Ways to Save Money Around the House


A middle-aged woman with short, brown hair and eyeglasses is cleaning a window with a cloth and cleaning solution.
Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

Tips for spending less on home maintenance.

For many, running and maintaining a home is one of the most significant expenses. Inflation has made it even more of a challenge. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make your money go further.

Get smarter about cleaning

Do you “eyeball” the amount of laundry detergent you use in the washing machine? Are you overly generous when using dish soap? Many of us use more cleaners than necessary, which inevitably wastes money. Rather than guessing at how much cleaner to use, read the product label and intentionally measure out only what’s needed.

The convenience of single-use paper towels comes at a high cost compared to reusable microfiber cloths. Additionally, the dirt-gathering power of microfiber often allows you to use less cleaning product. To get the most service out of microfiber cloths, air dry them after laundering. Skip liquid fabric softeners in the wash, and if you machine dry, skip the dryer sheets. Softeners interfere with microfiber’s ability to absorb moisture and grab onto dirt.

If you’re not acquainted with the cleaning power of white vinegar used in a 1:1 ratio with water, you’re missing out on one of the most inexpensive and effective cleaners available. It’s safe to use on multiple surfaces, including floors and greasy stovetops. Bon Apetit has a great how-to on cleaning with vinegar in your kitchen.

Reduce food waste

If you toss fruits and veggies into a crisper drawer or fruit bowl without thought, you’re probably shortening the life of your produce. That’s because ethylene-producing foods accelerate the ripening process for everything nearby. Reduce food waste by storing ethylene-producers such as apples, cantaloupe, peaches and tomatoes away from ethylene-sensitive foods like bananas, lettuce, peppers and watermelon.

Another way to reduce food waste is to plan better. Before you buy each week’s groceries, determine how many meals you’ll eat at home and specifically what you’ll prepare. Then take stock of what’s already on-hand in your fridge, freezer and pantry. Make a detailed list of what you need to buy and then only purchase what’s on the list.

If you buy perishable foods in larger quantities to take advantage bulk or sale pricing, be sure to have storage containers ready to preserve what you can’t use right away.

Cut electricity costs

Reducing utility costs starts with turning the thermostat up or down. Dial the furnace down or the AC up by one or two degrees to reap the savings.

According to Energy.gov, products that stay in standby mode account for 5-10% of residential energy use. This includes products such as TVs, computers and anything with a glowing light even while turned off. Consider unplugging these products or using them with a power strip that can be easily turned off when the items are not in use.

Another way to save money on energy costs is to take advantage of incentives for renewables and efficiency. The IRS provides credits for qualified alternative energy equipment and other home improvements that improve energy efficiency. Consumers Energy provides rebates on a wide range of efficient air conditioners, furnaces, appliances and more. The Energy Star Rebate Finder is a great tool to help you find rebates and special offers near you.

Save your savings

When we save money in one area, it’s easy to immediately spend it on something else. Alternatively, you can use your cost-cutting efforts to boost your Consumers savings account. Simply bank what you save to help achieve your longer-term financial goals.

Consumers helps thousands of members finance land, first and second homes, and home improvement projects each year. We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit; contact us online or call us at 800.991.2221.

Consumers home loans

We’d love to help you with a mortgage or home equity line of credit.

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