Monday, October 19, 2009

Because Money Doesn't Grow on Trees

I've gotten some inquiries about what I've found out about SAVING MONEY .. so here's what I've got - so far :-)

Saving Money on Electricity
When you start trying to save money on electricity, you're actually killing two birds with one stone.  Saving electricity is good for the environment! Who knew we'd all turn into environmentalists?!

  1. Unplug things when they aren't in use.  Some people recommend using a surge protector with a switch so that you aren't constantly plugging and unplugging things.  I wasn't aware that when you keep things plugged in they still draw energy.  I ALWAYS leave my hair dryer plugged in and in a basket beside my sink.  I always leave the microwave and coffee pot plugged in, even though I don't use them every day.  Unplugging your things when they aren't in use actually SAVES electricity - therefore SAVING MONEY! 
  2. Turn off the lights!  SO many people keep the lights on when the leave a room - I know in our house we do! I hate being in the dark, even during the day I'll turn the lights on because I like it to be BRIGHT.  This is something we HAVE to change.  I saw a quote that said "IF IT'S STILL BRIGHT - TURN OFF THE LIGHT" - meaning you don't need to turn your lights on during the day.  Makes sense!!  It's also recommended that you use energy efficient light bulbs.  These bulbs are more expensive and it would cost us a lot to replace ALL our lights at once.  We're just waiting on our "old" lights to burn out then we are replacing them with the energy efficient ones. 
  3. Dimmer Switches.  We are lucky enough to have these in our house.  When it gets dark outside, we can take advantage of having a dimmer switch when turning on our lights.  We can turn them on, but keep the light low - saving energy (and money) in the process.  We also use lamps in our house - instead of turning on the overhead lights.  I'm going to have to get used to living in lower light!
  4. Turn Down the Air.  THANK GOODNESS it's getting cooler outside.  We can all just turn OFF our air conditioners saving a TON of money!  During the summer months, or warmer ones - turning your air conditioner to a higher temperature will keep it from running as much or as hard.  When you're not home, turn it up to 80 degrees that way it doesn't run while you're gone cooling down an empty house.  I read about these programmable thermostats that you can set it to be 80 degrees during the day, then it will automatically turn down to the cooler temperature you want at a certain time.  You could set it to cool down 30 minutes before you're supposed to be home that way you're not walking into a warm house.  I think that would be really nice to have! Since it's been cooler - we've turned ours completely off and opened up the windows.  It's wonderful!
  5. Going along with turning your air down - using a ceiling fan instead of your air conditioner (When you can stand it) will save you money.  With these cooler months ahead of us this will probably be more do-able.  You can switch the blades around to bring the heat down during the cooler months too!
  6. During the warmer months, using shades (keeping them closed) will help keep your house cool .. causing your air conditioner to work LESS. 
  7. Keeping the filters of your air conditioner clean will also help it to run more efficiently. Let your husband do this one ;-)
The next two are also a "kill two birds with one stone" deal. 

  1. Only do FULL loads of Laundry.  At my house, I catch myself doing small or medium size loads of laundry just so I can have a certain piece of clothing or because my rug gets dirty, etc.  By waiting until I have a FULL load, I can save on water and on electricity (to run my washer and dryer). If I want to go all out, I could even hang my clothes to dry skipping my dryer completely!
  2. The same thing goes for the dishes.  Only do FULL loads of dishes!  At least with your washer you can choose what size load you're doing - but in your dishwasher you cannot.  It will use the same amount of water whether you do one plate or fifty.  Try to skip out on using your dishwasher all the time.  If you only have a few dirty dishes, hand wash them.  It's a lot faster and you're using a lot less water. 
Random Money Savers

Saving Money on Gasoline

This one applies to me! I'm a "speed demon" .. so I go through my tank of gas pretty quickly.  By slowing down from 70mph to 55mph I could save 15% PER GALLON of gas.  This will also be a test of my patience .. so we'll see how this one goes!

Saving Money During Bill Time

By paying your bills online you can save money on stamps!  With the price of stamps these days, just think of how much extra money you're sending out when you pay your bills.  Paying them online is FREE and it's much faster than waiting on your snail mail to reach the company. 


When you use your debit card, you don't really SEE the money leaving your possession.  It's so much easier to overspend - resulting in overdraft fees or just not having enough money to buy groceries at the end of the month.  The possibilities are endless!  When you use cash, you're less likely to overspend.  An added bonus of using cash is getting back the CHANGE(Cha-ching!)  Start saving that change and before you know it you'll have quite a little savings built up!  That's enough to take a little weekend trip, buy something you've been wanting, or pay something off.  It's like money you didn't even know you had ;-)  If you're tempted to use your debit card, or your "forget" - just take your debit card out of your wallet.  Easy as that!

On that note - Cut Up Your Credit Cards!

How are you going to pay something off if you keep using it?  Do you REALLY need that card? Chances are you probably don't.  CUT IT UP.  PAY IT OFF.  If it comes down to you absolutely NEED that card (like it's a total emergency) - call the credit card company and have them send you another card .. but in the mean time - don't be tempted! Shelby and I put ours in the freezer .. but we just ended up going and getting them out.  CUT THEM UP - I can't say that enough!

Your Junk could be someone else's Treasure - MAKE MONEY!

Shelby and I have a garage full of boxes that we need to go through.  Some of that stuff hasn't been touched since we were married! Basically - we don't need it! Why not sell it and make some money off of it to pay off a credit card or put away for a weekend trip? Chances are you've been holding on to some random "junk" that you don't really need anymore.  You never know - it might be exactly what someone else was looking for and they're actually going to USE it.  What good is it if it's shoved in a box collecting dust?!

1 comment:

  1. These are all really great ways to save money. Also I've learned in my case, stay in doors. If I go out when I'm bored I'll buy things that I don't really need!