I love saving money, but I also like living well. So, to do both requires forethought and planning. That’s why I’ve been thinking about ways to save on household expenses. I want to have a little money left over at the end of the month to splurge on something fun.
We live in an older, drafty home — wonderful in the summer because it’s cool, but a bear to heat in winter. I visited the Memphis, Light, Gas, and Water website to find some helpful tips on ways to save on the heating bill. Follow these recommendations and not only can you cut expenses, but you’ll conserving energy resources.
• Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower when home. Every degree below 68 degrees can save 4 percent on your heating bills. If you’re serious about saving money, wear layers along with thick socks to keep warm, and set your thermostat even lower.
• At bedtime, lower your thermostat and add extra blankets.
• Lower or turn off your thermostat when leaving your home for four hours or more.
• Close garage doors, cover foundation vents, and close vents and doors to seldom-used rooms.
• Keep curtains and blinds closed at night and on cloudy days; open curtains on sunny days for warmth.
• Place rolled-up towels against the bottom of exterior doors and window sills to block cold drafts.
• Adjust your water heater temperature to 120 degrees or warm. It still provides hot water and avoids scalding. You can lower it, too, when not in use.
• Buy a programmable thermostat and program in lower temperatures when needed.
• Make sure central heating air filters are replaced every 90 days.
• Caulk cracks around windows and doors.
Save on printer ink
The other day I complained to a friend about how often I must go to the office supply store to buy printer ink. She told me about simplyink.com. Simply Ink sells re-manufactured inkjet and toner cartridges and refill kits. I have not ordered from the website yet, but my friend has been happy with the quality of its products. You can save a bundle through this site. For example, I typically pay about $70 for a toner cartridge for my printer. I can get a re-manufactured one for $38.99 from simplyink.com. The site offers free shipping for orders $55 and more and a flat $4.99 for all other orders. I am definitely giving this site a try!
Check for coupon codes
Before ordering items online, check to see if there is an active coupon code for that merchant. Many websites offers this information. My personal favorite is momsview.com. It has coupon codes and free promotion offers from hundreds of websites. When you have found an item you would like to buy, don’t order it until you have checked with this site to see if they offer an active coupon code. I have saved up to 30 percent on purchases here.
Locate “kids eat free” deals
Even though it’s more budget-friendly to cook meals at home, we all need a night out once in a while. Many restaurants offer “kids eat free” promotions or reduced prices on kids’ meals. Some even offer weekend deals. Check out this story on where kids eat for free (or cheap).
Lowest gas prices in town
Did you know there is a website where you can check for the lowest gas prices locally? It’s memphisgasprices.com. Planning a road trip? Use the trip cost calculator to estimate your gas cost.
I hope these tips will help you put aside a little money so you will have more to spend in meaningful ways for your family.