General Question

Jude's avatar

Cheap son-of-a-pups, how do you cut costs at home?

Asked by Jude (32144points) January 11th, 2011

Your electric, hydro, gas; what are your tips?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

20 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

Un-plugging anything electronic when not using it is a biggie. Most electronics have a small trickle of power they use just sitting waiting to be turned on. I have put TV’s and cable boxes on power strips to shut off this constant power drain. Microwaves and stoves do this as well. Basically any little red or green glow light you see at night means that appliance is sucking electricity when not in use. Unplug chargers too when not in use. Fluorescent bulbs where you can put them really help too. Close down little used rooms and shut the vents. Watch your water usage and as hard as it is your time in the shower and start with one water bottle filled with sand in your toilet tank and add two if the flush is still decent. A penny saved there is a penny earned. Clipping coupons and now Groupon.com is a must if you are serious about cutting expenses.

Jude's avatar

@Cruiser I wonder if groupon.com is only an American thing.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I cook large amounts of stuff and package and freeze it. Many generic products work as well as brand names (dishwasher soap comes to mind. You use the same amount for the same results.) Day old bread can be frozen. Plan your errands. Do you need to wash your hair every day? You probably already know most of this stuff…

Cruiser's avatar

@Jude At the bottom of the home page there is a drop down menu of all cities served. There are 3 or so Canadian towns served.

Jude's avatar

@Cruiser I see it. Thanks!

Luiveton's avatar

Be organized, plan everything, Try to use them less.

bunnygrl's avatar

@Jude Groupon is here in the UK too. I get an email from them every day, but I haven’t ever seen a single offer that was useful for me though :-(

I always use one of my days off work during the week to batch cook. If I’m making mashed potatoes for supper, I will cook a huge pot and cook as usual (I mash with butter and milk) then fill tubs and freeze. So, on days when I’m working I can take a tub out of the freezer and 9–10 mins on high in the microwave and you have lovely fluffy mash. I do this with lasangne (when making it I usually cook two huge pans, slice and tub portions and freeze) On sunday I cooked beef mince and mash. Usual tub of mash for later and also filled a large tub with mince and layered with fluffy mash on top and I have a lovely shepard’s pie for later in the week too, leaving me to only cook fresh veggies to complete dinner. It’s worth doing because not only does it save lots of valuable time (a blessing because I work back shift) but you are only using your cooker the once, but managing to cook many dinners. I cook all sorts and freeze, including lovely homemade soup. It’s such a wonderful feeling knowing that on a busy day you can just open the freezer and still have a proper dinner. Thank heavens for freezers :-)
huggles xx

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

This one’s going to scream dinosaur, but we go through the weekend newspapers and pull out all the coupons we can for products that we were going to buy anyway. The paper costs $2.00 and last Sunday it had $299.41 worth of coupons. We routinely use between $7 to $12 worth of coupons each week.

tranquilsea's avatar

Our biggest savings was through our food bill. We stopped eating out, shopped a list and only shop once a month. If an item is not on the shopping list we don’t buy it. We saved piles of money this way.

Not_the_CIA's avatar

Turning off appliances is so minimal. They barely pull anything when they are not in use. Turning down the temp of your hot water heater will save you a lot more. And contact your utility company. They usually have programs that provide for free weatherization. They replaced all the windows in my sisters house. It was about 20 windows covering two stories.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Do your wash during off peak hours. Many power companies will discount the off peak usage. Wash your dishes in the sink instead of the dish washer.

Not_the_CIA's avatar

Oh, and get a programmable thermostat for your heater (they are dirt cheap). You can make it colder when you crawl into bed and have blankets. Then you have it warm up the the house before you wake up. And you can make it cold while you are at work and the kids are at school. Then have it heat up a few hours before you get home.

blueiiznh's avatar

first, start tracking your expenditures. This includes all spending. I have often found that while you can certainly do things to help cut costs on electris, gas, hydo the biggest gains and savings can come from things that are really discretionary spending.
Once you have built some data, you can attack the top 20% hitters and see the ones that are really discretionary. As a few others mentioned, start planning your meals and stop going out. Now this can be a lifestyle thing, but if you are serious about it, you will see areas to be able to make headway. Put some ideas to each category you track and see if you can make the changes. There are always options and always choices.
a few thoughts: Setback thermostats, a few less channels on the tele, dry clothes on a rack, consolidate car trips, public transportation (if an option), car pooling, changes in eating habits, AVOID FEES like bank and Credit Card interest, turn off uneeded lights or unplug things not needed, get rid of your petro guzzler, go to the library as opposed to buying the books, yadda yadda yadda….
It all starts by looking at your expenditures

wilma's avatar

I hang most of my laundry on a clothesline when the weather permits. In the winter I use drying racks.

bunnygrl's avatar

@blueiiznh GA, I use my two airers most of the time and only very rarely use the tumble dryer. I’ll be so glad when spring returns so I can start using my drying lines outside. Sometimes just the simplest things can make such a difference.
EDIT: @wilma just seen your reply, great minds etc lol hugs xx

YARNLADY's avatar

Buy at charity thrift stores, make any new purchases on sale only, re-use everything possible, always turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, do bigger, fewer loads of laundry

WestRiverrat's avatar

Change most of your lightbulbs from the standard 60+ watt equivalent to 40 watts. Especially in the halls and places you don’t need really bright lighting.

wilma's avatar

If you use bar (cake) soap let it dry out.
When you buy it open the package and let the air get to it. I buy several bars at a time and I open up all the individual wrappers and leave them to dry out. (for months) They get really hard and when you use them they seem to last forever.
And that last little bit when it’s almost all used up…..stick it on the side of the new bar.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Most homes and apts. where I live are all electric. I use heavier fabric curtains in the winter and also turn the blinds where the light can filter down into the room when they’re at the closed position. In the warm weather then I angle the the blinds so any light coming in is filtered up against the other slats and not down into the house. I wash all clothes in cold water and normal or timed washes. Most of our clothes can be dried on hangers. I usually stack and then soak dirty dishes so I can rinse them clean quickly later, rarely do I use our dishwasher. Kitchen sponges get cut in half so they fit better inside glassware and make more sponges. I buy our liquid soap refills from an onlince office supply company- works out to be less than ⅓ of what we’d pay in stores. I buy paper towels that break off in half sheets.

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