has around 40 bulbs. Replacing all of them with LED bulbs saves around $300 a year on the electricity bill.
Half a sponge cleans grime just as well as a whole sponge, so double your sponge pack with a pair of scissors. You get twice the utility for the same price. You can also cut magic erasers, dryer sheets, and scrubbing pads in half as well! This doubles your inventory. Now you can clean dishes or counters just as easily, and you won’t have to buy sponges near as often.
Consider replacing your dryer sheets with wool dryer balls. Dryer sheets cost about $7 and a box lasts about 240 loads. You can purchase 4 wool dryer balls for $6.50, and each one lasts for around 1,000 loads. It’s a no-brainer money saver. Dryer sheets also deposit more chemicals than wool balls and are only single-use. Upgrading to wool dryer balls is better for the environment. They also shorten drying time by 25%. If you miss how dryer sheets made your clothes smell, you can always dab some essential oils on the balls. Your clothes will come out smelling fresh and clean!
What is a low-flow fixture? These are faucets and showerheads designed to reduce water consumption. Sometimes, these fixtures can reduce water usage by 60%. If you have a fear of losing all your water pressure, certain kinds of low-flow fixtures offer excellent water pressure. Aerating fixtures work by pushing streams of water through very small holes, which adds air to the stream, giving an invigorating pressure. Sometimes, aerating fixtures are compared to “needles” of water. These fixtures save you loads on your water bill, and you don’t have to lose water pressure to use them!
You probably knew vinegar could be used to clean, but did you know it has tons of other uses? You can use it as a fabric softener; add a cup of distilled white vinegar to one load of clothes. Spray it on shirts before washing to get rid of stains. If you have any white fabric that needs brightening, boil some water, add a cup of vinegar, and let the fabric soak in the mixture overnight. Is your sink clogged? Pack the drain with half a cup of baking soda, then slowly pour a cup of white vinegar over it. It will bubble and soak through the soda. Once the bubbling stops, pour some hot water in. Your drain will be good as new.
Maybe you love a cozy candle during the winter, but the wax can make a mess. If candle wax spills onto your wooden furniture, scratching it off can ruin the wooden finish. Instead, grab some ice cubes. Fill a plastic bag with ice. Place the bag over the wax. Let it sit for a few minutes. The wax will cool and harden. Once it hardens, you’ll be able to pick it right off with no trouble. Now you can enjoy your candle without any fear of mess!
Don’t waste your money on unnecessary cleaning products. Instead, use mouthwash to clean the grime inside your toilet bowl. Take your mouth wash, pour a capful into the toilet, and let it sit an hour. When you go to scrub, the grossness will easily wipe off. You can also use it to clean many other things, such as garbage disposals and humidifiers. Pouring some down the disposal will give it a fresh, clean smell. Humidifiers become bacteria-central so give it a clean by adding a few spoonfuls of mouthwash to the water.
Revitalize your wooden furniture with a simple olive oil treatment. Wipe down your furniture with a rag dipped in olive oil to make it look as good as new. Not only will this get rid of any scuffs or scratches, but it will also help to get rid of any mites or allergens on the wood. For a fragrant touch, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the olive oil. This will make your furniture look great while also keeping it safe and clean.
There’s nothing ickier than a leaking trash bag. The juices get everywhere, are a pain to clean up, and make your trashcan nasty. Prevent leakage by adding some paper to the bottom of your trash bags. The paper will absorb any liquids trickling down and prevent leakage. This saves you time, keeps the home clean, and prevents any damage that the liquids may cause. Furthermore, you won’t have to clean your trashcan as often since less filth will leak into it.
Reusable Water Bottles Are The Only Thing That Makes Sense
Every single year, Americans collectively spend 16 billion on plastic water bottles. Instead of adding to that number, consider upgrading to a reusable water bottle. It will last you years and tastes just as good as the bottled. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also save the earth. Production of water bottles requires huge amounts of oil, raises CO2 in the atmosphere, and contributes to crazy landfill waste. 100,000 marine animals are killed every year by plastic waste. Don’t contribute to the problem, go reusable.
Cloth Napkins Are Superior In Both The Environment And Aesthetics
Sustainable, cheap, and very effective cloth napkins are superior to paper napkins in every way. One cloth napkin has a cleaning capacity of five paper napkins. It’s a myth that paper napkins are more sanitary; cloth napkins are just as clean if not more so. They also add to appearances: cloth napkins look much more attractive and quality than paper. Once again, you save your money and the earth. There’s a reason fancy restaurants don’t use paper napkins: cloth is all around more appealing and more effective.
No one is using their hot water 24/7, so why not the time it is for when you need it? Water heater timers are a small device that attaches to your heater and can be programmed to turn your tank off during periods of non-use or when power is more expensive. Both your water and electricity bills will go down. Hot water generally accounts for 15-25% of your utility bill, so using heat loss will improve your costs. It is generally agreed that programmable timers are the best and easiest to use.
You can dry your clothes for free if you utilize the sun’s rays. Using your dryer is convenient, especially on cold and wet days, but consider using a clothesline on sunny, warm days. With just a little more work, you save money by letting the sun do your work for you. Sun drying also makes your clothes smell better. Your clothes will have a longer life than they would with the dryer. The friction and heat of the dryer damage clothes over time. Lastly, there are much fewer wrinkles with clotheslines.
