Go green: Money-saving ideas for homeowners

If you’re looking to reduce your outgoings throughout 2013, you might have already switched to a low interest credit card or downloaded the odd finance app – but have you thought about saving money round the home? A few tweaks to your living environment could bring your utility bills down, so here are several ideas to help you out.

Switch to energy-saving light bulbs

Traditional, incandescent light bulbs have been systematically phased out over recent years in a bid to save 39 terawatt-hours of electricity across the EU annually by 2020. Many retailers have been banned from selling them, so why not jump on board the energy-saving bandwagon and switching to compact fluorescents or LEDs? These are far more efficient, cheaper to run and will help protect the environment. Don’t forget to turn all switches off when you leave a room and rely on natural light as much as possible by tying back curtains, opening blinds and moving furniture away from the windows.

Save money in the kitchen

Believe it or not, the kitchen is where many of us rack up large bills. We use ovens, dishwashers, kettles, washing machines and other appliances on a daily basis, so how can we reduce our costs in this area? Well firstly, make sure all washing machines are suitably full before turning them on and wash on a lower heat. Let all garments dry naturally instead of using the tumble dryer and avoid covering radiators with damp attire – as this could make your heating work harder. Only use one sink of water to clean the dishes, fill the kettle as needed and try to defrost food slowly rather than using the microwave.

Don’t leave gadgets on standby

These days, most families have at least one gadget in their household be it a TV, computer, laptop, DVD player or an iPad. Leaving these items on standby for long periods of time can waste money unnecessarily, so always turn everything at the socket. If you’re worried about forgetting, plug several items into multi-socket extension leads and switch everything off at the same time. Alternatively, invest in one of the brand new energy saving kits on the market such as Bye Bye Standby. This completely cuts power to devices when they’re not in use helping to reduce the daily energy consumption of electrical products! The world is waking up to green technology, so get involved today.

Reduce the amount of water you use

A nice, hot bath is a luxury, but filling the tub takes a lot of energy and money. Of course, you can have a good old soak from time to time, but showers will reduce the amount of water you use – especially if you buy an efficient shower head from your nearby home store. Turning the taps off when you brush your teeth, fixing leaking faucets and washing your clothes by hand will all reduce your water consumption too, so it’s worth making a few small changes. If you think you’re paying too much for your water supply, contact your supplier and ask to have a water meter fitted if you don’t already have one.

Everything from credit card consolidation to setting up a savings account can help improve your finances, but sometimes a few simple measures work just as well.

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