How To Save Hundreds Of Dollars On Utility Bills
Today’s post is provided by Heather of Simply Save
Utility bills are a fact of life, a necessary evil, but with a little planning and some new habits you can reduce those bills by a lot! It even becomes like a game or challenge sometimes… how low can you go?
Here are some tips for reducing your utility bills, such as water, gas, electric, and trash. By making a few simple changes, you can save hundreds of dollars a year!
Save Money On Water
- Install low-flow faucet aerators on all of your sinks. They don’t cost much so you quickly get a return on your investment and they are also really easy to install.
- Invest in low-flow showerheads for all of your showers. From time to time some electric companies offers free or heavily discounted low-flow showerheads, so keep an eye out for that.
- Turn off the water while you’re brushing your teeth or washing your face.
- If you have a dishwasher, forgo pre-rinsing in the sink. Most dishwashers can handle it.
- Try to make your showers even the tiniest bit shorter and you’ll save gallons.
- Don’t water your grass when it’s windy or during the hottest hours of the day. You’ll lose water to wind and evaporation.
Save Money On Gas and Electric
- Unplug! Appliances and electronics still use power when plugged in, even when they’re off. So when you’re not using that toaster, Keurig, laptop, etc, unplug!
- You can get smart outlets that shut off after a certain period of time. I’ve heard that this is also better for your electronics, versus leaving them charging overnight.
- Get sensors for your outdoor lights so that they only come on when it’s dark.
- Turn lights off when leaving the room. Also make the most of natural light and skip lights entirely when possible!
- Investing in a programmable thermostat can save big bucks! Play around with it and see how low you can go in the winter and vice versa in the summer. Bundle up in the winter and open windows in the summer!
- Turn your water heater down. You don’t need it any higher than 120.
- Wrap your water heater in a blanket to keep from heat escaping. You can also wrap your hot water pipes with foam.
- Washing clothes in cold water gets them just as clean as hot water and saves on your utility bills.
- The dryer uses a ton of energy, so hang dry your clothes if you can. It’ll extend the life of your clothes as well!
- Switch to CFL or LED lightbulbs. While they’re more expensive on the front end, they use far less energy and last a lot longer than old school lightbulbs. You’ll save money in the long run.
- Some energy companies will do a home-energy audit for new homeowners. For a reasonable price they may replace all your lightbulbs to CFLs, wrap your water heater, seal your entrances, and install low-flow showerheads!
- Xcel Energy offers a Saver’s Switch, a small device they install on your air conditioner that briefly shuts off the AC during nonpeak times. You usually don’t even notice it and you’ll save 15% off your electric bill during the summer months.
Save Money On Trash
If you’re a homeowner, you probably have to pay for this service! The goal is to have as little trash as possible so that you don’t need a big bin.
- Recycle as much as possible.
- Swap disposable items for reusable when possible. (This also saves money because you don’t have to keep buying things like napkins and paper towels!)
- Start a compost bin and you won’t produce nearly as much trash!
- Switch to the smallest bin needed. For example, when I bought my house I had a HUGE trash bin; it took me weeks to fill it up! It switched to a smaller size and then when my city started offering an even smaller size, I switched to that. There’s no sense paying for what you don’t need.
Necessary evil? Yes. Crazy expensive? It doesn’t have to be! A few small investments up front and some minor changes to habits can amount to serious savings in the long run. The planet won’t mind either!
Meet Heather of Simply Save
Heather is a personal finance blogger who strives to find the balance between planning for the future and enjoying the present. She shares her personal finance journey on Simply Save and also writes about saving money, simplifying life, minimalism, and living with intention.