This summer, I moved from Baltimore to be with Casey in North Carolina. In addition to being ready for this next step in our relationship, we agreed that moving in together would be a good decision for us because it would allow us to reduce our housing costs. I have the flexibility to work from home, and it just didn’t make sense to rent 2 apartments when we spent so much time traveling to see one another anyway. Since moving in together, we’ve been looking for more ways to save money around the house.
Unplug your electronics when they’re not in use.
I used to be one of those people who left my cell phone charger and laptop cord plugged in all the time, whether or not they were in use. I’ve started unplugging them when I’m not using them, which has reduced my electricity usage, plus is good for the environment!
Switch to compact florescent light bulbs.
Although they’re a little pricier than regular light bulbs, they last anywhere from 3 to 25 times longer than traditional ones. Not only do you have to purchase new bulbs less, that also means less time wasted changing them. Like the point above, this one is also good for the environment.
Buy a water filter instead of bottled water.
The water in our area tastes different than we’re used to, so we bought a filtered water pitcher to improve the taste. No more bottled water for us! They also make water bottles with the filter built in, so you can still get filtered water on the go without paying for bottled water. I have one, and I love it! I take mine with me everywhere!
Seal windows and doorways.
Our townhouse is fairly new, so we don’t have an issue with cold air seeping into our house, but if you live in an older home this is something you should do. It reduces the amount of electricity needed to heat your house. If you live in a rental home, ask your landlord if this is something they will take care of. Many of my friends live on the nearby military base and this is something their housing office takes care of for free.
Turn off the heat in rooms you don’t use.
We use all of the rooms in our home, but I have a friend with a larger house who switches the vent to her guest room closed when it’s not in use. When she is expecting guests, she’ll switch the vent open the day before their arrival to heat up the room.
Don’t run the washer or dishwasher if they’re not full.
Unless it’s absolutely necessary for a smaller load, only run your washer and dishwasher when they are completely full to reduce water and electricity usage.
Casey and I don’t have cable in our house; instead, we watch television and movies through Netflix, the occasional Redbox rental, and Amazon Video (which we get through our Prime membership.) If you can’t live without watching this season’s shows immediately, all of the prime-time networks (CBS, NBC, ABC) allow you to watch shows for free on their website.
Turn down the thermostat.
Instead of constantly adjusting the thermostat as the weather changes, turn on a fan when it’s warm. Likewise, wear a sweatshirt or wrap in a blanket when it’s cool. Here in North Carolina, the weather is so unpredictable that it’s impossible to change the thermostat every time the weather changes!