Spending money each month on utilities can add up over time. Between an electric bill, water bill, gas bill, internet/telephone bill, cable/satellite TV bill, HOA fees, etc. things can get pretty expensive. However, there are ways to save money on your utilities each month that will drastically change your budget.
Some of the following suggestions are things you may have heard before, but not all of them. If you really want to reduce the amount you spend each month on your utilities, you have to get creative! Finding small things here and there to save energy will add up to big savings in the end.
30 Ways to Save Money on Your Utilities
1// Live slightly uncomfortable
By living 2-3 degrees warmer or cooler [depending on the season] than you are used to can save you a lot of money! In the summer months, dress warmer than you would normally. In the winter, cuddle up with a blanket.
According to Energy.gov, by adjusting the thermostat 7-10 degrees for at least 8 hours of the day, you have the potential to save up to 10% on your energy consumption, which means saving money!
If you have a wood burning fireplace, you have the benefit of using it as a utility-free source to save even more money.
2// Use energy efficient appliances
Appliances made with energy efficiency in mind will help save a ton of money on your utilities. Our toilet has two flush settings [I & II]. One puts out just a little water, while two puts out what many would consider a regular flush. This saves us about $100 a year on our water bill.
By switching as many things to energy efficient as possible in your home, you can save 5-30% on your annual electric bill. Of course, your location has a lot to do with this, but if you could get at least 5% in savings each year, why not?
3// Unplug unused appliances
There are savings potential with unplugging unused appliances, such as your coffee pot or microwave. Appliances that have clocks or lights on them suck more energy than necessary, most commonly known as standby or phantom power. According to Energy.gov, you could save $100 per year by using power strips to stop the power when these appliances are not in use.
While $100 may not sound like much for an entire year, these small savings stack up with the rest of the suggestions can! Personally, I love the idea of saving an extra $8.00 per month on my electric bill alone!
4// Cook simple, quick meals
The less time you spend over a stove or oven, the lower your energy use will be. Not only does your stove use electricity [or gas, if you have a gas stove], but it also makes your air conditioner work harder in the warmer months.
During the colder months, you should leave the oven door open when you are finished baking to allow the heat from the oven fill the kitchen. This will reduce the need for the heater, if only for a few minutes.
5// Have seasonal bedding
My favorite thing about the changing season is changing my bedding. Our winter bedding allow us to turn down our thermostat even more than recommended, because the bedding keeps us warm. During the summer months, our thinner sheets allow us to are able to keep our air conditioner at a higher setting, because our sheets keep us cooler.
The difference in temperature since we have started this is about 3 degrees during the night, which means that we are almost always in the 3-10 degrees range of energy saving.
6// Only wash things once
How many times have we started a load of laundry, forgotten about it, and ended up rewashing it? By not remembering or changing out the laundry, we not only use more electricity and water, but also laundry detergent, fabric softener, and/or vinegar and bleach. It is basically throwing money into the wind.
Think of how much money you can save overall if you make sure to only wash clothes that you do not forget about?! I know my money would stretch 30-40% farther than it does now.
7// Keep refrigerator and freezer stocked at all times
The more you have in your refrigerator and freezer, the easier it is to keep the temperature stable. When you do not have a lot in your refrigerator or freezer, it is harder to keep the temperature consistent.
8// Spend time outdoors
By getting outside, you are spending less time inside watching TV or on the computer. You can adjust the thermostat in your home as if you are away, which also helps to save on your electric bill.
9// Grill outside
In the summer months, grilling outside keeps your home at a more steady temperature due to not using the stove for cooking. [It also makes for a much better meal!] By not using the stove and increasing the need for the air conditioner, you are saving a good bit of money. Doing this several times a month can drastically reduce your electric bill, especially when you need it the most during the hottest time of the year.
10// Caulk around windows
Do not let the heat or cool air escape your home. Caulking around windows will ensure that the air stays at a steadier temperature and the need for your air conditioner or heater will reduce.
11// Turn off water when brushing your teeth
I have no idea why people leave the water going when they brush their teeth, and if that is you, please break that habit! By doing so, you can save $37.80 per person per year and 12,600 gallons of water per year. If everyone in your home does this, the savings multiply! In my home, that would equate to $75.60 in savings per year from one little tweak!
12// Energy efficient light bulbs
Switching your incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs requires a higher upfront cost, but the lifespan and energy use of the LED bulb makes up for that. According to Earth Easy, an LED bulb can save you $144.25 compared to an incandescent bulb when lit for 25,000 hours. Imagine the savings when you switch all of your bulbs over to LED! In my home that would equate to almost $1,300 in savings!
13// Lamps versus main lighting
In most cases, lamps use less power to light a space. It is not always necessary to use ceiling fans or whatever lights you have for lighting a room. In the evening time, lamps can provide enough light to make a space cozy. Plus, it allows your body to recognize that it is getting closer to bedtime.
14// Use candles for low lighting
Want to use absolutely no electricity in the evening time? Use candles! They burn for several hours and require nothing but a match to light them. Plus, they make a room smell amazing! Just make sure you are using organic wax and essential oils as your fragrance to make sure you do not pollute your air.
