Here are some ways to save money around your house
1. Living in Illinois, it is HOT for three months, FREEZING for four months and bearable for the other five. I refuse to turn on the heat before November 1 and refuse to turn it on after April 1. If it's cold, I wear layers. In the summer months, I only use the air conditioning when I absolutely have too. Otherwise the windows are opened. Fresh air is good for the soul.
2. I clean with all-natural products. Vinegar, peroxide, and distilled water can do wonders. Not only are these products cheaper, they are also better for your health. A win-win!
3. I re-use plastic grocery bags. I use these to line trash cans-which makes empty the garbage a breeze. I also use them instead of buying brown paper bags for lunches. Granted, a plastic Wal-Mart bag isn't as cute as a lunchbox, but it's free.
4. I unplug everything-within reason. Did you know that just leaving something plugged in can run up your electric bill-even if you are not using it? That's crazy! I unplug everything I can. It may be a small hassle, but why should I pay more to the electric company for something that isn't being used? My tv, computer, lights, phone charger etc always get unplugged after use. My washer and dryer are another story, since I can't easily reach those.
5. I use less than the recommended amounts. I try to use less detergent, dish soap, shampoo etc than what the label says. Being frugal with products saves-and guess what? Everything still gets clean.
6. I do not have TV. Ok, I HAVE A TV, but I do not pay for satellite/cable. Going on six years without it. I have an antenna that lets me watch about 5 basic channels, and in the winter I splurgged and get Netflix. Many people think that's crazy, but say your satellite service is $100/month...that means I've saved over $7200 over the last six years.
7. One of the biggest wastes is throwing away stale food. I try to use leftovers. For chips/snacks, I use homemade "clips." Traditional chip-clips (clips you use to seal a bag of chips) can add up. Instead of chip-clips, I use either bobby-pins or paper clips. These work just as good, and I always have a million laying around.
8. I hang dry big items. Running a dryer can add up, and the wind is free. I hang what I can outside on a home-made clothes line. Towels, bedspreads, blankets, rugs, sheets ets. Bonus: The smell of fresh sheets when you go to bed!
9. I re-use plastic food containers. Think cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream etc. These containers are great when I am going some place and do not want to haul tupperware back home. I re-use them(at work, traveling, boating etc) , and then throw them away. No mess. No packing dirty dishes back in my bag. They are also nice when people come over to dinner. I pack leftovers in these re-useable containers and then the guests do not have to worry about giving me dishes back