Thursday, May 22, 2014

Simple Ways to Save When Just Sitting Around the House

As a work-at-home dad, I sometimes find that I have more time on my hands than I expect.  When the little one’s asleep and I have a reprieve from work, I try to maximize my free time.  And over the years I’ve found that putting this free time to use rather than wasting it can not only be productive but save us money too.  So if you’re looking for some ways to save cash when lounging around the house, here are a few ideas.

Turn things off…or better yet, unplug them
It’s simple to just turn a few things off – whether it’s lights, televisions, appliances or whatever – when sitting around the house.  However, it might be even better to unplug them.  Even when they’re not in active use, things like cable boxes, appliances and the likes can continue to use energy.  And while it might not seem like much, even a dollar or two in energy costs saved each day can add up to hundreds of dollars in savings every year.

Adjust windows, blinds, doors, and thermostats
Whether summer, winter or somewhere in between, making some minor adjustments to your home heating and cooling situation can add up to sizeable savings.  Opening and closing windows or blinds, turning ceiling and box fans on or off, opening or closing off rooms or vents, and adjusting thermostats by just a few degrees can have energy savings adding up and your home feeling more comfortable at the same time.

Make a dinner menu
Whether it’s for the evening’s meal or for the entire week, making a dinner menu can better prioritize food consumption which can lead to more organized shopping when at the store and decreased food waste.  By having an outline for your nightly meals, you can utilize leftovers, make use of food that will go bad the quickest, and avoid going out to eat or getting takeout, which can significantly reduce overall food costs.

Make a shopping list
When making your dinner menu, you might also find the opportunity to create a shopping list.  Shopping lists can help you better organize your meal plan and what you need to execute that plan.  Such lists can also assist in keeping you on track when at the store, help avoid forgetting items, and reduce impulse buys.

Rotate stock
Whether it’s in the refrigerator, freezer, cupboards, cabinets, or even clothing for the kids and adults in dressers and closets, rotating stock can be a great way to go through things, get organized, and keep perishables from spoiling.  Clothing and other goods might be donated or prepared for resale through a lightly-used resale shop or garage sale.  Meanwhile, foods that are nearing their expiration date can be used up or possibly frozen.  

Clip/search coupons
Coupons can make a sizable difference in just how much you save when buying a variety of items or taking part in numerous activities.  Whether it’s a 15 percent discount at your favorite restaurant, $50 off on a HVAC system or plumbing repair, a two-for-one at the local mini-golf course, or a dollar off on paper towel rolls at the store, coupons can save you money in a variety of situations.


The author is not a licensed financial professional.  This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind.  Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.