Whether it’s to fund a dream holiday, chip away at the mortgage or just for a rainy day, who doesn’t want to save some cash?
With the average Australian household spending about $1225 each week on living costs, home is the most obvious place to look for savings.
There are savings to be had, simply by switching out these six things in the home.
1. Lights! Lights! Lights!
Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to cut your power bill. Switching from incandescent globes to LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs can save up to 80% per globe.
Another way to reduce lighting costs is to install motion sensors on security lights, so you don’t have to remember to turn them off at night. Also, use solar lights to illuminate garden paths. They store energy from the sun during the day and automatically light up at night – for nothing.
2. Switch electricity providers
Electricity is one of any household’s biggest bills, so it’s logical to look closely at this expense. The “set and forget” mentality many people have towards their electricity provider means they sometimes pay too much.
Retailers now have to compete for your business, so they offer a range of different discounts, bonuses and payment plans.
Shop around to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.
3. Long luxuriating showers
Time to put a dampener on your excessive morning routine. Picture: Getty Images
Hot water uses about 25% of a home’s energy – and is the largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the average Australian home. To save on your power and water bills (and help the planet) stick to four-minute showers.
Switching from a standard showerhead to a three-star rated head could reduce your hot water bill by half too.
If you’ve got a heated towel rack, stop using it. It’s probably costing up to $200 a year to run.
If renovating, consider installing a solar hot water system; they’re much more efficient and rebates are available in some states and territories.
4. Lazy laundry habits
Let the sun and wind power your laundry habits.
Almost every step of doing the washing is power-hungry – so costs you money when the bill arrives.
Don’t be lazy! First, wait until there’s a full load before putting the washing machine on – and always wash in cold water. Then, consider if you really need to use the dryer.
Even in winter, it’s normally possible to dry clothes either in the morning outside or inside when you’ve already got heating on. Using a line rather the dryer can save you more than $100 a year.
Also, if it’s time for a new dryer, go for one with a high star energy rating. A one-star dryer uses nearly three times as much electricity as a six-star dryer. That translates into $100s each year.
Another way to save is by doing all the dreaded ironing at once – not sporadically during the week – because you don’t waste energy heating up the iron each time.
5. Single, brand-name items
Buying products you need in bulk can save cash. Picture: Getty Images
When it comes to groceries and other household items, always buy in bulk when things are cheaper and go generic. Portion out larger packs of meat, laundry powder and other expensive products into smaller packages, as it’s cheaper and means you only use what you need.
Also, swap brand names for generic products. You won’t notice the difference, but the savings will add up.
6. Beer fridge or chest freezer
Get rid of that beer fridge or chest freezer gathering dust in the shed – or replace with a more efficient appliance.
If you don’t use them, they’re just burning cash in power costs.