12 Easy Ways to Save Money at Home

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$2,000 a year.

That’s how much you can save if you apply these easy money saving tips at home. And that’s a conservative estimate (you can check the numbers yourself). That’s like a small raise!

Sometimes small changes today can make all the difference in the long run. With these easy money saving tips, you can take your first steps towards saving big. No more excuses about living paycheck-to-paycheck or not having anything left to save.

Now is the time to get started on your savings journey. Take a look at these savings tips you can do at home today to build up your savings.


1. Wash Your Laundry in Cold Water

The costly part of washing your dirty laundry is heating up all that water. Most clothing will do just fine in cold water. Plus, using cold water reduces energy use and microfiber shedding (which contributes to water pollution). It also prevents color bleeding and fading since cold water keeps fiber closed and traps dye inside. 

Hot water is only needed to remove germs and heavy soil. So for things that are hard to clean, like diapers, underwear, heavily soiled work clothes, or when you have an illness, you have my permission to use hot water. 

SaveOnEnergy’s study estimates that hot water washes can cost you up to $60 a year—that’s an extra 5 bucks a month you’re wasting unnecessarily on energy. 

2. Air-dry Your Laundry

Replacing the dryer with air drying saves you energy and money, plus has many additional benefits such as less wrinkles or damages to the clothes, natural disinfection, etc. (Be careful when air drying heaving sweaters since it may stretch them longer. You should flatten them on a surface to dry.)

If you have the space in your house or yard, you can devise a system for hanging up the majority of your clothing to dry. A retractable clothesline can be helpful in hanging clothes indoors. 

Assuming one load saves about $1, and you do one load per week, you can save around $50 per year air drying your laundry.

3. Replace Your Lightbulbs

Compared to traditional incandescents, energy-saving lightbulbs such as LEDs typically use about 25%-80% less energy and can last 3-25 times longer. Surprisingly, only 50.2% of Americans will actually switch their bulbs.

While they may have a higher price upfront, they cost less to operate and last significantly longer than traditional bulbs. Overall, you will be saving money over the life of the bulb. 

Replacing one incandescent light bulb in your home with an energy-saving one can save you around $4 a year (assuming you keep it on for 2 hours a day). 

The average household has 45 light bulb. So replacing all 45 will save you $180 year.

4. Unplug Appliances When Not in Use

Your house is probably packed with electronic devices and appliances. Most of them are probably plugged in all the time, even when not being used. However, electronics still consume electricity when they’re turned off or in “stand-by mode” but plugged in. That’s called a “phantom load”. 

Phantom loads can be small for individual appliances but will add up over the course of the year. The Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that an appliance that constantly draws one watt of electricity can cost up to $1 per year. Since many energy vampires use more electricity than that, annual costs can add up to $100 to $200 in the average home. 

If you want to find out how much electricity your appliances are using when idle, you can use a handheld electricity monitor. But in general, the worst offenders of phantom loads are furnaces, laser printers, entertainment systems including TVs, cable boxes, video game systems, audio systems, phone/device charges. 

Of course, if it’s too much hassle to unplug them or turn them off, like if you’d have to move heavy furniture or wait a long time for it to reboot, then it’s not worth doing it. Power strips can be helpful, since you just need to flip the switch. Some modern power strips also have features like timers, remote control, etc. 

5. Use Electronics Efficiently

If you’re using a computer, tablet, or console, you can apply several tips to conserve energy when using them:

  • Switch to energy efficient power settings: Set your devices to enter sleep mode after a certain amount of time of activity. Disable screensavers. This will cut down on power usage by 80%, saving you $25-75 per year.
  • Stream on the small screen: When streaming videos, use the smallest device that makes sense for the number of people watching. This means watching Netflix on your phone or laptop instead of your huge living room TV if you’re by yourself. Avoid streaming on consoles because they use more energy than streaming on your tablet or laptop. This could save you up to $20 per year.
  • Turn down the brightness: Reduce the brightness of your TV and monitors. Going from 100% to 70% brightness (not too noticeable), you can cut your energy usage by 20%. If we estimate using the TV costs about $8 per month in energy costs, that should save you about $20 per year.

If you follow all these tips, you should net yourself about $100 or more per year without making any major changes to your lifestyle. You could also save more money by just not streaming so much and taking a walk outside for once.

6. Air Seal Your Home

The most common sources of air leaks into your home are vents, windows, and doors. These air leaks lead to energy wasting and raise home heating and cooling expenses. This is why it’s important to air seal your home by sealing cracks, gaps and leaks and adding insulation.

I’m not going to pretend to be a home improvement expert. So for a more detailed guide on how to do this, see here

According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency, sealing your home and adding insulation can typically save up to $200 per year. 

