The time has came where many of us are looking to make New Year Resolutions, and it’s estimated that throughout our lifetimes we spend £21,000 on attempting to achieve such resolutions for them to be broken come February. [source: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/brits-spend-21000-in-their-lifetime-on-new-years-resolutions-9951139.html]
Resolutions, however, shouldn’t just be about getting fit, cutting back on certain vices or resolving to see family / friends more. They should also be about looking to be happier in everything you do, and to help we’ve shared 16 (frugal) New Year resolutions for the home.
Switch to Energy Saving Light Bulbs:
Very few of us seriously consider the lighting in our homes, but using halogen bulbs could be costing more than you may think with your energy bills. As we face a new year, reduce your energy bills by switching to energy saving LED bulbs.
Switching to LED bulbs is estimated to be able to save you as much as £239 a year, meaning they quickly pay for themselves, whilst keeping your home bright.
Keep Your Fridge / Freezer Full:
The average fridge and freezer equates to roughly 7% of your annual electricity bill, and if your fridge-freezer is left half empty you’ll be wasting more energy and therefore money.
Now we’re not advocating that you carry out a big shop every week to keep your appliances full to the brim. Instead there are a few simple tips – outlined in “Don’t Waste Energy with a Half Full Fridge Freezer” – which will help you keep your fridge-freezer full and help you save money.
Clean Without Chemicals:
It has previously been estimated that in the UK we spend £1 billion on cleaning products a year, with supermarket shelves being full of various cleaning products. [source: http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/ethicalreports/householdcleaningproductsreport.aspx]
Whilst such products will help you remove a range of dirt, grime and stains from your home you can save money over the coming year on cleaning products by following the advice outlined in “15 Tips to Help You Save Money on Cleaning Products”.
Watch Your Heating:
Roughly half the money spent on utility bills in the UK goes towards heating and hot water. But did you know that by turning your heating down by 1⁰C can save you as much as 10% of your annual heating bill – and chances are you won’t even feel the difference.
With many of us having our heating above the recommended 18⁰C, switching the thermometer down a degree or two is an easy way to save money. For further tips on saving money on your heating bills, read “How to Save Money on Your Heating Bills”.
Draught Proof Your Home:
We spend a lot of the winter arguing with loved ones about whether the heating should be on or not. But, we could be wasting such heat (and therefore money) by not having our homes draught proofed.
Have a feel around your letterbox, keyholes and windows. Do you feel a draft coming through? If so, warm air is able to escape – and your heating isn’t as effective as it could be.
Take action by double-glazing your windows, getting keyhole covers and covering your letterbox.
Check Energy Ratings:
The higher the energy rating on an appliance, the more efficient it’ll be and the cheaper it’ll be to run.
Whilst it would be nice to purchase appliances with the highest energy rating, we know this isn’t possible. But you should always look to get the most energy efficient appliance you can afford.
Keep Your Appliances Clean:
All appliances gather dirt, dust and debris which if left can hinder the performance, increase the risk of faults developing and essentially cost you more in both energy and money in the long run.
The tumble dryer is a key example of this. Failing to clean the lint filter after every use will reduce the performance of the appliance and heightens the fire risk from the appliance. But your tumble dryer isn’t the only appliance in the home which needs regular cleaning.
To find the best way to clean some of the most used appliances in your home, we suggest you read the following 5 posts:
Repair Rather Than Replace:
Over time as a result of general wear and tear, all appliances in the home and garden can suffer from faults. But this doesn’t mean you need to go splashing the cash on purchasing the latest replacement.
Instead, with a bit of time, patience and help from BuySpares there’s no reason why you cannot fix all manner of faults with your appliances. From getting the perfect replacement parts through to the advice you need to carry out the repair yourself – and this will save you money in both the short and long term, which we call a win-win situation.
Reduce Cost of a Tumble Dryer:
Roughly 60% of UK households are said to own a tumble dryer, and whilst such an appliance can be handy in getting laundry dry – particularly during the winter months, they can be more expensive to run than you’d think.
In fact, it’s estimated a C rated tumble dryer can cost as much as £100 to run a year.
Cut the cost of using your tumble dryer by adding energy saving tumble dryer balls into the load every time you use it. This will reduce drying time by up to 25%, saving you time, energy and money. It also goes without saying that when the weather outside is dry, you should look to hang your washing on the line.
Plan Your Meals, Make a Shopping List & Don’t Ignore Own Brands:
When it comes to food shopping, it seems that prices are constantly increasing. But there are steps which you can take to reduce your food bills.
- Plan your meals in advance – by taking the time to plan your weekly meals you can save roughly £20 a week
- Make a shopping list – this can help you save money in two ways. Firstly, you’re less likely to pick up random things when shopping if they’re not on your list, secondly there’s less chance of you buying food which goes to waste due to not being eaten before it goes off.It’s estimated we waste as much as £700 per family of food a year – both in buying food which we never eat and by cooking too much. [source: http://www.lovefoodhatewaste.com/node/207]
- Don’t ignore own brands – whilst these are significantly cheaper than branded products, the quality and taste is rarely that different.
Grow Your Own:
Whatever size garden you have, there’s no reason why you cannot grow your own fruit, vegetables or herbs – from potatoes to rhubarb, and from pears to rosemary – the options are endless.
By growing your own fruit, vegetables and herbs not only can you help reduce your shopping bills but you can also get fresh food as well as fresh air by gardening. Give it a go, make this year the year you become green fingered.
Become Water Wise:
From a dripping tap, to leaving the taps running when cleaning our teeth – it’s scary to consider how much water we’re wasting each day and how much this is costing us.
By making a conscious effort to turn your tap off when cleaning your teeth could save you 18 litres of water every time you do it, multiply this by two and it is 36 litres of water per person in your home a day – which is a considerable amount of money you could save.
Turn The Pressure Down:
Another way to become more water-wise is by watching your shower. The average 8 minute shower equates to over £400 a year being wasted by a family keeping clean. If you’ve got a high-pressure shower, the cost will be even more.
Save water when showering by using an energy-efficient shower head, and try to have a 3-minute Navy shower, you may be surprised as to how much water (and therefore money) you can save a year.
Store & Reuse Rainwater:
By storing rainwater in a water butt in your garden, you’ll be left with what is known as grey water, which contains valuable fertiliser for your garden plants – making it a great source of free water, helping to save you money in both the short and long term, whilst benefitting from Mother Nature herself.
Switch Off Standby:
Most of us are guilty of leaving our appliances on standby. It may seem harmless leaving such appliances on standby but not only can this increase the risk of them becoming a fire risk, but by taking the time to switch of standby, you could save up to £30 a year.
Switch Energy Suppliers:
Staying with the same energy supplier each year may seem like the easiest thing to do as there’s less hassle involved, it’s easier to keep your direct debits as they are and you don’t need to go through the rigmarole of providing numerous metre readings.
But, by taking the time to switch energy suppliers you could save yourself a considerable amount each year – and to switch supplier is no more difficult than different or difficult than shopping around for another product or service.
Do you have any other frugal tips to help save money around the home over the coming year? Why not share them in the comment section below – or help your friends save money, by sharing this post on Twitter.