22 Proven Ways You Can Save Money at Home
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Today I’ve written a very detailed guide on how to save money at home. Being people who try to save money in any way that we can, we have found some pretty efficient ways to do so. By following the ideas on this list, we have saved thousands of dollars over the past year. I’m not even kidding. So if you’re in need of some money saving tips for your home, this post has you covered.
Real Ways to Save Money at Home
Here are some super simple ways to save money at home. The best part is, you’re not even going to miss any of the things you have to give up. Most have alternatives for free or cheap and don’t impact your day-to-day living much!
1. Do it Yourself
Since we moved into our home last year, we have saved thousands of dollars in home repairs by doing things ourselves. Granted, Ian is a mechanical engineer who’s very good with his hands, and I’m always up for learning and assisting. If you aren’t handy yourself, you can always try and learn through YouTube videos or instructional websites. Otherwise, maybe you know a family member or friend who can help you out for a case of beer or dinner.
To give you a better understanding of just some of the things we’ve done over the past year ourselves:
• We had to redo our laundry room waste water plumbing. We had a plumber come out to unclog it since we weren’t getting anywhere with it ourselves. He ended up breaking the line. Instead of paying $800+ for him to run a new line, we knocked it out on a Sunday afternoon for less than $100. Savings: at least $700
• Our house is on well water that has a fairly high hardness (18-23). Our water softener was from the 80s so needless to say, it was garbage (it didn’t work). We had some companies come out and do free hardness testings and give us some ideas of what we needed. Had we gone with their services, we would have spent around $2000 for a water softener, post filter, and installation. We got our water softener AND post filter for $700 on Amazon and installed it on a Saturday. Savings: $1300
• This past week, we tried turning the furnace on. Everything kicked on, but the fan would not blow. After a replacement part and some YouTube videos, Ian figured out a bird flew into the exhaust line, got trapped, and died. It’s apparently common for birds, small animals, even bees nests to get trapped in a furnace intake / exhaust line. Good thing we didn’t call an HVAC company for something so simple. Savings: $100+
The list goes on and on, including redoing the rest of our waste water lines and switching from copper to PEX for the clean water lines. Honestly, this is one of the easiest ways you can save money at home. It may take a day to complete but if you’re tight on money, it can 100% help. Just make sure you know what you’re doing.
2. Amazon Subscribe & Save
Amazon Subsribe & Save is something I wish I’d started using sooner. Straight from Amazon itself about Subscribe & Save:
Set up regularly scheduled deliveries and earn savings with Subscribe & Save. Unlock extra savings on eligible subscriptions when you subscribe to five or more products at one address on your monthly delivery day. From diapers to toothpaste to dog treats, you can subscribe to thousands of everyday products from Amazon and Amazon Marketplace.
Essentially, you can save up to 15% for buying things through Amazon Subscribe & Save that you’d normally buy at the grocery store. All you have to do is choose the item(s) you want, when you want them delivered, and confirm the subscription(s). You can cancel them at any time should you no longer want or need the item(s).
What I really like about this is you can have these items automatically delivered to your house for free unless otherwise noted with an Amazon Prime Membership. Prime members also have the opportunity to unlock 20% savings with subscriptions to diapers and baby food if they receive 5 or more products in a month from Amazon (have to be delivered to the same address).
If you have kids, pets, or just buy specific things on a regular basis, give the Amazon Subscribe & Save a go. It’s definitely going to save you some money. If you aren’t signed up with Amazon yet, you can use this link to get a FREE 30-Day Trial of Amazon Prime. If you’re a student, use this link to get a FREE 6-Month Trial of Amazon Prime, plus get 50% off a Prime Membership after those 6 months are up.
3. Get Rid of Cable
Everyone talks about how getting rid of cable can save you money, and it’s because it’s true. And it’s probably the easiest way you can save money at home. Cable is an unnecessary cost, especially if you pay for Neflix, Hulu, etc.
But what if you still want to watch things that aren’t on Netflix or Hulu? Well, friend, you’re in luck.
There is a 100% FREE online television service called Pluto TV. They have over 100 channels for you to choose from. It’s super simple to use and it’s absolutely awesome. I suggest looking into them for all your tv channel needs.
Another option is using the Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 Antenna. It has a wide range and is very well reviewed. The antenna does not cost a lot of money, and it’s a one-time fee. Therefore, you can use it forever and ever and you won’t be charged a monthly fee for it.
