Sometimes, to save money, you have to spend money. Here are some ways that you can spend a little money up front to save yourself money over the long term around your house.
Build a Clothesline
For under $100, you can build a clothesline in your yard to save on your electricity bill. Ours was more like $5 for the cost of the hooks and ropes, it just depends on how do-it-yourself and makeshift you want it to be. Here is a good tutorial for how to put up a clothesline.
Insulate Hot Water Pipes
This project will make your hot water usage more efficient. Insulating your pipes can double the time for water to cool down (therefore requiring less time to heat up with repeat usage) in 1/2″ pipe and triple it for 3/4″ pipe. Cost for insulating 45 feet of pipe and duct tape: $60. Here is a good tutorial for insulating your hot water pipes.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Annual savings for this simple and inexpensive project is around $100/year. Programming it to your family’s schedule will make your home more efficient and lower your electric bill. For every degree you lower your thermostat over an 8 hour period is 1% savings. Lower it 10 degrees overnight and there is 10% savings! Cost: $50.
Make a Rain Barrel
Here is a tutorial on making your own rain barrel. Cost: $20.
A few smaller projects you can do for under $50 are
- Install aerators on faucets - these break up water droplets so you use less water but get just as much power.
- Clean refridgerator coils - when dirty, it takes more energy to cool your food. This is easiest when using a long handled brush.
- Replace weatherstripping - this is a relatively simple project to be done around doors and windows to keep from letting the cold or hot air seep in.
- Make Your Own Cleaning Products - instead of paying for toxic products from the store, soap, baking soda, vinegar or lemon juice can take care of most household cleaning needs. Here is a great list of recipes for making your own cleaning products with stuff you probably already have around.
What are some things you do around your house yourself to try to save money on bills or expenses?