This weeks guest post brings you a slew of simple, helpful tips that will help you save money, as well as help the environment. If you would like to submit a guest post, please learn more here.
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We all need to save more money these days. Times are hard for many, prices are high, and few of us save enough even in good times. It’s important to find ways to reduce expenses and save what we can, not only to prepare for the lean times but also to cultivate an attitude of living more simply for long-term financial health.
You don’t have to do anything dramatic to start living more simply like selling off all your possessions and going on a walkabout. Here are a few simple changes you can make around your home to save a lot of money over time:
Continue on to read the tips!
Eating out — or ordering in take out — adds up fast. You could easily make at least three or four meals for the same amount it costs you to buy one meal from a restaurant (even a fast food restaurant). Simply preparing your meals at home will help you save a lot of money (and you’ll eat healthier, too).
Maximize your savings by creating a weekly menu and shopping with a list. You’ll limit any impulse or unnecessary purposes by having a clearly defined plan.
Grow a Garden
Of course, you can save even more money by growing some of your food yourself. You don’t have to grow a mini-farm in your backyard. Even growing a simple herb garden or just a few staples like tomatoes and greens can help you save a lot of money over the course of the year. (Have you checked out the prices on fresh herbs lately? Ridiculous.)
Start simple if you don’t feel comfortable gardening and work your way up as you gain experience. Soon, you may be able to serve an entire meal that went from farm garden to table.
Cable is quickly becoming one of the largest household expenses outside of the mortgage payment. Even a basic package can cost about $60 or more per month. Add on premium channels, DVR, and other perks, and you could be spending a couple hundred dollars a month.
Cancel your cable entirely and opt to watch your shows or movies online with services like Amazon or Netflix, or stream them through devices like Internet TV or your gaming console.
Use Compact Fluorescent Lights
Saving a lot of money on your energy bill can be as simple as changing your light bulb. Compact fluorescent lights use a fraction of the energy that incandescent lights use, and they last much longer. As a result, you save money on your energy bill and your light bulb bill. (Wait, is your “light bulb bill” that high?)
Put CFLs all over your house, and you’ll start to see big savings over time. It’s easier than doing an energy audit on your whole house!
You don’t have to follow a “If it’s yellow, let it mellow; if it’s brown, flush it down” rule (eww) to save water in your house. You can conserve water by installing low-flow shower heads in your bathroom and aerators on all your faucets. If you’re really motivated, you can install a low-flow toilet.
Not only will you save gallons and gallons of water each day, making you feel like a responsible global citizen, but you’ll also save a lot of money on your water bill.
There are many, many more ways you can save money in your home by making small changes such as these — or you can make even bigger changes for even bigger savings. The key is to start small and make these behaviors a habit so that you cultivate a more frugal lifestyle that will naturally save you money over time.
How do you save money in your home? Share your tips in the comments!