Many people are looking to save money these days. Increasing fuel bills, tax hikes and a general high cost of living means that we are all examining the money in our wallets more than ever before. It may seem that we have done all we can to cut down once we stop buying that latte from the coffee shop on the way to work and take in our own packed lunch, but there are a few ways in which money can be saved within the home itself.
Energy and Cost Savings
It is not only good for the environment but to try and reduce the amount of energy used within the home makes real financial sense. Turning the thermostat down by a few degrees can cut more than 10% off fuel bills. Power used by technology items left on standby may seem negligible, but it is actually quite significant, so turn those off completely when not in use. When making tea and coffee, only fill the kettle with as much water as necessary, and wash clothes at 30° rather than 40°.
Ensure that the home is not bleeding heat, by putting down good insulation lagging in the loft and cellar spaces. Also, check over window frames, and seal up any cracks or gaps. Use window dressings to block droughts and keep heat inside a room. A window dressing that is both energy efficient and very on-trend is wooden shutters. These provide a tight seal around windows, keeping the heat in and the cold out, while controlling the light and affording privacy.
Creative Money saving methods
Have a clear-out of the fridge, larder and food cupboards and concoct dishes with the items found there. The internet can be a big help with recipes. Just enter the ingredients and the internet will find a recipe to suit. If there are some fresh vegetables that look like they will not last much longer, blanch them for two minutes in boiling water, allow them to cool and then freeze them. Buy cheaper cuts of meat and cook them in a slow cooker, which can be left on during the day and uses only a light bulb’s worth of energy. Try to avoid too many takeaways, as these can prove very expensive.
Shop around for the best deals on insurance policies for the home, car and health, and scrutinize mobile phone and internet bills to ensure that all that is being paid for is being used. Perhaps the satellite channels are hardly being watched, and DVD rentals would work out a better use of money.
Money saving methods that are Fun
If the home is looking a little dingy and is in need of a facelift, do not rush out and buy new furniture but give creativity an airing. Take a good look at the existing pieces and if they are still fit for purpose, give them a makeover with paint and other textiles. An old style table can be given a contemporary twist by painting with bold, bright colors in an interesting pattern. Why stop there? Give unwanted items a new purpose in life by up cycling them, for example, turning an old-fashioned suitcase into a unique side table with the addition of some legs.