Let's face it: all of us could use some helpful tricks to help us save money around the house. Here are a few that you may not have thought of:
Keep Your Fridge Full - The more that is in your refrigerator, the more the cold things in it help keep each other cooler, therefore it keeps your fridge from running quite as much. I used to believe the opposite! That the more full it is, the more it has to run, however, I didn't think that way about my freezer. Strange, I know. In fact, in your freezer all those frozen things keep each other frozen even when the power goes out for quite a while, so more cooler food in your fridge, will keep it cooler, longer and not make the unit kick on as much. If you always have a lot of vacant space, keep water bottles or other drinks in your fridge to help fill the wasted space.
Don't Rinse or Dry - When it comes to your dishwasher, there are different theories on how to save money and some can be different depending on your model. I have heard that it saves water (and energy) if you don't rinse before you wash, which may be true, however, that doesn't mean to put super filthy dishes in your dishwasher because it can make your dishwasher not clean as well, which means you would have to wash or rinse afterwards anyway, so there is a fine line about the rinsing theory. One of the bigger ways you can save energy is to let your dishes air dry like you would if you were doing dishes by hand. Just open up the dishwasher when it's done washing and pull the racks out and let it dry (maybe overnight).
Cold Water Washing - When it comes to doing the laundry, most of your laundry can be washed in cold water with no issues, so that means your water heater doesn't need to be used as much, which will save energy and some money. Also, a lot of the newer washers do much better with less detergent, so that can save you some money as well. This is also better for the length of time some of your clothes may last!
Dryer Setting - Use the proper dryer setting for the load you are doing. Towels dry at a different rate then some more delicate items of clothing, so using the same setting for both will be using way more energy on the clothing than is needed to dry them. Read about the different settings for your dryer and be sure to use the correct one you need.
Use 1/2 - Some items you use in your home can be cut in half to last longer, which can save you money. For instance, if you use scouring pads, cut them in half and you will have twice the pads to last longer. Sometimes (check the label and do the math) a larger size of something may cost less overall than a smaller size, but, if you buy the bigger half and won't use it all, how is that saving money? Well, if it is a canned food product, a lot of times you can freeze the other half. You can also do this with a lot of other items so that they will last longer. Rule of thumb with a larger amount of something is be sure you can save it so you can make it last longer before you buy it.
Waste Less Paper - Use cheap bar towels to clean up messes easily that you don't care how they look, so you can wash them over and over again instead of jumping to using a lot of paper towels. Find some cheap fabric or use bandanas as napkins than use paper ones whenever you can. Also, I make a lot of lists and notes to remember things, but, when I am done I don't need them anymore, so, instead of spending money on note pads, I will use the other side of printed paper that I no longer need to for those things. If it is on an 8x11 sheet of paper, I will cut them in the middle so they are a good size and then save them in a holder on my desk so I can grab them easily. This way, I don't feel like I am wasting money since nearly every inch of the paper has been used in some fashion. You would be surprised how much good paper we throw away every day that can be used again.
Bottom line: When it comes to saving money around the house, there are so many hacks you can do to make your dollar stretch as far as possible, ask friends and family about the ones they use and check out the article I used for inspiration for this blog!