For those of you who don’t have cable television and are debating getting it, wait. Carry on with your normal life and use Pluto TV or get an antenna. Sign up for Netflix or Hulu if Pluto TV and the antenna aren’t enough. You can always add cable to your contract later if you decide you want it.
But trust me, you’ll save at least $50 a month without cable. That is at least $600 every year that can go towards your debt or into your savings account. Cable totally isn’t worth the cost. I promise.
4. Buy Your Own Internet Modem
Cable companies are big scammers. It’s the cold, hard truth. Many people don’t realize their internet provider charges them to “rent” an internet modem. Thankfully, there is a way around that atrocious fee.
All you have to do is buy your own modem! It will pay for itself in 6-12 months, depending on the modem you choose and your current modem renting fee. You also get to keep it at the end of your service and can use it with another internet provider if it’s compatible or sell it.
When we moved into our house, we only signed up for internet. We ordered our modem on Amazon for $60 and it started saving us money after only 6 months. We would have been charged around $10 / month to rent a modem through our internet provider. It’s a small monthly payment that adds up over time and could be better spent elsewhere.
Note: Not all modems are compatible with your internet provider’s service. They have a list of ones you can purchase. Be sure to check with your internet provider before you purchase one.
5. Ditch the Landline
Chances are you have a cell phone, so why do you need a landline, too? Most cell phone companies offer unlimited calling and it’s usually not that much more. My plan comes with unlimited calls and texts, along with data. Since I’m still on my dad’s contract because it’s cheaper, I only pay $40/month and can talk on the phone as much as I want. It completely eliminates the need for a landline.
6. Use LED Light Bulbs
I love science and technology and therefore love LED light bulbs.
LED light bulbs are up to 80% more efficient than the standard incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. Only 5% of the light bulbs energy is wasted due to heat, with the other 95% being converted to light.
And what’s even better is that LEDs aren’t that expensive. We got some on sale at Meijer and were able to replace all of the old bulbs in our home for less than $40. These bulbs will last at least 11 years assuming we use them 12 hours every day (50,000 hour lifespan). We don’t even use lights that often so they’ll probably last even longer than that.
Switch your old bulbs to LEDs and watch that electricity bill plummet.
Note: Your old light bulbs can be recycled at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Also, DTE offers free Home Energy Consultations to help you figure out where you can conserve energy in each room of your house. They can even help you change lightbulbs, install an energy efficient shower head, etc. If you’re not with DTE, see if your energy provider offers something similar.
7. Don’t Leave Lights On
Why pay for something you aren’t using?
Leaving lights on when you don’t need them is a waste of money. If I walk past a conference room at work with the lights on, I make it a habit to turn them off. The same thing goes for when I’m at home. It saves money and conserves energy, two things I am very passionate about. 😊
8. Do Laundry at Night
Energy companies raise their rates during peak times. This is usually during the day, since there’s a higher demand at this time. Try doing your laundry at night, it can save you a few bucks.
9. Buy Energy Star Appliances
This is something we’ve recently started doing and we’ve definitely seen a decrease in our monthly electricity bill. Energy Star Appliances are efficient appliances that don’t require as much electricity to operate. This means your electricity bill will be lower once you upgrade to Energy Star Appliances. If your appliances aren’t that old, then you probably won’t see much of a difference. However, it depends on the make and model of your appliance. Our fridge was from the 90s and our washer and dryer were the cheapest models the previous home owner’s could find = inefficient.
These are some of the things we’ve recently purchased: a new washer and dryer set, newer refrigerator, new water heater, and a new water softener & filtration system. Just in the past month, our electricity bill went from a steady $85 down to about $60. That difference adds up!
Note: You may be eligible for an Energy Star Appliance rebate through your utility company. Check their website for specifications.
10. Use a Smart Thermostat
I have been oogling over a Nest Learning Thermostat since earlier this year and we finally decided to invest in one. While it’s still too early to turn the heat on, I know it’s going to serve us well.
The Nest Learning Thermostat has the ability to learn your habits. This means if you turn the heat down to 65 every night, it will pick that up and start automatically doing it for you. If you want the heat to be turned up to 70 before you wake up so the house is warm, it can do that for you, too. The same thing goes for controlling the A/C.
The Nest can also determine if you are home or not and turn the heat or A/C on or off, depending on how you have it set. You can also control it from your smartphone. This is allows you to change the temperature in your home when you’re at work or out of town.
