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52 Ways to Save Money in Your Home (With Tips from the Experts)
It’s amazing how much money most of us waste unnecessarily – whether it’s on energy we don’t use, food we don’t eat, or by throwing appliances away, rather than repairing them.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to save money in the home that, while small in themselves, can add up to big savings. So read on to discover 52 money saving tips (including some from the experts!) and start making smart savings today.
Ways to Save Money on Your Heating
1. Turn down your central heating.
Even a few degrees can make a big difference to your annual heating bill – indeed, the Energy Saving Trust estimates that turning the heating down by just one degree could save a typical three-bedroom semi-detached house up to £90 per year.
2. While you’re at it, take a look at the settings too.
By setting your heating system to a timer, you can ensure that you’re only using the energy you need, at times that suit you.
3. Insulate your floor, walls, roof and loft.
Why pay for heating that’s just escaping through your walls, floor and roof? Loft and cavity wall insulation can cut £300 off energy bills in a year, meaning that they make back the installation cost in no time. Better yet, if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, you might even qualify for free insulation!
4. And don’t forget your water tank, pipes and radiators!
Insulating your water tanks and pipes, not to mention behind radiators, is easy and affordable, and can still add up to big savings.
5. Use curtain liners and window heat treatments.
Insulation doesn’t have to be a big project. Sew thermal linings into your curtains and apply insulating films to your windows to keep your home toasty during the long winter nights.
6. Position your furniture to conserve heat.
Staying warm in your home can be as easy as rearranging your furniture. Push sofas and chairs nearer to the fireplace, for example, and away from windows. And remember to keep large sofas and armchairs away from radiators, else they will absorb the heat before it can travel around the room.
7. Wear extra layers.
Obviously we’re not suggesting you freeze in your own home, but a lot can be said for the habit of reaching for your pullover rather than the thermostat when you’re feeling the chill. Throws and blankets can also make a welcome addition to your living room and bedroom – and still look stylish, too!
8. EXPERT TIP: Don’t let your oven heat go to waste!
“When you finish cooking, leave the door open from the cooker to get free heat!” – Ricky Willis from Skint Dad
Ways to Save Money on Your Energy Bill
9. Make sure you have a water meter
First of all, make sure you have a water meter installed. This ensures you’re paying for the amount of water you’re using, as opposed to a fixed rate. Often, switching to a water meter works out cheaper – and if it doesn’t, you can usually switch back.
10. Have a free home energy check.
Your first step to cutting costs on your energy bill should be using the Energy Saving Trust’s free online home energy check tool, which offers personalised advice on ways to reduce energy use and shows you just how much money you could save.
11. Turn off lights when you leave a room.
It’s a small action that can add up to big savings if you make it a regular habit.
12. Invest in energy saving lightbulbs.
Better yet, swap regular bulbs for the energy efficient variety to cut costs, even when they’re in use.
13. Switch off and unplug electronic devices.
Leaving appliances on standby is an unnecessary use of energy. With devices that you tend to use together – say, a TV, DVD player and games console – use a multi-socket plug extension lead to enable you to switch them all off in one go.
14. Eschew the electric oven.
Electric ovens gobble up more energy than almost any other device in the home – so consider using energy-efficient alternatives like a microwave or slow cooker instead.
15. Swap tumble drying for air drying.
Why waste energy when the wind can do it for free?
16. Ensure your appliances are all in working order.
“A faulty appliance can add a bundle to your home’s energy bill – from a broken seal on your freezer door to an ageing element in your oven. Understandably, lots of people are reluctant to invest in a brand new appliance or call out a professional for a relatively minor repair. However, it’s often easy – and economical – to carry out the repair yourself, provided you have the right spare parts and a little expert advice.” – Lee Gilbert, CEO and owner of Ransom Spares
Ways to Save Money on Your Water Bill
17. Either wash your dishes carefully by hand, or use a dishwasher.
Unless you wash your dishes very carefully – that is, at a moderate temperature, without the tap running – then a dishwasher is often the most economical choice.
