Saving Money on Your Household Bills

by Guest Contributor · 4 comments

Be flexible

If you have dealt with a recent shock caused by your water, gas, and electric bills, you understand just how important it is to save on household bills. The rates are going through the roof and winter is around the corner. Finding good ways to cut back without freezing is helpful for just about everyone, so here are some simple ways to save.

Electricity
Do you remember your parents telling you to turn off lights when you leave a room? It’s great advice. Also, turn off other appliances. Your printer, computer, radio, television and coffeemaker all take small amounts of energy to keep running, even in “energy saving” mode. It’s a minor detail, but it adds up.

For all the controversy about compact florescent bulbs, they save a lot of energy while still provide the same amount of light. Start by using them in conjunction with standard incandescent bulbs and you won’t have such a hard time switching over. You will appreciate not having to change bulbs as often and save money at the same time.

When you need to purchase new appliances, look for those with the best energy star ratings. Those appliances are designed to save you energy, and by extension, money.

Gas
Most new homes are heated with natural gas, and this is a place where prices have risen dramatically in the last few years. There is no other choice but to drop your temperature. You really don’t need to heat the house any higher than 65 degrees, unless you have very young children or elderly people in your home. You can drop that to 60 degrees at night and pile on the blankets.

Another great way to save money is to ask your utility company to come out and do an energy audit of your home. This service is generally free and can give you a great heads up on areas you can improve for reduced costs. Adding insulation pays for itself in a season or two. Shutting the vents in rooms you don’t use cuts energy use. Using a programmable thermostat and wrapping your hot water heater all help you save money.

Water
There are some basic strategies that we all know. Shorten your shower time, don’t run the water when brushing your teeth or getting a glass of water and use low flow showerheads and toilets. Other easy fixes include repairing leaking faucets and replacing toilet valves that are leaking.

Still, most water in a home is used on watering the lawn during the summer months. If you have a lawn, your best bet is to reduce it significantly and plant things that are more drought tolerant. You can find whole websites dedicated to xeriscaping, the practice of low and no water gardening. This practice is particularly common in the high desert area of Colorado and other mountain states. If you must water, do so early in the morning to reduce evaporation, use drip irrigation where possible, and opt to water less often but for longer, letting water get to the roots.

Saving money on your household utilities doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your shower time or working with candles. You just have to make small changes to see a big difference in those bills.

Editor’s Note: This piece is part of a free ebook that I’m creating called “How to Save Money on Everything”. The goal is to have a collection of articles talking about nothing but money saving tips for everyday items. The book is still in development but many people are already benefiting from it. You can download a free copy by subscribing to the newsletter using the form below.

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  • Mark says:

    I’ve heard that Gas will actually go down this year. Good article though.

  • Rodney Geisler says:

    We live where there is a coop. They have good rates for electricity but their energy audits are lacking. They came with a flashlight and looked in the attic for insulation levels. They also talked about the CFL’s which we had already changed. Since our company does professional energy audits I was disturbed by the lack of training the particular individual had who came to our home.

    Water conservation has come by installing a Metlund On Demand Water Recirculation Kit. We no longer wait for 1.30 minutes to get hot water to the master bedroom. We only wait 8 seconds.

  • Rodney Geisler says:

    We live where there is a coop. They have good rates for electricity but there energy audits are lacking. They came with a flashlight and looked in the attic for insulation levels. They also talked about the CFL’s which we had already changed. Since our company does professional energy audits I was disturbed by the lack of training the particular individual had who came to our home.

    Water conservation has come by installing a Metlund On Demand Water Recirculation Kit. gothotwater.com We no longer wait for 1.30 minutes to get hot water to the master bedroom. We only wait 8 seconds.

  • I’ve found that water is the cheapest cost, hence saving money on water is not that attractive. Hard to get the wife not to enjoy the jacuzzi tub 🙂

    Gas is the big one, and we enjoy keeping the heater off. Good thing about SF is that the temperature is no colder than 60 degrees usually.

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