How to save money in everyday life.
Money saving ideas.
How to save cash & curb spending.
1. Take a packed lunch to work instead of buying food on the way or in the canteen. This can also apply to the children.
2. Start drinking tap water instead of paying for bottled water. Fill a bottle up at night and pop it in the fridge ready for the morning. Depending on your tastes you could save over £400.00 per year
3. Try to keep your fridge and your freezer full. Believe it or not, the less food you have in them the harder they have to work. Also, try to get into the habit of defrosting your freezer regularly to ensure that it runs at full efficiency. A good indicator for this is if you can see one centimetre of ice, approx. 1/2 an inch, on the freezer compartment or there are crystals forming on the contents.
4. Know what you want before you open the fridge or freezer door because the longer you keep it open the more electricity it will use to get it back to temperature. Ban the children from the fridge, mine takes ages to decide what they want.
5. Only boil as much water as you need. Fill up a mug with water for your cup of tea and then add a little bit more to allow for some evaporation. Another way is to measure the water out and mark the kettle with a CD marker pen so that in future you know how much water to put into it.
6. Turn off any electrical appliances that remain on standby overnight. It has been estimated that Briton uses the equivalent of around two power stations of electricity per year by leaving their TV's in standby mode. Okay, so you only use a tiny bit of that so what's the point of turning them off You are paying for that tiny bit!! There are now lots of gadgets you can get to save electricity like Standby plugs for your PC that allow you to plug everything into them and then when you switch your desktop off everything else goes off as well. There are also other gadgets that can sense when your freezer, for example, needs less power and reduces the output to the appliance accordingly.
7. It is also a good idea to put energy saving light bulbs (CFL bulbs) in as many lights as you can. It is claimed that one bulb could save you up to £100 in a lifetime and that they can last up to twelve times longer than a standard light bulb. With the introduction of LED technology, it is now possible to reduce your lighting costs even more by replacing some of your blown bulbs with led bulbs. Although LEDs are more expensive than other bulbs they last much longer, some up to 50,000 hours depending on the price and make of the bulb so it pays to shop around. They also require fewer watts to provide the same amount of light as a standard CFL bulb. For example, a 60w bulb can be replaced by a 6 - 7.5w led and still produce the same amount of light.
8. Keep your eye on mobile phone chargers and other such devices as they are usually always left on and unseen.
9. Make sure your children always switch off their games consoles (Computers, Ps2, Xbox, Wii, etc) when they have finished playing with them. If they are anything like mine they just drop the controller, turn the TV off and leave the room while the console carries on happily playing to itself for hours on end. Also, check to make sure they turn off their bedroom light as most children just walk out of the room leaving it on, meaning on dark school mornings their lights could be left on all day lighting a room with nobody in wasting huge amounts of electricity.
10. If you have a garage always make sure you switch the light off before you go into the house.
11. If you have an outside light check that it is working correctly. It amazes me the number of outside lights that stay on, sometimes all day and go unnoticed. Try getting into the habit of turning them off in the day and on at night or try fitting a light with a motion sensor so that it only comes on when somebody is approaching or leaving the property.
12. If you use your attic/loft for storage and have had a light fitted in it always make sure it is off before you close the door/hatch. Although great to have if accidentally left on they could cost you a fortune.
13. Try to learn to recognise when you are about to drop off to sleep and turn your bedside light off before you doze off. For me, a good indicator is when the book I'm reading starts to slip out of my hand.
14. When cooking, plan your meals. If you need to use the oven, is there anything else that can be cooked in it as well? Make sure you turn it off when you have finished.
15. Try to keep the lids on the saucepans while they are boiling. Saucepans always boil quicker with their lids on.
16. If you are cooking on a gas hob always make sure the flame stays under the saucepan and isn't lapping up the sides.
17. Always turn the hob extractor fan and hob light off straight away when you have finished cooking.
18. If you use your worktop lights while you prepare meals, try to remember to turn them off when you have finished.
19. Only use the washing machine when you have a full load and try washing your clothes at a lower temperature. Most modern powders and detergents claim that you can get your clothes clean at 30° - 40°C. If things get really tight you will need to wash by hand.
20. This one's a long shot. Try drying your washing outside on the line instead of in the dryer. Tumble Dryers burn a huge amount of electricity. If you need to use a tumble dryer make sure you have cleaned all the filters. I clean ours after every use. The filters can usually be found at the front of the dryer when you open the door, If not consult your operating manual that should have been supplied when you purchased your dryer to find out how to access them.