18. Swap baths for showers.
The average shower uses considerably less water than the average bath – so save the bubbles for special occasions!
19. Don’t leave the tap running.
From washing the dishes to brushing our teeth, most of us are guilty of leaving the tap running longer than we should. Bust the habit once and for all – and get ready to see savings on your water bill.
20. Fix that drip or leak – now!
A dripping tap might just seem like an annoyance – but that’s also your money going down the drain.
21. Wash your clothes and dishes on lower settings.
Most washing machines and dishwashers have an ‘eco’ setting, so make use of it!
22. Only run the dishwasher or washing machine when they’re full.
This saves money and is good for the environment.
23. Use rainwater for gardening.
If there’s one thing the UK is certainly not short of, it’s rain – so why not use it?
24. EXPERT TIP: Be careful when and how you water plants
“Water plants with a watering can rather than a hosepipe and water in the morning or late afternoon when it will evaporate less.” - Jen Walshaw from A Thrifty Mum in ‘Ways to Save Water and Money’.
Ways to Save Money on Your Food Bill
25. Create a meal plan.
Plan your meals out in advance, so that you don’t waste food or find yourself tempted to order takeaways or pick up food on the go.
26. Make a shopping list – and stick to it!
Once you have your meal plan in hand, you’ll know exactly what food you need to buy and will find it easier to resist impulse buys and unnecessary temptations.
27. Buy food in bulk.
It’s more economical to buy staple ingredients in bulk rather than smaller portions. However, this only works for food you use regularly – such as rice or pasta – and not food that’s going to end up going off in the back of your cupboard!
28. Grow your own herbs and vegetables.
If you have a garden or allotment, growing your own produce can be a great cost-saver. If not, you can always grow herbs in a window box.
29. Eat less meat.
Meat is often the most expensive part of a meal, so reducing the amount you eat can bring about big economic benefits. However, if you do cut down on your meat intake, make sure you still get enough protein by eating plenty of protein-rich foods, such as nuts.
30. Learn to love home cooking.
Eating out is always more expensive than cooking the same thing at home, so try to make your own meals as much as possible and then take them out with you when you’re out and about. Read up on BBC Good Food’s easy recipes, to discover meals that you can knock up in a flash – even if you’re not a culinary wizard.
31. Keep your pantry in order
Don’t push food to the back of the cupboard (and your mind) – instead, put new buys at the back and bring older buys forwards so that nothing gets forgotten.
32. Don’t throw away food just because it’s past its best
Just because food’s past its best-by date doesn’t mean it can’t be used. Brown bananas make great smoothies; wilting veg will work fine in a soup; and vegetable peelings can be stored in the freezer and used to make homemade stock. Be careful though and never take this approach with meat!
33. Make your own compost
Even food that’s beyond redemption can find a new lease of life as DIY compost. Pop it on your vegetable patch to help your garden grow.
34. Use your freezer!
If you’re often guilty of letting food go off in the fridge, consider freezing it instead. It will last a lot longer, meaning it’s less likely to go to waste.
35. Drink lots of tap water.
Bottled water is bad for the environment, and a waste of money – drink tap water instead, and carry a refillable bottle with you when you’re out and about. If you don’t like the taste, invest in a good filter.
36. Reuse your teabags.
If you’re a self-confessed tea addict, cut costs by reusing your teabags – the second cup will have a stronger flavour, especially if it’s a green or red tea. That said, if the thought of reusing your teabags makes you shudder, you can always try one of these used teabag ideas instead.
37. Brew your own beer or wine.
The cost of a regular can of beer after work, or glass of wine with dinner, can really rack up. Instead, why not have a go at brewing your own? You can buy most of the equipment you need second-hand, and after the initial investment, your home-brewed beverages should work out very cost-effective indeed. Plus, it’s fun!