By figuring out when you need the heat or A/C on and when you don’t you can conserve energy and consume less propane or natural gas. This allows you to save money on electricity and heating and cooling costs. According to Nest:
Independent studies have proven that the Nest Learning Thermostat saved an average of 10-12% on heating bills and 15% on cooling bills. That means in 2 years, it can pay for itself.
If you’re interested in buying a Nest Learning Thermostat, you can find them on Amazon. Not only is the Nest efficient, it’s also great for dealing with the heating schedule so you don’t have to! Make sure to check the wiring diagram before purchasing, as it’s not compatible with every system.
Note: You may be eligible for a rebate through your utility company for purchasing a smart thermostat. Check their website for specifications.
11. Turn Down the Heat
Reducing heating costs is a significant way to save money at home. Our first heating bill last winter was $400 (for a month). This really woke us up and made us reevaluate how we heat our home. Our house is only 1581 square feet, but it has almost no insulation and is poorly sealed. Until we can get it insulated this fall, we had to change a few things.
1. First and foremost, we turn the heat down to 60-62 degrees at night or when we are not home. We use blankets and have pajamas so it’s not that cold.
2. When we are home during the day, we set the temperature to 65-67 degrees. It’s winter so we are wearing pants and sweaters anyway. We have plenty of blankets and a nice big heating blanket if we get cold.
By making these small changes, we were able to drop our monthly heating cost down to around $250 a month. It’s still expensive, but that’s the price you pay for using propane to heat a poorly insulated 1860s farmhouse. *insert shrug emoji*
Note: A coworker conserves energy and reduces his heating costs by shutting the heater off after February! We live in Michigan…. If you want to be this extreme, then more power to you. Just use space heaters and a fireplace if you have one. But make sure your pipes don’t freeze or you’ll be looking at a very pricey repair!
12. Ditch the A/C
The savings from turning off the A/C will be highly noticeable.
We don’t have central air in our home but we both grew up with it. It definitely is nice, but you can totally live without it. Here’s how you can do it, too, and still live comfortably:
1. At night, open your windows.
2. If possible, stick a fan in a window upstairs facing outwards. Since warm air rises, the fan upstairs helps draw the warm air out.
3. Put a fain in a window downstairs facing inwards. This one will help draw the cool air from outside inside.
4. Make sure you close the windows in the morning to keep the heat and humidity out!
5. Install a window shaker in your bedroom. We only turn this on at night, otherwise we can’t sleep. Our electricity bill is only $65 even when using a window shaker every night.
We do this every night and wake up to a cool house almost every morning. This makes the warm weather more bearable.
Also be sure to close your blinds and shades during the day. It will help keep some of the hot sun from warming up your home. Buy energy efficient shades and blinds if you do not have them already! They make a huge difference.
13. Insulate & Air Seal Your Home
As mentioned earlier, we are finally getting our attics and basement air sealed and insulated. We have an old 1860s farmhouse with almost no insulation and our furnace uses propane to heat the home which is super expensive.
Insulating and air sealing a home helps keep it at comfortable levels and reduces how much of your heat or air escapes. It essentially helps keep your home at a regular temperature. Your A/C and furnace won’t need to kick on as much, as the heat isn’t able to escape as easily and the warm air from outside can’t find any easy way into your home. Therefore, your home will feel cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
If you’re thinking about insulating your home, we highly recommend getting at least 3-4 quotes from different companies. Make sure you look at all your options. We were able to get free quotes from everyone, so see if you can do the same. A few companies we got quoted on wanted to do spray foam everywhere, which is expensive, while other companies recommended other options. The prices ranged all the way from $1800-$8500. In the end, we chose the company that has done a lot of insulation work on older homes like ours. There’s only such much we can do to insulate our home before the cost of insulating isn’t worth the amount of savings we would get from it.
You should also make sure you have proper venting in your attic(s). If you get insulation quotes, see what they recommend in terms of venting. We installed 2 additional louvered vents and are having the insulation company install 3-4 gable vents. Ventilation is important!
Another thing we did was get an energy audit to see exactly where the heat was escaping and where the cold spots are in the house, among many other things. The energy auditor was so thorough he was at our home for 5-6 hours and walked through everything with us. We did pay for this audit because we wanted to be as thorough as possible. However, you may be able to get a free one through your utility / energy company.
Note: You may be eligible for a rebate through your utility company for insulating your home. Check their website for specifications.
14. Replace or Plastic Wrap Leaky Windows
The majority of the windows in our house are the original, single-pane ones. When we got the energy audit done, we could see a lot of air escaping through them. Over the last year, we’ve replaced about half of the windows in our house and have definitely noticed improvements. There aren’t any drafts, no air leakage, they all actually open, and they also look a lot better.
