If you are a homeowner, then you will know just how expensive running a household can be – particularly if you have a large family. The good news is that with a little bit of planning, there are many ways you can cut your living and household running costs.
Even if you are only saving a few dollars here and there, it all adds up, so if you put a little effort in now, you will reap the financial rewards later.
Here are 5 ways to save money on your household expenses.
Are you getting the best deal on your mortgage?
If you haven’t done so in a while, it’s worth investigating how much you could save by remortgaging. If you are currently tied to a mortgage product that comes with a hefty redemption penalty, then it’s unlikely that you would benefit, but it’s worth looking into regardless. If you are on a variable rate with no tie-in, or your term is coming to an end, have a look at the rates available
based on your loan to value figures. The base rate is pretty low just now, so you could secure a really good deal, which could save you thousands over your mortgage term.
If you don’t feel comfortable looking into it yourself, speak to a mortgage broker. They will provide you with various options so you can make an informed decision about which product would be most suited to your situation.
Save money on your electricity bills
One of the best ways to reduce your monthly electricity bills is to have solar panels installed. Not only will you benefit from long term money-saving but will be helping the environment too.
Solar panels capture the sun’s energy and convert it to energy that you can use in your home, so you are effectively generating your own renewable electricity. If you want to find out more about solar energy, talk to your local solar installer who can provide you with cost to supply and fit the panels as well as giving you a good indication of how much you might save month to month.
Another way to reduce your monthly electricity consumption is to ensure that you only use what you need. How many times have you gone upstairs and noticed that lights are on in every room or switches are on unnecessarily? Get the family on board and implement a switch-off policy in your home. If you aren’t using it – switch it off! You may only save a few cents here and there, but over a year, the savings could be substantial.
Heating your home
Heating your home is another large expense and can be astronomical during colder months, but there are several things you can do to keep bills as low as possible.
The more efficient your boiler is, the less energy you will use to heat your home, so have it serviced at least once a year. A specialist engineer will visit your home and carry out various checks to make sure that all the parts of the boiler are working as they should. They will make pressure adjustments if necessary, and check that it’s running as efficiently as it should be. If your boiler is particularly old, it might be worth looking into the cost of a new, more efficient heating system.
If your heating is on a timer, check that it’s not heating your home unnecessarily. If, for example, you are out at work all day, then the heating doesn’t need to be on all day. Be sensible about it, and you could save a lot of money in the long run.
Escaping heat is another reason why bills can mount, so check that your windows aren’t letting in any drafts and, where possible, have thermal lined curtains installed on your windows. They will help to keep the heat in and the cold out and will make your room feel cozy and warm.
Deal with home maintenance issues when they happen
Home maintenance can be costly, but if you deal with things as soon as possible and don’t let them worsen or get out of hand, it will save you money. If, for example, you notice missing slates on your roof or the sealant on your shower is worse for wear, don’t leave these issues to fester. When left unattended, small issues can become bigger problems very quickly.
If you don’t know what you are doing, call on a professional to help. Granted there may be a small outlay, but when compared with the cost of remedying much bigger issues, it’s worth it. Not only will your home be nicer to live in, but a well-maintained home will also hold its value compared to one which has been left to deteriorate.
Groceries and meal planning
The cost of groceries can be hefty each month, but there are things you can do to save money here and there. Meal planning is a great way to keep your food bills low and add a bit of variety to your dinner table.
Make a list of the meals you want to cook as well as the ingredients needed then, to avoid buying duplicates, check off the things you already have at home. Try to gauge whether you will have leftovers and use them the following day in a different meal.
When purchasing groceries, it’s worth trying cheaper brands to see how they compare to the more expensive big brand items. Many are made in the same factories, so give them a go and you might be surprised at how good they are and how much money you could save by switching.
If you have space in your basement or garage, buying in bulk is another great way to save money on groceries. It’s usually the case that the more you buy the cheaper things are so, providing you know you will use it; bulk buying is another great way to save money.