38. EXPERT TIP: Never do an online food shop when you’re hungry.
“I know you’ve heard this rule before, but it is true. You will have less patience and less self-control, leaving you powerless against impulse buying. Do yourself a financial favour and eat before you shop.” Jacob and Vanessa from Cash Cow Couple in ‘How to Save Money on Groceries – 35 Proven Ways’
Ways to Save Money in Your Personal Finances
39. Check you’re paying the correct council tax.
An estimated 400,000 homes in England and Scotland might be in the wrong council tax band – could you be one of them? It only takes 10 minutes to check, and could save you hundreds of pounds.
40. Downgrade your phone bill.
Speak to your phone company and ask for data to see just how much of your plan you’re using. It may well be time for a downgrade. Also, if you’re not bothered about having the latest shiny new phone, you might want to enquire about SIM-only plans.
41. Don’t be afraid to switch providers if there’s a better offer.
Just because you’ve been with a phone company, energy provider or bank for years doesn’t mean you should get complacent. Do an annual audit to see if you could get a better deal elsewhere – then let your current provider know. They may well offer to match it.
42. Cancel any unnecessary memberships and subscriptions.
Ask your bank for a list of all your active direct debit payments, then work your way through them, deciding which you really need.
43. Never ‘autosave’ your card details.
If you know you have a tendency to impulse buy when you’re shopping online, disable the ‘autosave’ option in your browser. The effort of having to manually install your details with every purchase should give you time to think twice!
44. Uninstall online shopping apps.
If you love online shopping and find that the apps on your smartphone or tablet are too great a temptation – uninstall them!
45. EXPERT TIP: Monitor your spending
“It might sound simple but you’d be amazed how many people don’t actually account for where their money goes. By keeping a closer eye on your monthly statements and bills, you will easily identify patterns of spending that you can address, as well as any unwanted expenses.” – Julie from Finance Girl in ‘7 Best Advice You Need to Spend Money Efficiently’
Ways to Save Money Instead of Spending
46. Find fun things you can do at home.
If your friends and family are always organising expensive activities and social events, shake things up by organising and hosting your own events. From pot luck dinners to craft afternoons, you’re certainly not short of choice.
47. Swap your gym membership for an at-home workout.
If you’re one of those people who only joined the gym because you thought the investment would motivate you to go, drop the pretence – and the monthly payment. Instead, why not create your own at-home gym with YouTube workouts and some tins for weights? You’re far more likely to drag yourself out of bed when the gym’s in your sitting room anyway.
48. Buy own-brand cleaning and body care products (or better yet – make your own!)
Most cleaning products and bathroom staples are remarkably similar, so don’t be seduced by the fancy packaging and go for the budget options whenever possible. From antidandruff shampoos to dishwasher tablets, it’s amazing how the savings add up. Or you can go one step further and try making your own cleaning products or body care products in your kitchen.
49. Rethink your TV needs.
Do you really need your Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription? The one-off payment that comes with a Freeview box might be a better investment. Or, if you rarely watch TV, consider dropping your TV license and limiting yourself to online catch-up services instead. Don’t forget that your local library also stocks a range of DVDs (not to mention books, audiobooks and CDs) that can provide hours of free entertainment as well.
50. Buy second-hand homeware and furnishings.
You can find almost anything second-hand, from homeware and decorations to furniture and electricals. Pop down to your local charity shop or search online for deals.
51. Use price comparison sites.
When making a big purchase, such as insurance or flights, you should always shop around to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible. Price comparison sites offer an easy and quick way of doing this.
52. EXPERT TIP: Shop online whenever possible.
“Shop online where possible, as it’s easier to resist temptation and where you do see a good deal on something you can readjust your meal plan.” – Cass from The Diary of a Frugal Family in ‘50 Common Sense Tips to Help You Save Money in the Kitchen’
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to save money in the home. We hope you’ll find these money saving tips helpful.
Category: Articles, News & Tips