Cut Your Household Costs By 50 Percent (Or More) With These Tactics

Sometimes it can feel like you spend all your time working to put a roof over your head. Expenses mount, and you wind up spending a fortune on mortgages, bills, and maintenance. 

The good news, though, is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Many families across the country have found ways to slash the amount they spend on upkeep by 50 percent or more, simply by employing some smart tactics. Here’s what they do. 

Install LED Light Bulbs

By far the easiest way to save money on energy is to install LED light bulbs. These differ from the garden variety incandescent versions of old, offering you a massive bang for your buck. The upfront cost is usually a bit higher than you’d pay for the older technology. But the upshot is that they tend to last longer, and only consume around 10 percent of the energy. 

Experts estimate that replacing just one incandescent bulb with an LED saves around $0.66 per month. Multiply that by all of the bulbs in your home, and you could be looking at savings of hundreds of dollars a year. Now that’s pretty good. 

Air Seal Your Home

Air sealing your home might sound dangerous - like putting your head in a plastic bag. But it can make a big difference to your bills and save you a fortune. 

Modern homes are okay when it comes to heat loss. But if your home is any more than thirty years old, then there’s a good chance it will have gaps around the doors and windows. Air rushes in and out of these gaps, trying to equalize the temperature. So if you’re trying to cool your home down in the summer, your air conditioning unit has to work harder. And if you want to warm your home in the winter, your heater has to work harder. 

Sealing your home, however, can prevent this from happening, thereby reducing your bills substantially. It reduces the amount of convection in your home to outdoors. Furthermore, it also reduces the wear and tear on your HVAC system as a whole. Less energy consumption means that it doesn’t have to work as hard. Because of this, you don’t have to spend a small fortune on maintaining it. Now isn’t that good news? 

Save Money On Food

Food is one of your most significant household expenses after paying down your mortgage. And because of that, it should be the first place you look to cut your costs.

  • Eliminate food waste. The average person wastes about 20 percent of the food that they buy by not eating all of it. Over the course of a year, the total cost of this exceeds around $1,000 per household - which is considerable when you think about it. Smart homeowners, therefore, are now using a variety of common-sense methods to eliminate food waste and get their finances back on the path to health. Where possible, make food in batches and freeze it. Keep a constant eye on highly perishable fresh food, like salad greens and berries. And, if possible, freeze these ingredients instead, giving you more time to eat them. 
  • Plant your own herbs. Dried herbs and relatively inexpensive (and good for you). Fresh herbs, however, are costly on a calorie basis. Growing your own is simple. Just buy a starter pot and leave it in a sun-exposed part of your garden. It’ll continue to shoot up new leaves, giving you a perpetual source of flavor for your meals. 
  • Don’t buy branded products. Some branded food products are better than their non-branded counterparts. Still, the difference is relatively minimal, especially when it comes to taste. Yes, a tin of branded chopped tomatoes will taste better than a generic equivalent. But, even so, that doesn’t mean you need to buy them all the time. Going generic can cut food costs by more than 75 percent. 
  • Stop buying expensive meat. Meat is cheap because of farm subsidies. But even with government help, steak is always going to cost you more than a bag of lentils with the same number of calories. Plus, it isn’t actually that good for you, if we’re honest. Legumes, on the other hand, help to keep you feeling fit and young. 
  • Stop buying meals out of the home. While fast-food restaurants offer relatively inexpensive meals, the nutritional quality is poor. Furthermore, the price you pay per service is often ten times higher than what you get when you make your food yourself. It’s easy to get the cost of a meal down to less than $1 per serving when you make it fresh. Plus, you can supercharge the nutritional quality too. 

Saving money on food is easy and should be a top priority. If the idea of cooking in the evenings after a long day at work seems like a chore, don’t worry. After a few weeks of home-cooked healthy meals, you’ll have way more energy. And over time, you’ll just get into the habit of cooking after work. It’ll feel like second nature. 

Reduce Your Overall Debt Burden

Debt is a massive drain on your wealth and something that can eat into your family finances for years. But, as mortgage broker Altrua points out, you can often save money by taking advantage of the best mortgage rates. 

It turns out that not all mortgages are created equal. Some families spend more than they need for decades, dramatically increasing their living costs. Just a percentage difference in how much you pay can have massive long-term ramifications on how long it takes to get mortgage-free. 

There are a variety of other ways to cut your household debt costs you can try using. 

  • Consolidate your debts. Having a bunch of creditors calling you up, asking for repayments on debt you owe is a stressful experience that can undermine your capacity to repay. However, if you have a decent credit score, you can usually consolidate all these payments into a lower monthly bill. The interest rate is typically a lot smaller than what you’d typically pay. And you can simplify everything, making sure you can afford the repayments to the lender. 
  • Release equity from your home. Equity release is a popular tool people use to get cash now and avoid going into debt. When you reduce your home's equity stake, you simply increase your mortgage, which is a very low-cost way to borrow. It’s much cheaper than using credit cards or personal loans. Try it and see how far you get. 
  • Refinance your car. Refinancing your vehicle works similarly. Usually, you can get a low-interest rate on the money you borrow because your car acts as collateral. Even though this strategy involves taking on more debt, it helps you avoid more expensive forms of debt that can set your household back long-term. 

Sell Vehicles You Don’t Need

The average person spends around $8,600 per year running their motor vehicles. Therefore, running a car is expensive, not something you want to do if you can avoid it. Insurance, gas, and maintenance bills all add up. And that’s not to mention parking charges and fines issued by police. 

Often, you don’t need to run two vehicles. The average car is only active for five percent of the day. For the rest of the time, it’s sitting around, doing nothing. Therefore, selling vehicles that you don’t need is a quick way to save on your bills and build up cash fast. 

Getting around by bicycle is one of the cheapest ways to travel. While you have to pay some maintenance on keeping your bike in good condition, it doesn’t cost a lot. The main issue you’ll encounter is problems with the drivetrain. 

Install Timers And Power Strips

Timers and power strips are a helpful technique you can use to save on your energy bills. Switching to a renewable energy plan, such as those offered by Pulse Power Texas, will result in a significant reduction in your energy bill. These devices work by cutting power to appliances when you’re not using them after a certain time. Timers, for instance, can automatically turn off a power strip and anything plugged into it at night. You can then stop “phantom charging” your devices, even if you forget to unplug them before you go to bed. 

You can also get something called a “smart power strip.” The idea here is to eliminate the flow of electricity to units, except when you use them. So the DVD player, for instance, will only power up if you turn on the TV. 

Cut Your Cable

Finally, cable cutting has become more and more popular in recent years. Today, there’s really not much point spending the $60 a month on a cable subscription, unless you’re a big sports fan. Most streaming services, like Disney, Hulu, and Netflix, provide all the entertainment you need. 

Cutting your cable may help your household thrive in other ways too. For instance, if you’re watching TV less, you spend more time doing productive things. What those very much depend on you. 

As you can see, therefore, there are numerous ways you can save on your household bills and get ahead with your finances.