Americans have many household expenses that need to be paid for every month. This can in part be explained by high standards of living: good food, a big house and all the modern electronic conveniences can quickly end up costing a hefty sum. However, a part of the cost can also be attributed to waste.
There are many expenses people do not consider when going about their daily lives, but with a little bit of thought it is possible to reduce some of these costs. In this article, you will learn some of the best inexpensive home hacks that can help you save big.
Weekly food costs for the average American are $151. This can add up to a significant portion of a household budget, which is why food is one of the first places to look when trying to cut costs.
One of the places Americans spend money is at restaurants. The convenience of not having to cook is tempting, but there are a few ways to mitigate this temptation. First, it is worthwhile to spend time during the weekend determining what you are going to eat during the week. Then, you can cook a batch of meals that are easily reheated during the week.
Organizing your meal schedule like this also helps you keep track of what you need to buy at the store. Having a shopping list when buying groceries helps ensure you only buy what you really need. In addition, it allows you to save on gas if you plan to only require one trip a week.
If you do not want to plan, you can also consider buying a crock-pot. This device is useful because it makes cooking so easy. You simply put the food into the pot and wait for it to be done. There is no point sitting and watching it cook, because you are not supposed to open the lid until it is done. As an added benefit, a crock-pot uses less electricity than other cooking tools, meaning you will save money on your electricity bill while also being able to avoid eating out.
If you prefer using a stove to using a crock-pot, you can make some good meals. However, there is one fact to keep in mind: if your pans and pots do not properly match the burner, you could be missing electricity costs. The heat escapes, not properly helping cook the food in the pot or pan. This costs you less than $50 over the course of a year, so it may not be worth going out to buy new pots and pans immediately. However, it is a fact to keep in mind the next time you go shopping for kitchenware.
There is one financial danger involved with cooking: the possibility of having to throw food out. Most Americans waste $25-$50 worth of food a month and the sad part is that it is not necessary.
This problem can be mitigated by organizing your fridge, so that you can clearly see all the items in it. This allows you to avoid not seeing food until it is well past its expiration date. However, another important factor to keep in mind is the date posted on your food, which might be called the “sell by date”, “best by date” or “expiration date”, among other phrases.
When you are out shopping, it is a good idea to buy something before it has reached its sell-by date. However, once you have purchased it, you do not need to follow the date as closely. It is not regulated the government, which makes it a recommendation more than a requirement. The key is to use your own judgement about whether the food product is edible. The only exception is baby food, regarding which you should strictly follow the package’s instruction.
House Cleaning Hacks
Cleaning can seem expensive, with all the high-priced cleaning goods that are on the market. However, cleaning less often is not a good way to save money. Instead, establishing a regular cleaning schedule can actually help you save money. Take, for instance, your carpet. If you rent a carpet cleaner once every couple of months, you will have to go through the cost of cleaning your carpet. However, that can save you from the hassle and expense of buying a new carpet, which can cost over $1,000.
Simply put, cleaning is a hassle, but it allows you to save money on items that could be ruined if they are not regularly cleaned. Additionally, it is neither as difficult nor as expensive as it may seem. Though there are many high-priced cleaning goods out there, the truth is that baking soda and vinegar clean your house just as well as these products would.
Clothes Cleaning Hacks
There are also a number of ways you can save money while cleaning your clothes. Some of these hacks involve making sure your machine is operating at peak efficiency. For instance, when you use a dryer, make sure that its lint trap is cleaned up. If it is not, your dryer could be working up to 75 percent harder in order to do the same job. This does not just increase your energy bill: it also means you will have to replace the dryer more quickly. That is, quite simply, an expense that is easy to avoid.
You can also save money with the supplies you use to do your laundry. Half a dryer sheet is just as effective as a full dryer sheet, so that allows you to cut its cost in half. Laundry detergent is even better: because the product made today is incredibly potent, it is generally best to use the minimum amount that is recommended. In fact, using a smaller amount of detergent is actually better for your clothes than using a large amount, so saving money also means doing a better job washing clothes.
If you are feeling adventurous, you may even choose to forgo a dryer entirely, on sunny days. Hanging your clothes out to dry is actually better for them than using a dryer and you it helps you save money on energy costs, as well.