13 ways to save money at home
This bottom-to-top home guide can help maximize your savings
October 12, 2022 7 min read
Whether you own or rent, home is where the heart is. It's also where the bills come. This guide will help you learn how to save money at home with a bottom-to-top look at savings in every room. To maximize your savings, you can use these tips with advice from our general savings guide.
Start saving money on your home with its exterior. There are several things you can do to make your house look nicer and save money in the long run.
- Plant trees to save some green. If your house faces direct sunlight, plant trees. Not only will they improve how your lawn looks, but they could reduce your heating and cooling costs.1 Planting trees and other plants could help create shade in the summer and block cold winds in the winter—not to mention adding to your home’s curb appeal.
- Upgrade your windows and save. Windows are good for more than admiring your lawn—they help insulate your home. If you have old windows, they’re probably letting a lot of heat out of your house. Replace them with efficient, ENERGY STAR® qualified windows. Doing so can save an average of $101 to $583 a year.2
Utility room or basement
Your utility room and basement are great places to help you decrease your expenses with these money-saving tips at home.
- Don’t overheat your water heater. If you have a hot water heater that uses a tank, turn yours down to 120°F. Any hotter can be dangerous (scalding water!) and can waste heat that’s getting lost in the surrounding area). Turning down your water heater can save $36 to $61 a year.3
- Keep your clothing cool and your savings hot. If you wash your clothes with cold water instead of hot, you can cut the energy used in each load in half.5 Hot water and over-drying can also add to the break down of your clothes—keep an eye on the heat and you can help your clothes last longer, and save even more.4, 5
You spend a lot of time, and electricity, in your living room. Use these tips to save money while you’re home on the couch and when you’re out.
- Unplug the electronics. Your TV, stereo and other electronics use energy even when they’re off. By unplugging them when not in use, you can save up to $100 a year on your electricity bill.6 If you don’t feel like unplugging and replugging in your devices every time you use them, you can get a surge protector and turn them all off and on with the flip of a switch.
- Keep the lights shining for less. Switching to energy-efficient lighting can help you light your home for less—an average of $225 less a year.7 And using dimmers and timers might help you save even more.
There are several easy ways you can save money in your kitchen at home. Beyond saving money on groceries, take a second look at your large appliances.
- Use the dishwasher instead of washing by hand. It’s actually more efficient to use your dishwasher to clean your dishes instead of handwashing them. Washing by hand uses 3.5 to 5 times more water, depending on your dishwasher.8 So it’s okay to take the easy way out sometimes—and it can even save you money.
- Double check your fridge temp. Your fridge could be set a lot lower than it needs to be. You can safely keep your fridge temperature as high as 40 degrees.9 And don’t forget to clean off the coils around the condenser—not only will it save you a few dollars a year, it will make your fridge’s motor last longer.
If you’re looking for easy things you can do at home to save money, look no further than your bedroom, where you can save money while you sleep.
- Use your ceiling fan. Many people enjoy sleeping in cooler temperatures, and while it’s tempting to have the AC on high when you’re sleeping, using a ceiling fan and raising the thermostat can have a similar effect with more efficiency.10
- Add curtains for looks and savings. Curtains can serve as more than decoration. Not only will they make sleeping in on the weekends easier, they’ll reduce noise and block out sunlight, keeping your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In the winter, they can reduce heat loss by up to 40% and in the summer they can reduce heat coming in through the windows by up to 60%.11
Top off your savings in your attic by maximizing the efficiency of your heating and AC.
- Program your thermostat settings. Forgetting to turn the thermostat off during the day can lead to some seriously wasted cash. There are smart thermostats that allow you to program your temperatures throughout the day and depending if you’re home or away. Savings can vary, but may range from 8% to 15% a year.12
- Get your ducts in a row. Beyond just the thermostat, making sure the rest of your heating and cooling system is in top shape can really keep your bills from overheating. Stay up to date with regular maintenance like changing your air filters. Replacing a dirty air filter can reduce your AC’s energy consumption by up to 15%.13 Neglecting regular maintenance means your system won’t work as well and your energy use will go up.
There are countless ways to increase your savings throughout your house, and while some of them may seem tiny, they can make a big impact. Then, consider taking the money you save and investing it into a savings account, and watch your savings grow. Plus, with regular maintenance, you’ll keep your home in better shape for years to come.