22 ways to save money around the house
Need to tighten your belt? Here are 22 ideas to help you save money around your home.
If you’re trying to cut back on your costs, then there are lots of ways to change your behaviour that can help you to save plenty of money around your home.
With a few smart changes to the way you handle your money, you can make a big difference to your finances. Here are 22 suggestions that you might find helpful.
1) Shop at the right time of the year
If you need to buy items for your home, time your purchases right to get the lowest prices. For example, buy furniture in January and February, barbecues in the Autumn, and holiday items after Christmas.
Look out for seasonal sales, and buy things at a time of year when they’re less popular to get better prices.
2) Renegotiate your rent or refinance your mortgage
You could try to negotiate a lower rent the next time your lease is due to be renewed. If you own your home, then you could look into refinancing your mortgage so you can save a couple of percentage points on your interest rate.
3) Get a Sunday paper
Sunday papers are usually the ones that are full of coupons. You could find plenty of savings on food and retailers from these coupons, which will far outweigh the cost of the paper.
If you can’t get a good paper, then look for the latest discount codes for home and garden online. Just make sure you only collect codes and coupons for things you would be buying anyway, or you aren’t actually saving money.
4) Collect spare change
Keep a jar at home and collect your loose change in it. Check your junk drawer and the sofa for lost coins and add these too. When the jar is full, take it to your bank or to your nearest supermarket with a coin sorting machine to exchange your change for notes that you can spend more easily.
Some of the coin sorting machines will allow you to swap your coins for vouchers to spend on groceries, or into gift cards for stores like Amazon.
There is a small fee for these machines if you don’t choose vouchers, but you will still be surprised by how much you’ve managed to save with no effort.
5) Buy household items at the pound shop
Buy your household staples, like tape, soap, wrapping paper, and other items at the pound shop to save a lot on the basics. The quality of basics like this will be perfectly fine from these stores, but much cheaper.
6) Relax for less
Instead of paying for ways to relax, find cheaper ways to unwind. Reading, napping, or meditating are all free hobbies (or they are if you reread favourite books or use your library), and are definitely cheaper options than going shopping or going out for expensive meals and drinks.
7) Grow your own herbs
Herbs can be grown indoors very easily even if you only have a small windowsill to put them on, or they can be grown outside in pots or planted in the garden.
Growing your own herbs will help you to save on buying expensive grocery store jars of seasoning, and will also taste a lot fresher. If you grow a lot of herbs, you can dry them and store them for later use.
8) Pay your bills online
Paying your bills online will save you some money on buying stamps and checks, but you can also set up email reminders to make sure you miss a bill and end up having to pay a late change.
9) Use supermarket weekly circular
Most supermarkets send out a weekly circular, and most of us just throw them out. Before you recycle it, have a good look through it and see what deals are coming up.
This means you can plan how to best shop the deals or see if there’s anything you should be stocking up on while they’re discounted.
10) Entertain over brunch instead of dinner
If you like to entertain, invite your friends to come over for brunch instead of dinner. Brunch foods tend to cheaper to prepare than dinner for guests, and you’ll also be able to save on alcohol, as people will drink less in the morning than they would over dinner.
11) Set a household budget
Sit down and create a budget. This allows you to see where your hidden expenses are and see exactly where your money is going. It’s also important to check you are not spending money unnecessarily. For example, you can use a free online tool to calculate your broadband usage and swap to a cheaper plan if you are overpaying.
12) Make your own wall art
You can create affordable art for your walls by combining your favourite photos into a collage, or by making use of artwork made by your kids, making art yourself, or framing pretty pieces of fabric.
13) Take free classes
In some communities, you will be able to find free or discounted continuing education classes in all kinds of subjects and hobbies. Instead of paying for classes or a tutor, look into options in your community.
14) Organise your pantry
If you keep your pantry well-organised, then you’re far less likely to buy things that you don’t need, or accidentally waste food by letting it go out of date. If you keep things tidy, you’ll be able to see what you have and make much better use of it.
15) Make your own drapes
Redecorating? Don’t buy curtains. If you’ve ever seen how much curtains can get, you’ll understand why this could be a big saving. If you can’t sew, you can still make your own drapes with no-sew options.
16) Use free advice in store
Take advantage of retailers’ in-house teams of experts. For example, if you’re redecorating speak to the experts and designers in-store in furniture and paint stores, who often offer free design consultants. In clothing stores, you can sometimes find stylists who will help you find the right clothes for free.
17) Drink discount wines
Keep an eye out for great promotions and sales in your local wine store. Most good off licenses will have some good budget options and will advertise weekly promotions from new wineries.
18) Use energy-efficient lighting
Old fashioned incandescent bulbs are being phased out, so it’s even easier to find affordable CFL and LED bulb options.
These bulbs can save you a lot of money over the lifetime of the bulb, so the cost of buying the bulbs is greatly outweighed. You’ll save on energy costs, and on bulbs, as these need to be replaced less often.
19) Be your own barista
Trips to coffee shops can be an expensive habit, especially if you go every morning on your way to work. Instead, brew your own coffee at home and take your coffee with you in a travel mug.
You could invest in a nice coffee machine or items like hand-frothers and coffee syrups. This means spending money at first, but recreating your favourite barista drinks at home will save you a lot in the long run. Raid your spice cupboards for cheaper coffee flavourings, like cinnamon.
20) Join store loyalty programs
Many supermarkets, retailers, and pharmacies have loyalty cards. Sign up and start earning points on the things you’d be buying anyway, and save on later purchases by using your points to pay.
21) Make your own cleaning products
There are lots of ways to make your own cleaning products using things from around your home. You can make cleaners with vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and other common household items.
This is not only cheaper than brand name cleaners but is also much greener, as you aren’t cleaning with harsh chemicals.
22) Buy in season or frozen vegetables
Don’t buy expensive out-of-season fruits and vegetables, or more expensive exotic fresh fruits. Instead, opt for in-season options and buy local whenever you can, such as from a local farmer’s market. Frozen is also a much cheaper option. It can also help to find the cheapest way to cook your vegetables.
Photo by Taisiia Shestopal