5 Easy Tips for Saving Money at Home

Fill the washer to capacity each time.

Running two half-size loads wastes water and electricity. Check the manual (or the manufacturer’s Website) for your machine’s capacity, which might be listed in cubic feet, kilograms or pounds. Calculate your machine’s capacity. In general, 3.1- and 4.0-cubic-foot models will hold 12 to 16 pounds of laundry; 4.2- and 4.5-cubic-foot machines will hold as much as 20 pounds. To get a good visual sense of what that adds up to, pack a typical load of dirty clothes into a trash bag and weigh it on your bathroom scale, then adjust accordingly. Overall, remember, it’s important not to overstuff your machine because this can interfere with cleaning; you should be able to fit your hand (positioned as if you were to give the washer a handshake) comfortably between the top of the inside of your machine drum and your clothes. If you can’t, there are too many clothes in the machine.

Buy in bulk.

Partner up with friends and neighbors when shopping in warehouse stores, then split up the purchases, especially perishables, to reduce costs and carbon footprints. Or try all-in-one products, such as laundry products that combine detergent, stain removers, and brighteners. By buying an all-in-one product, you reduce excess packaging, which saves resources. Look for energy-saving labels on light bulbs, home appliances, electronics, and other products.

Wash clothes in cold water.

It’s an easy change to make that can save big money over time. (Water heating accounts for the largest portion of your utility bill.) Don’t sacrifice deep clean results: Use a detergent that is specially formulated to deep clean on the cold setting. With this one simple switch, you can save a bundle on your energy bill.

Get digitized.

Lower your utility bills by installing a programmable thermostat to manage heating and cooling systems. Set timers to adjust for periods when you’re home, at work, and asleep.

Turn clutter into cash!

Clean out your closet and take seldom-worn clothing, jewelry, and shoes to a consignment shop, or throw a tag sale. Those ill-fitting or outmoded vintage pieces might be a treasure to someone else. Or organize a clothing swap with friends to update your wardrobes. Old books (especially art books) can sometimes fetch a few dollars at antique shops, or can make for a fun swap party.

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