Curtains Are The Extra Layer Of Insulation That Will Save You Money
Your windows can be a powerful tool for regulating the temperature of your home. The sun warms the entire earth, so you can certainly use it to warm your home! Just open your curtains when the sun is shining through your windows. Your whole house will warm up. If your house is too hot, close your curtains to block the sunlight. You don’t have to fiddle with the thermometer to keep your house warm; the sun will do it for you.
If you grow your own food, that’s already a major money saver. You probably just throw away old teabags, but you can actually use them as fertilizer. Just take your used bags, cut them open, and sprinkle the grounds onto the soil. The grounds will improve soil quality and help the plants grow. Keep in mind that tea’s natural tannic acid will help some plants and harm others. Any plant that requires a very neutral soil balance probably won’t love the grounds, but your more acidic plants definitely will.
Almost everyone has a tool kit, so you really don’t need to buy one. Most people don’t use their tool kit every day, so ask to borrow theirs! If you borrow from multiple people, you have access to more tools than you would otherwise. If you’re only using tools a few times a year, it doesn’t make any kind of financial sense to buy them. Keep on good terms with all your handy friends, they could have an amazing tool collection.
Toilets are a massive water hog; they can consume up to 30% of your household water usage. They don’t need to use that much, so don’t let them. Some people have tried to use bricks in the past. While it is effective, it’s a messy solution. The brick will crumble and deteriorate over time, leaving you with a mess and possibly a broken toilet mechanism. Use a glass jar of water or jug instead. Simply insert it into the tank to conserve water. After any changes, be sure to test the toilet to make sure it’s still working properly. Pro tip: Add vinegar to the jar/jug and punch a hole in the lid. It works as a cleaner and deodorizer for your toilet.
Razors dull so quickly, but this doesn’t always mean you need to buy a new pack. Grab a leather belt, and rub your dull razor against the back of it. The grit of the leather will act as a strop, making your blade much more useful and effective. You need to rub it around 20-25 times for the strop to be effective. The most common mistake beginners make when stropping is rushing the process; go slowly and thoroughly so you don’t injure yourself or the blade.
Humidity and high temperatures are torture in the summer, not to mention the AC bills. if you’re tired of paying outrageous AC bills, this is the hack for you. Grab a bucket, and fill it with cold or icy water. Set a round fan on top of the mouth of the bucket, small enough so it balances but big enough so it won’t fall in. The cold air will be blown by the fan, cooling you and your house. With a little bit of time and creativity, you can have free AC.
Don’t throw away those final shards of soap! Collect them and make a new bar. Break the scraps into quarter-sized pieces. Put the soap into a pot with water. Turn your stove up to medium-high heat. Don’t let it boil over, but let the mixture simmer for a few minutes. The soap and water will begin to bond together. Stir often. Drain the water from the soap, mush it into small jars or bowls, and now you have a new soap bar! It’s recommended to grease the containers before adding the soap for easier removal.
Soda cans are good for more than holding a delicious beverage. You’ve probably heard that tinfoil can improve Wi-Fi, but so can soda cans. Clean a can, and pull off the tab. Carefully cut off the bottom of the can. Go very slowly for this part; it’s easy to cut yourself. The base for your Wi-Fi booster will be the top of the can. Cut a horizontal cut similar to the one at the bottom, but leave enough metal to keep everything in one piece. Cut the side of the can so you can unroll the cylinder. Attach it to your router, and you’re all done!
Water bills can add up, so don’t use your hose to water your garden. Use the free water in the sky! The easiest way is to just leave out some buckets when it rains. You can also utilize your gutter system with a rain barrel. There’s no reason to spend your hard-earned money on water when Mother Nature is giving it to you for free. Even just setting a few cups outside your window for your indoor plants saves money.
Shower curtains will always gain mildew at some point. You may try your best to wash the curtain, but eventually, the mold will take over. Eventually, replacing it becomes easier than cleaning it. However, if you keep a sharp eye out for early mildew signs, you can greatly extend your curtain’s longevity. If you notice the beginnings of mildew at the bottom of the curtain, trim the bottom edge off. The grime can’t inch its way up when you trim.
Before you crank up the AC, have you tried turning on the fan? If you don’t have ceiling fans, consider installing one. Ceiling fans are a much cheaper alternative than fussing with AC. They keep rooms surprisingly cool. If you have a fire going on in the winter, turning on a ceiling fan keeps the heat from rising, which in turn makes you much warmer. Furthermore, if you get a fan that runs clockwise, it can go even further in keeping the house warm.
If you have kids or pets, you know just how easy it is to scratch, damage, or stain furniture. You can’t stop every spill and stain, but you can prevent the damage from being permanent. Purchasing a spray-on fabric protector can save money on future repairs. They provide a barrier onto the fabric that causes spills and liquids to roll off instead of absorbing. Since these protectors are dry clear and odorless, no one will even know it’s there. Your furniture will last longer and look better.
Despite never being invited in, bugs love to sneak into your house. If you’ve noticed a recent infestation of ants, you can stop them in their tracks with cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon wherever you notice them. Ants can’t stand the strong smell and will avoid the area. Cinnamon can also work as a natural pesticide. A dash in a plant pot or garden will deter aphids and other common pests. Your house and garden will remain pest-free.