If you have blocked or dirty filters your dryer will not function economically and will raise running costs. If you have a condensing dryer that collects the evaporated water in a separate compartment that you have to empty also make sure the condensing unit is clean. The condensing unit is usually located at the front of the dryer below the drum.
You could also save money by only partially drying them in the dryer and then finishing drying your clothes on a clothes horse or something similar. Avoid drying them on radiators as this stops the heat getting out into the rest of the room and will cause damp and encourage mould to grow. Always make sure the room is ventilated, i.e. there is an open window to allow the damp to escape and always make sure you close the door behind you.
21. Only use the dishwasher when it's fully loaded. Depending on the size of your family, of course, I find the best time to put the dishwasher on is just before you go to bed. This means that when you come down in the morning you will have to unload it, which I appreciate is nobody’s favourite job first thing in the morning, but by doing it this way it ensures that you have all the clean crockery and cutlery that you need for the day and it is ready for the next days load. Try to get into the habit of putting your used crockery straight in after you've finished using it as it leaves you worktops clear and also means there is less to load in next time. Whenever possible try to use the Eco or normal wash but obviously, there are times when you will have to use the power wash.
If things get really tight you will need to do the washing up by hand, although depending on the age of your dishwasher and with the development of more energy efficient dishwashers it is actually suggested that is cheaper and more efficient to use the dishwasher.
22. Share the bath water. It is estimated that on average you use approximately 80 litres of water per bath. That's a lot of water to heat. Sharing a bath can actually be fun unless of course, you have allergies or any other skin complaint, or the previous occupant was very dirty. Alternatively only have a shallow bath. Where's the fun in that?? There isn't any but when you do have a long deep luxurious bath you'll appreciate it even more.
23.When running the bath always put the hot water in first then add the cold according to your preference. It is advised that you set your boiler or water heater to the exact temperature of your prefered bath water as this also reduces heating costs as there isn't really any point heating water up so hot that you then need to use cold water to cool it down to your prefered temperature. Also if your water is on a metre this will save you even more money as you will not need to run more water to cool it down.
24. Alternatively, Take a shower. Only run the shower to wet yourself thoroughly then turn it off, lather up, and then turn it on again to rinse yourself off. I appreciate that there is nothing more invigorating than standing for ages under a warm luxurious shower but the longer it stays on the more it costs to run.
25. For those of you who are on a water metre slightly reduce the water pressure using the stopcock/Isolation valve, which can usually be found under the kitchen sink.
26. Fix any leaky/dripping taps.
27. If you use a garden hose check regularly that it is fully switched off as it will happily drip away gallons of water unnoticed for weeks on end.
28. Check that you fully turn off your shower before getting out.
29. Check your toilets flush and refill properly as a toilet can overflow unnoticed for weeks on end.
30. Put a water hippo in your cistern.
31. Go around the house and check that the windows and doors are closed before the central heating comes on. My older children have the habit of opening their bedroom windows in the morning and not closing them again until they go to bed at night leaving the radiator constantly trying to warm the room up which causes the boiler to burn more gas to keep up with the demand.
32. If your windows have vents on them check that they are closed in winter. These can usually be found at the top of the frame and are often opened in the summer and then forgotten about, allowing drafts to leak into the house which will increase the cost to heat the room.
33. Hang heavier curtains in winter. They help keep heat in which will help to reduce the heating cost.
34. Turn down your hot water cylinder as it doesn't really need to be any more than 60°C/140°F
35. Reduce the temperature of your hot water and central heating a couple of degrees. Reducing it by 1°C could reduce your bills by up to 10%.
36. Only put the heating on if you really have too.
37. Don't put things in front of your radiators as they will have to work harder to heat the room.
38. Set the heating to come on half an hour before you get up in the morning and go off half an hour before you go to bed. If there is nobody home during the day then set it to go on and turn off accordingly.
39. Reduce the temperature of the radiators in rooms you seldom use or turn them off. E.g., Box rooms, Spare bedrooms.
40. Always close the door behind you when you leave a room.
41. Wear extra clothing.
Useful web URLs
All of the above sites are some of the many that I have used for reference. I am not recommending or endorsing any of them and accept no responsibility for any content found that may or may not offend.
This article is for reference purposes only. All the information in this article is not a sure fire way to solve your money problems, and I make no claims that it is.