9 Ways to Pinch Pennies Around the House

ways to save money around the house

I’m certainly not an extreme frugalist. I’ll never reuse plastic bags or ration toilet paper into a certain number of squares per use, but if I can save a few pennies here and there, we all know they add up to dollars. Every dollar counts, especially if you are trying to get out of debt, save for a goal, or plan for retirement. Here are nine simple ways to pinch pennies around the house.

1. Eliminate Food Waste

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans throw away 25% of the food they buy. While that’s wrong to think about on many levels, it also adds up to lots of wasted money. Some easy ways to prevent food waste are using leftovers for brown bag lunches, freezing fruit and veggies for later use in smoothies or stir fry, and taking a week each month to eat out of your pantry or fridge instead of grocery shopping.

2. Turn the Thermostat Up or Down

We used to keep our thermostat on 70 degrees pretty much year round but have realized that if we turn it down to 66-68 degrees in the winter and 72-74 degrees in the winter, it saves about $20 per month on utility bills.

3. Don’t Buy Expensive Cleaning Products

Fancy wipes or lemon-scented cleaners are certainly nice, but they are expensive. You can clean just about anything with soap, warm water, vinegar, and a little bleach for a fraction of the cost. Buy a lemon candle if you really miss the smell.

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  1. I just found your blog! I try to be as frugal as I can but still enjoy life. I can’t use credit, I have a 500.00 limit. It is teaching me so much to live like that. I am not an extreme person but I have found a few things. The one I swear by is unplug everything. I unplug my router and cable which is plugged into the same strip, my microwave, toaster and Kurig. It saves me so much I would not have believed it! Good luck on your journey!

    1. I do think it’s amazing how much little things do add up. We did several things a few years ago to lower our electric bill like using CFL light bulbs and changing the thermostat settings, unplugging at night, etc. I don’t know that any one thing was incredibly noticeable, but our electric bills are consistently $20 or more lower per month now that they were two years ago. I don’t think it’s because the cost of electricity has gone down!

  2. Congrats on the MINT article, Kim! I don’t understand the whole bottled water thing…I wife is a big fan, so I end up buying it (although it’s a relatively inexpensive store brand). I don’t deny using it too…but I typically open one bottle, and just keep refilling it from the tap over and over and over. 🙂

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