15// Turn down temperature to the hot water heater
With taking less time and energy to heat your water, you can definitely save some money. By lowering our energy efficient water heater settings, we save about 10% on our electric bill. It is all adding up for sure!
16// Cut out cable or satellite TV
One of the biggest money suckers that I have witnessed in my home is cable and satellite TV! The price to scan channels to find nothing good is on or watching reruns out of boredom is too expensive! Our satellite TV bill used to be about $70 per month [we had two TVs hooked up to the service.] Now we watch Netflix, always have something to watch, and spend less than $9 per month for it!
17// Call and ask how you can save on your bill
This is something I do on a regular basis [about every 5-6 months], because you never know where savings are hiding. My cell phone bill reduced by $70 per month, because I called and asked how to save money without changing my features.
You have nothing to loose with this suggestion! The worst that can be said is, “I cannot find you any more savings.” But I definitely challenge you to reach out and ask!
18// Install exterior storm windows with low-e coating
These windows improve your energy efficiency by 12-33% annually. The savings potential with these windows correlates to the cost of each window, so return on investment is seen quickly with this upgrade.
19// Let light in during the day
With energy efficient windows, you can afford to let the light in during the day. It actually replaces lighting your home via electricity. so you get a boost of Vitamin D in addition to not having lights turned on in your home.
20// Faux wood blinds or thick curtains
For extra insulation, thick faux wood blind and/or thick curtains are a great way to provide extra shield from the exterior elements. It is also a great way to blackout a room at night for better quality sleep.
21// Close off spaces not used
Do not heat and cool a room that you do not use. This only increases the amount of energy you use every day.
22// Don’t wash clothes or towels that aren’t dirty
By only washing your clothes or towels when they are dirty, you reduce the amount of clothes that need washed, which reduces the amount of loads that go through your washing machine and dryer.
Clothes that are worn for just a few hours to a dinner or church can be hung back up ready to wear again [assuming you did not spill anything on them while eating]. Jeans do not need to be washed every time you wear them. It breaks them down faster when you do, which ends up costing you more in the long scheme of things.
23// Consolidate errands into one day
When you run all your errand in one day, you reduce the amount of fuel you use. By not going here one day, then there the next, you can make a plan to tackle it all in less miles. It saves fuel and maintenance for your vehicle.
24// Adjust your thermostat when you aren’t going to be home
As mentioned above, make sure you adjust your thermostat before you leave your home. By adjusting 7-10 degrees, you stand to save quite a bit. Pair this with keeping your blinds closed and curtains pulled shut, you can save even more!
25// Turn off lights when you leave a room
Mythbusters proved on an episode [please do not ask me to find it] that turning off a light is more energy efficient than leaving it on all the time. Even turning it off for one second and then back on saves energy, which saves money. Why light a room that you aren’t in anyways?
26// Turn off the TV if you are not watching it
Same rule applies from turning off your lights. If you are finished watching TV, turn it off. It also saves you money.
27// Insulate your home
Insulating your home can save you 10-50% on your utility bills. By insulating your attic and exterior walls, you reduce the ability for heat or cool air to escape. We added insulation to our previous home, and my bill dropped significantly. I noticed a big difference in my first electric bill and every bill thereafter.
28// Make sure doors seal properly
Nothing is worse than letting hot air in and cold air escape during the summer months, or just the opposite in winter. Make sure your door seals are working properly, and if need be, replace them.
29// Routinely maintenance your appliances
Energy efficient appliances are only energy efficient when they are maintained properly. If there is a space that collects dust or debris, be sure to clean it out regularly. If you have a drain that seems to be draining slow, clear it out as well. By maintaining your appliances, your home will continue to run efficiently, which saves you money and allows your appliances to last longer.
30// Wash dishes in the middle of the night
The evening time is known as “prime time” for electric companies. This is when energy consumption costs the most. By running your dishwasher in the middle of the night, you are washing them for a fraction of the price compared to washing them the moment you finish with supper. Most dishwashers have a schedule option. If your’s does, I highly suggest trying it! We currently live in a studio style apartment, and it never wakes us when it runs.
BONUS #1// Use warm water versus hot water on your washing machine
By reducing the temperature of you water by a fraction, you are not sucking every bit of the hot water heater of the hot water. Warm water is just as effective, but also, more energy efficient.
BONUS #2// Live in a smaller home
Some times it is not our bills that are the problem; it is the size of our home. Many first time home owners do not realize that buying a home they can grow into will cost them a lot more than a home they can fit in comfortably at the moment. Sure we hate to move multiple times throughout our lives, but what if you never grow into the large home you live in currently? Do you really want to pay all of that money for something that may or may not happen one day?
While some of these suggestions may work for you and others may not, do not discount the fact that all of these actions add up when used together. Whether you use a handful of these or a few ideas of your own, realize that there is no sense in sending your money out the door when it could be saved with just a little effort.
Savings are waiting to be claimed in multiple spaces of your home. I challenge you to find them, and let me know what you did!
Remember to revisit things in your home frequently, because you never know when you find something that will save you $100 a year or even a month! I actually have a few things I am going to update and maintenance this week in my own home! Let’s see how much we can save together!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to fill out the form below so that you never miss an update! I definitely have more savings tips in store for the future!