If you don’t have the money to replace your old, leaky windows, you can put a thick sheet of plastic over them. Our upstairs windows that haven’t been replaced currently have plastic on them. We have definitely noticed more comfortable temperatures with the leaky windows being covered, and it’s helped reduce our heating costs a little bit.
All you have to do is buy a roll (or more) of painters plastic sheeting from Home Depot, duct tape, and painters tape and you’re good to go. Make sure you put strips of painters tape on your walls and then stick the duct tape to the plastic sheeting and then on top of the painters tape. Otherwise, you could ruin your paint or walls, which wouldn’t be good.
Note: You may be eligible for a tax refund if you replace old windows with new, efficient ones. Check with your energy provider or when you get your taxes done.
15. Build a Rainwater Catcher
Since it rains, why not save that free water to use later? Even if you don’t pay for water, you probably pay for your pump to provide you with water. It might not cost a lot, but every little bit helps.
Here are some ideas for building a rainwater catcher. You can also buy one (but they can get pretty expensive).
16. Recycle / Compost
Depending on where you live, your recycling company might offer rewards for recycling. My mom’s recycling company offers coupons for free food or gift cards for people who recycle. They even get large recycling bins that are larger than your standard outdoor garbage can.
Check to see if your local recycling company offers any incentives. Even if they don’t, recycling is still good for the environment and it’s something Ian and I are very passionate about. You can also save a lot of garbage bags by throwing recyclable materials into a separate bin and recycling them. We go through maybe a garbage bag a week on actual garbage, if that. However, we fill up a whole 32 gal garbage can with recyclables almost every week.
As far as composting goes, you probably won’t save much money, but again, it’s a good thing to do. For starters, your garbage won’t smell like decomposing fruits and vegetables. Secondly, your garbage won’t fill up as quickly. And thirdly, you can use your compost to fertilize your garden.
17. Grow Your Own Fruits and Veggies
We haven’t had time to this year, but one day we plan to grow our own fruits and vegetables. Ian’s parents do (they even have chickens) and they always have fresh fruits and veggies (and eggs).
You do have to put some time and effort into growing a garden, but you’ll have fresh produce at your disposal. This means you don’t have to buy mediocre produce at the grocery store. And if you have leftovers, you can always sell them! You”ll be saving money and making money – what’s better than that?!
18. Make Your Own Food
A few years ago I found out I have corn, rice, and coffee sensitivities and acid reflux. In case you didn’t know, corn and rice are in almost everything. It has been challenging to find things to eat without these foods in them.
Because of this, Ian and I make almost all of our meals. By this, I don’t mean we make homemade bread (though we plan to one day). But we do make our own Alfredo sauces, pesto, hummus, all baked goods, and even pasta! Now that we make pesto, it costs us maybe $4-$5 to make and it will last 2-3 weeks. We get twice as much out of homemade pesto as we do with a store bought container for $3-$4.
If you buy in bulk, like at Costco, the ingredients will last a while. I do this with nuts, craisins, peanut butter, and chicken breasts to name a few.
By making your own food, you can save money and you know the ingredients that are in it. If you start a garden, you can even use your fresh fruits and veggies for your homemade meals.
Buying and using fresh ingredients is not only cheaper but it’s also healthier. Processed foods aren’t really good for your body, nor for your wallet. So try making more homemade meals and you’ll taste the difference! And you’ll be able to save money at home while doing so.
19. Buy in Bulk
Costco is one awesome place and I recommend you all signup for a membership if you haven’t already. There are so many great deals you can find shopping at Costco that you can’t find elsewhere. I buy several things in bulk from Costco and it has saved me tons of money. Honestly, my membership has already paid for itself this year just from shopping there once.
Here are the types of things I personally buy at Costco:
• Toilet paper: I got 45 rolls of Cottenelle toilet paper for about $16 (we normally pay $10 for 8-12 rolls). This will last us well into the new year.
• Dishwasher packs: These were on sale so I got a 90 pack of Cascade Complete Action Packs for $12. Before I bought them, I looked to see what price they were at Meijer – they were about $12 for 45.
• Bread: We eat Brownberry Oat Nut Bread. They’re usually about $4 at Meijer or Kroger. We get 2 for about $6 at Costco and buy a bunch to freeze for later.