7. Others

Here’s a list of other tips you can try to cut costs:

  • Keep good habits of preserving energy: Turn off lights, water, fans, electronics when not needed. It’s hard to get an exact number on this, but I’m estimating you will save roughly $10-20 per year if you have good energy preserving habits.
  • Take cold showers: This will cut water heating costs and build character among other benefits. Business Insider estimates this could save you about $50 per year.
  • Use energy efficient appliances: They might cost more upfront, but will save energy in the long run. You can cut your electric bill by 10-50% by switching to more efficient appliances. This comes out to roughly $150-400 per year based on a ballpark estimate of the average electric bill.
  • Defrost the refrigerator and freezer before ice buildup: This ensures they are running efficiently
  • Keep the freezer full: A full freezer runs more efficiently and takes less energy. There aren’t any exact estimates out there, but I’m estimating you will save roughly $10-20 per year if you follow this and the previous tip.
  • Install a programmable thermostat: It automatically turns off and on the heater/AC based on your schedule, saving you energy. This can cut your heating and cooling costs by 10%, leading to a savings of $70 per year.
  • Change filters regularly: It helps appliances run more efficiently and economically. Changing out filters can save you $150-300 per year.
  • Use the right size pots and pans when cooking and cover them: If you are using a pan that’s smaller than the burner size, you could be wasting up to 40% of your heat. For an added bonus, cover your pots and pans to stop the heat from escaping. This should save you about $10-30 per year.


8. Grocery Shopping

There are many ways to save money on grocery shopping. For starters, you should keep an active shopping list to avoid buying unnecessary things. There are apps that can keep a shared grocery list and sync the list. Also you should reduce the number of grocery shopping trips to save time and gas. 

When shopping, always go for generic unless you have a strong reason not to. Often the generic options are cheaper, and just as good, if not better, than some of their pricier brand name counterparts. In fact, many store or “private label” brands are manufactured by the same companies that make the name brands. 

Make good use of coupons. Sunday papers are full of coupons, and the amount of savings gained from using these food and retailer coupons may be worth the cost of the paper. Before you purchase anything online, hit up sites, like RetailMeNot and Froogle/Google Shopping, to check for promo codes, free shipping, and where to find your item at the cheapest price. 

If you want an easy way to find deals on groceries, you can also download the Ibotta app. Ibotta checks the grocery store for deals available and gives you cashback for redeeming them. All you have to do is scan your receipt.

Just be careful not to spend on things you wouldn’t buy normally. If done correctly, couponing can save you hundreds per year. The balance says you can save around $1,560 per year, but I’m pretty skeptical. If you’re saving $5 per grocery trip (a reasonable amount) and grocery shopping once per week, you should save about $260 per year.

9. Growing Your Own Vegetables

Many vegetables are easy to grow in your garden or in a container, like tomatoes, zucchini, green onion, herbs, etc. They are a fun activity, save a lot of money, and avoid pesticides and inorganic fertilizer. 

You can use kitchen waste (veggie cuttings, coffee grounds, egg shells) and leaves as compost. It may seem labor intensive, but after the initial efforts it’ll quickly become routine. 

Money.com estimates that you should save about $1 per square foot of garden per year. So depending on the size of your garden, you can save anywhere from $100-600 per year on vegetables.

10. Cook Your Food From Scratch Instead of Buying Them

This one is pretty obvious. Making food yourself saves a lot of money. Of all the saving tips in this post, this one is one of the top tips that will save you the most money (depending on how much you’re eating out right now). 

The average meal eaten outside the home costs $12.75. If we assume eating a meal at home costs $3 (on the higher end), eating out just once a week will cost you $39 per month. That can basically blow all of your savings out of the water in just a few months if you eat out a lot.

This doesn’t just apply to eating out. It also includes cooking your own meals rather than buying pre-made meals at the grocery store. 

If you went from eating out once a week to once a month, you could save yourself $351 per year. And that’s only accounting for yourself. 

House Maintenance

11. Repair Small Things ASAP 

When you notice something in your home is beginning to break or wear out, don’t delay repairs. A simple leak in the bathroom faucet can turn into a major repair project that drains your bank account. The same is true of your car.

Here’s a list of quick home improvement fixes that can save you money in the long run:

  • Flip the breakers off and on every 2-3 months
  • Clean out your sump pump once a year
  • Clear out your gutter in autumn 
  • Replace the glaze around your window every 4-5 years
  • Replace toilet fill valve if your toilet runs all the time, fills slowly, or flushes weakly
  • Tighten up loose railings
  • Clean the dryer vent

It’s not easy to estimate the exact savings because there’s not too many resources out there that show exactly how big of a problem poor maintenance will cause you. However, a ballpark estimate of your savings could easily run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars per year if proper maintenance stops bigger problems from popping up.

12. Organize the House Regularly

Doing a deep clean of the house regularly has many benefits. It helps you identify areas that need fixing, find lost items, clean out things you don’t need any more that you can sell for money. 

You can also recycle for cash. There are many programs out there, like Recyclebank, which work with your waste hauler to give rewards for regular recycling. Such benefits include earning coupons for your favorite restaurants, supermarket gift certificates, and free magazines. You can also “recycle” old electronics for cash through sites like uSell, Gazelle, and NextWorth.

That might net you $20-100 per year depending on how many things you want to recycle and sell.

Conclusion: Easy Ways to Save at Home

If you add up all those savings (conservatively), you could be saving $2,000 per year or more by applying these easy home saving tips. For the most part, you’re just looking at saving energy, doing proper maintenance, and cooking at home. All things that should be pretty straightforward. 

I would say if there’s one thing to do to get the most return for your efforts, cut down on your eating out expenses. Look into bringing your own lunch to work and cutting down on your monthly restaurant trips.

I hope those tips ended up saving you some money. If you’re interested in learning more about budgeting and personal finance, check out some of my other related posts below and subscribe for weekly money tips for youngsters.

Jenny Wang

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