A penny saved is a penny earned. Or so the saying goes. Generally attributed to Ben Franklin, the expression speaks to a notion we are all familiar with – saving money has the same good result as earning money.
Adjusting the idiom to inflation, we might substitute a $100 bill in lieu of a penny. Doubtlessly this would make Ben contented, since his image graces our C-notes.
To be sure, the objective to save is the same now as it was back then. If we can save money using everyday things we already have in our homes, well, even better.
It is easy to cut household spending, if you look in the right places. With that in mind, here are five money saving ideas that do not involve buying anything new.
Turn down the dials
All your household appliances allow you to adjust them according to your liking. Think counter-clockwise and save energy by turning down the dial settings on your furnace, hot water heater and refrigerator. Throw on a fleece and save up to 20 percent on your home heating costs.
If you have a dishwasher, consider letting dishes air-dry verse the extended heating cycle. Try washing with a warm water cycle instead of hot, and cut your detergent down to half the recommended amount.
Think green – save some green
OK, so you are not clued in on what percentage your carbon footprint is affecting your environment. Not to worry. A few simple changes in your habits help save both your environment and the money in your pocketbook. A win – win.
Fancy cleaners and detergents are not only expensive, but wreak environmental havoc when they break down. Substitute baking soda for dish and laundry detergents. Use lemon juice as a glass cleaner and a stain remover. Add a little olive oil to lemon juice for a furniture polish. Try vinegar as a grease remover.
If something around your house breaks down, or if your auto starts making that funny clunking noise, what’s the first thing you do? Call a repairman. After all, they are the only ones qualified, right?
You may be underestimating your inner do-it-yourselfer. General household repairs and maintenance, like changing your furnace filter and cleaning out the burners, fixing a leaky sink, replacing the parts in your toilet tank, general vehicle maintenance – you may be surprised at how simple these repairs can be. A quick Google search will walk you through it.
Weather the storm
Drafty doors and windows can siphon your money at an alarming rate. Professionals can be hired to inventory your home’s energy loss and recommend solutions, but there are some steps you can take right now to seal those drafts.
Insert damp paper towels into areas around windows where the sill or trim are missing. They will expand as they dry, creating a barrier. Stuff a towel under exterior doors. Tape up older windows with thin plastic and then use a hair dryer to create a taut seal.
Get coupon crazy
It used to be that all coupons came in the Sunday paper. While stores still send out their weekly quota, there are hundreds of web sites that offer printable coupons. You can join most of the sites for free, and they will email you coupons based on your preferences. Many stores allow double savings with various coupons, so get busy searching, and start saving.
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