Household bills can be a drain on your finances, and reduce the amount of money available for leisure activities, savings, and emergencies. While there is no magic formula to saving on your monthly bills, small changes can make a big difference. Here are ways to save each month on your grocery, heating, and electric bills.
How to Save On Your Grocery Bill
Image via Flickr by rick
Buying groceries can be expensive, especially when you don’t plan ahead. Start your grocery trip off right by planning your meals for the week and bringing a list of needed ingredients to the store. Buy whole foods whenever possible by shopping on the edges of the store. The edges, as opposed to the aisles, are where most of the fresh, whole foods are kept. The interior, where most of the enticingly designed packaged foods are stocked, can be a real budget killer.
Don’t be afraid to clip coupons and take advantage of the sales offered with an in-store rewards card. One of the best ways to save money at the grocery store? Don’t go shopping hungry!
How to Save on Your Heating Bill
When those cold winter months set in you may groan at the thought of your heating bill. Did you know your furnace may be using more energy than it needs to keep you warm? A poorly maintained furnace can be costly. Be sure to have your furnace serviced each year, and install a new air filter regularly. A dirty air filter can make the furnace work extra hard to push air through it, reducing efficiency and costing you more each month.
Another way to save money on your heating bill is to install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats can be set to run at one temperature when you’re home and awake, and another temperature when you’re away or asleep. Simple programmable thermostats are easy to install and inexpensive.
How to Save on Your Electric Bill
Your electricity use can flux throughout the seasons, but there are a few ways you can reduce your electricity bill year-round. Begin by seeking out “vampire electronics,” which are those which draw power even when they aren’t in use. Classic vampire electronics include computers, printers, and gaming consoles. Shutting down each of these completely when not in use can save hundreds of dollars per year.
In addition to turning off unused electronics, you can reduce your electric bill by only running your dishwasher and washing machine when they are full, and running them overnight. Running these appliances overnight helps prevent them from warming your house, which you may be tempted to account for by turning on your air conditioning (and increasing your electric bill).
The key to paying less for your household bills is to look for small changes that add up to make a big difference. By cutting your grocery bill with the use of a shopping list, regularly maintaining your furnace, and shutting down electronics when not in use, you’ll be on your way to saving on your household bills. Your wallet and your budget will breathe easier.