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We all know the typical ways to save, but what about the ones that aren’t quite so typical? Have you ever considered that you may be staring right at a way to save money, but overlooking it because it’s not what you usually think about when you go to save? Most of them are really small ways to save money but they’re small ways to save that add up.
Take a look at this list of ways to save you have likely forgotten about. Chances are there will be one or two on here that you’re not doing, but easily could be.
- Flip the water heater breaker – Know that spiffy breaker box you have? If you’re not planning on using the hot water for a few hours? Go ahead and flip it off. You’ll save big on power because you won’t be heating water that no one is using. When you know you’re going to need the water, for baths or cleaning, just flip the breaker back on about a half hour or so before you’ll need it. Once you’ve used it, turn it back off to save. (If you have a gas water heater, be sure you consult the manual for your water heater on how to do this safely).
- Re-use plastic – Have you priced the cost of Ziploc type bags lately without a coupon? Insane! Instead of using them once, rinse them out and hang them over a bottle drying rack. You’ll be able to get 2-3 more uses out of them meaning you’ll have to buy them less often. The only thing I don’t recommend is doing this with baggies that once held meat. There are too many risks involved there.
- Open the windows – When was the last time you opened your windows and turned the a/c off? If you’re like most people? It’s been quite a while. Turning the a/c off when the weather outside is cool will save you quite a bit on your power bill. Use box fans to circulate air if you don’t have ceiling fans to help.
- Clean the Fridge – I don’t mean clean the inside of it (although you should be doing that too), I mean pull it out and clean off the coils. When the coils get dusty, your fridge doesn’t run as well. If it’s not running as well, it’s using more power to do its job. Give it a leg up and keep them dust free. While you’re checking the fridge? Be sure to give a look at the dryer vent too.
- Slow Cooking is Good Cooking – Your stove and oven both cause your home to heat up. While that’s awesome in the winter, it’s not quite so great during warm months. For that time of year, put your slow cooker or grill to work instead. You’ll not only save on power by not using a big appliance, but you’ll save on your cooling costs as well.
- Check your filter – This is especially important if you rent because it may not be on your radar as needing done, but your furnace and/or air conditioning filters can get downright nasty. They pull dust, pet hair and lots of other gross things out of the air and fill up on the furnace so they aren’t filtered back into the air. Changing your filter once a month is a low cost maintenance task and will save you big in the long run. If the filter is full, your system will have to work harder and just like the fridge, harder work means higher costs.
- Stay away from Chicken Breast – Chicken breast, especially bone-less skinless, can run you $1.70 or more per pound. Instead, buy chicken thighs for much cheaper. They’re just as meaty and the bones make an excellent homemade stock. If you absolutely must have breast meat, buy them bone-in with skin and cut the skin and bone out yourself.
- Skip the Barber – Most men and boys typically get really simple haircuts. If the men in your life are like this as well, skip the barber and start cutting their hair at home. You can pick up a quality set of clippers for around $20.00 and you’ll save that $10 (or more) every 6 weeks by doing it yourself.
- Homeschool for free – If you homeschool your kids, you know how expensive a good curriculum can be. Instead, take a look at the free options that are available everywhere on the net and see if you can put together your own curriculum. Chances are you’ll be able to.
- Stay healthy – I know that some people don’t equate a healthy body with savings, but the two really do go hand in hand. If you’re healthy, you’ll spend less on doctor or hospital visits, medicines, insurance costs and more. This area is the one area that could literally save you thousands so be sure you don’t neglect it.
Do you have any ways to save that others might be forgetting? I’d love to hear them!