• Peanut butter: Ian absolutely loves peanut butter so we go through it like crazy. Costco has organic, natural, no sugar added peanut butter that comes in 2-28oz packages for $12. I bought 4 of those 2 packs back in June and we still have 3 jars left. The peanut butter at Kroger only comes in small jars and it’s quite expensive. We’ve definitely saved at least 50% buying peanut butter at Costco.
• Some others are: Checkups dog treats, ibuprofen, Claritin, frozen chicken breasts, ground turkey, Hershey’s Simply 5 Chocolate Syrup, batteries, granola bars, walnuts, pecans, pine nuts, Craisins (we got 2 – 4lb bags for like $10), etc. However, we do not buy things we know we won’t eat or use before the expiration date. Since there’s only 2 of us, we don’t buy fruit or salad in bulk since we just won’t eat it. Otherwise, we’d be wasting money.
Honestly, the list goes on and on of what you can get at Costco. Buying in bulk has saved us so much money and we can go months without having to buy those things again. If you’re looking to save some serious money, I highly suggest buying in bulk and getting a Costco membership.
Another great way to save by buying in bulk: the $5 Meal Plan has a Summer Pantry Staple & Freezer Friendly Edition Meal Plan where you can get 20 meals from Costco for $150. That’s stupid cheap. For more information on the $5 Meal Plan, you can read my review on it.
20. Refill Your Hand Soap
This is a super easy way you can save money at home. I’m going to do a price comparison for you.
A 7.5oz Softsoap hand soap pump is $0.99. A 56oz Softsoap hand soap refill is $3.97. If you divide 56 by 7.5, you get roughly 7.5. That means the 56oz refill can fill the 7.5oz hand soap pump about 7.5 times. To get the same amount of soap out of the 7.5oz soap containers, you would need to buy 8 of them, which costs $8+tax. You can save about 50% buying a hand soap refill as opposed to buying the hand soap pump containers each time you run out of soap.
Like I said, it’s a super easy way to save money.
21. Buy a Bagless Vacuum
We have a Hoover Air Lift Deluxe Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum and boy is it good. It has such great suction that it needs to be emptied at least once each time I vacuum the house. Yeah, it gets up that much animal hair and dirt. If we had a vacuum with a bag, we’d have to empty it so frequently and it would get expensive. Not to mention all those bags would be going to the landfill.
Obviously the price of vacuum bags depends on the make and model of the vacuum. Either way, it’s still an expense that can totally be avoided by choosing a bagless vacuum. We love our Hoover and will always buy bagless vacuums.
If you’re thinking of making the switch, I personally recommend the Hoover Air Lift Deluxe Pet Bagless Upright Vacuum (wheew, that’s a mouth full). It’s bagless, comes with several different attachments, has a carpet and hard floor setting, you can detach the canister and hose from the stand for a handheld vacuum (great for stairs, cleaning the car, vacuuming the couch, etc.), and it sucks really well. I’m amazed how much hair it pulls up from the carpet every time I vacuum it. You can also take pretty much the whole thing apart and clean it – this is great if it starts to smell (it’s inevitable, vacuums get smelly). It also has 2 filters – one can be rinsed, the other can be shaken out, or both can be replaced. We haven’t had to replace them yet and we’ve had the vacuum for 2 years.
As with pretty much everything, this vacuum does have some flaws. You cannot vacuum small or super high pile rugs. The only rugs I can’t vacuum are the ones in the bathroom which I throw in the wash anyway, so it’s okay with me. Since it’s a hard plastic vacuum, it is sometimes tricky to get under furniture with. However, that’s what the hose and attachments are for. And lastly, if you leave it on carpet mode when vacuuming hard floors, it will blow the dirt and hair around, so just make sure you switch it back to the hard floor mode (button next to the power button). Other than these things, I absolutely love this vacuum and highly recommend it.
22. Install a Single Handle Faucet
This will save you money and time and make washing dishes slightly less of a pain. But only slightly. The money savings will come from your water bill, as you’ll hopefully be using less.
If you have a kitchen faucet that has 2 knobs, one for hot and one for cold, you probably know how difficult it is to turn the water off and back on again in between washing dishes. I know I hated doing that, and most of the time I just left the water running. Disgraceful, I know. That’s when we decided to upgrade and buy a single handle kitchen faucet.
Now I can easily turn the water off with the back of my hand, finish scrubbing dishes, and turn it back on again. I don’t even need to use my fingers anymore since there aren’t any knobs to twist.
Thanks for reading – I hope this list will help you save money at home. I know these things have helped us! If you enjoyed this list, would ya mind sharing it? Thanks 🙂