Thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes! It was a beautiful day and I truly enjoyed relaxing midweek. Now it’s back to business as usual. We all look for ways to save money around the home so today I wanted to go over a few of the ideas we have implemented in our budgeting.
Energy savings is a big one these days with the cost oil skyrocketing. Our fist step to reducing our energy consumption was to replace all of our overhead lights with LEDs. We have 6 overheads in our main living areas that were each running 65W incandescent bulbs; they now run at 9.5W each. It’s amazing, we can light up our entire first floor for less than the cost of running just one of the incandescent bulbs!
You can find a wide selection of LEDs at Home Depot. They are as easy to install as changing out a bulb. This is still emerging technology so keep an eye out for future products and cheaper prices. We were lucky to find ours on sale!
Our next step to energy savings was to turn our HVAC’s fan from auto to ON. It may seem counter intuitive to keep the house fan running all the time, but it circulates the air more efficiently meaning less heating and cooling.
At the beginning of February we cut the cable cord. This was a bit scary since we have never lived without it, so we gave ourselves a week of finding tv entertainment through other means before canceling outright. Between Netflix, Hulu Plus, and iTunes we haven’t missed cable once! We also reduced our premium Netflix account down to streaming only. I had originally wanted to keep it, but once you go on a cutting spree it’s hard to stop yourself. It feels really good to give less and less of your money “to the man.”
Food and Libations Savings
This is a big category open to all sorts of daily savings. We started with coffee, once you add up your daily coffee habit it’s an easy one to target. We bought a programmable coffee maker and have been good about setting it up before heading to bed. When Mr. Pea found himself drinking an afternoon coffee on a daily basis, we bought him a bigger thermos he could drink throughout the day.
Groceries was another biggie. Since I have been home I have been better about meal planning for the week. This includes breakfast, lunches, and dinner. Since it’s just the two of us, I try to make one large weekly dinner and transform the leftovers into other meals. We waste less food, and have saved a ton on eating out expenses.
Lastly, for our New Years resolution we stopped having an alcoholic drink on weeknights. This isn’t a strict rule, more of a lifestyle change that took a little getting used too. Now that we have gotten used to it though, we find ourselves drinking less on the weekends too. It’s now mid-march and I have not been to the liquor store since we stocked up for our New Years eve party! This not only saves money but saves on unnecessary calories too.
I hope this sparks some ideas on cutting costs in your own home. I know some of these are easier to incorporate into your life then others. Feel free to let us know your cost saving tips in the comments below!