We’ve all heard the saying, “Home is where the heart is.” But for some, “Home is where the debt is.” When your home becomes a place filled with stress and worry, it’s hard to enjoy it. The good news is, there are some easy ways right there in your home to cut down expenses, sometimes substantially, without sacrificing the pleasures of life.
Bundle your Services
If you have cable, phone and internet with different providers, there is usually a benefit to bundling those services with one provider. Even if you already have them with one provider, call them up to make sure you are taking advantage of those bundle savings. This could knock off $20-$40 from your bill each month!
Get Energy Smart
Texas summers are no joke, but you don’t have to sweat that energy bill if you take a few steps to conserve electricity! Remember what your mom said – turn off the lights and close that door – you weren’t raised in a barn, after all! Here are some other energy saving ideas:
- Switch to LED light bulbs. LED lights use 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
- Lower the temperature on your hot water heater. Up to 13% of your home’s electricity can come from heating water. You can lower this percentage by setting your hot water heater to 130-140 degrees.
- Add weather stripping to doors and windows. For the low cost of some new weather stripping, you can keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. You might be surprised how much air is getting out around your doors and windows.
- Hang it out to dry. Set up a clothesline in your backyard. That’s right – just like your grandmother used to do. If that is not an option, consider a clothes drying rack or hanging clothes to dry on a shower rod.
If you have ever watched TLC’s Extreme Couponing, you might think couponing is a little over the top and you may not have time for that. But, give it a try on a lower scale and see how much you can save.
The Sunday newspaper the best place to look for coupons, where you’ll find at least 75% of the coupons. Some stores will have circulars sitting at their front entrance, and magazines will offer some as well. Digital coupons are also growing in popularity, so be sure to check your store’s website for options to print out coupons or even download them to your phone’s “wallet”. Subscribing for email and text offers will also send coupons and deals your way!
Dine In instead of Out.
Americans spend an average of $6,500 per year on food. With prices going up, food is definitely taking a huge bite out of our budget. Deciding to cook instead of eating out is an important budgetary decision, but even after you’ve made that choice, there are smart ways to cut down on your grocery bill.
- Make a List…and stick to it!
- Buy whole foods instead of prepackaged foods. So, instead of buying prepared frozen mashed potatoes, buy a couple of potatoes and cook and mash them yourself. It will cost the fraction of the price and it probably taste better.
- Buy less frequently. Stop running to the market every time you prepare a meal. By shopping once or a week, you will save money and time.
- Pay with cash. You will most likely stick to what is only on your list and not fall for those tempting displays.
- Buy in season. Are you craving Strawberries in January? You will pay top dollar. Purchase in-season, and try canning or freezing so that you can enjoy year-round.
- Cook cheaper meals. Instead of serving huge portions of meat, use it to prepare several different casseroles and freeze for future meals.
We have just scratched the surface. There are so many other ways to trim the fat on your household bills. So, go ahead – challenge yourself to have more fun with less money and see where you end up. Take that challenge one step further and take that money you’re saving each month and invest in YOU by contributing regularly to an Eastex Credit Union Savings or Investment Account. Contact a Member Service Representative today to learn more about your options!