More of us are kicking it at home these days. Many of us are struggling to keep or find jobs. More of us have little confidence in our economy and financial institutions. In hard times such as these, we focus more on life at home rather than vacations, bars, and golf courses. We do more at home to save money, things we used to think little about or would send out for.
10 things we can all do more of at home to save money:
- Cooking. Food prices have gone up enough without adding in the inflated cost of convenience. It turns out it’s not so hard to cook at home in the comfort of your own kitchen, and cooking from scratch can save big bucks. Big bucks you could use to upgrade your kitchen when your newfound chef skills demand it.
- Gardening. Cooking at home only gets cheaper when it’s your own garden supplying the produce. It may still be the depths of winter for some readers, but spring will be here before long and a little sweat and the cost of some seeds is a small price to pay for good exercise and a stocked kitchen.
- Staying Warm. More time at home does mean increased heating (and cooling) needs, but that does not mean you can’t save money. You can work to make your home more energy efficient for one thing; upgrade and use the fireplace, insulate the walls and ceiling, and weatherize the house in general. Not sure where to start? Look into home energy audits and find out where your house needs work.
- Rent Movies. Rather than spending $10 for a movie ticket, many of us rent for much less, especially in today’s world of mail-order-entertainment. Certainly a good way to save money and stay entertained. Could even lead to a new home theater system…
- Conserve Water. Water can be a very costly service, especially hot water. That’s why many homeowners are installing low-flow fixtures, being more water conscious, and taking bigger steps such as solar water heaters or capturing rainwater.
- Hanging Out. Instead of meeting at the local pub, we’re inviting friends into our homes to party — a great way to make sure the living room and the patio get the proper amount of attention.
- Relaxing. Speaking of hanging out at home, our decks and patios aren’t just for friends. If we’re going to cut back on vacations this year, we may as well make sure our own home feels like a vacation itself.
- Out to Dry. Using the clothes dryer saps an incredible amount of energy. Try drying clothes on drying racks or out in the sun instead. We’re talking big savings here.
- Turn Down the Thermostat. Heating and cooling costs are the average home’s number one expense on monthly utility bills. Keeping the thermostat at or below 68 degrees in winter and no higher than 78 in summer can save a lot of money for other, more fun investments. Programmable thermostats allow you to set preferences to fit your schedule, and are usually tax deductible.
- Letting in the Light. The less you use artificial lighting the more money saved. First off, switch to CFL or LED lights, and be sure to open the shades or blinds on sunny days. Incorporate passive solar techniques into your remodel. Or go solar all the way with a new solar energy system.
With so few homes being bought and sold these days, now is a good time invest in your own home. Yet even the most avid remodeler may think twice about dipping into the savings for a new remodeling project. So why not make that remodel more affordable by saving money at home right now? Many of us are already up to it. Following some or all of these tips will start building a stack of saved money that will in turn finance your next remodeling dream, making your home an even cooler place to spend time and not money.