Welcome to todays lifestyle blogging article “Sabrina’s Top Twelve Ways to Save Money, Spend Less on Electric and Use Less Energy Around the Home”. With the rising cost of living and lots of other prices changing, I figured I would share the ways in which I, Sabrina, a single parent, save money on a daily basis. And by drilling some of these into your head and completing them daily, you will soon see how great they are and hopefully I can help save you some money! Lets begin!
✩ Close Your Curtains – either to keep the heat inside during colder months or to keep the heat out and keep your home cool during hot days. I often see people not closing their curtains in an evening and I wonder if they know how much energy they’re losing. As for the summer it works the same way, don’t open them in a morning to let the heat in, just leave them shut and return to a much cooler room than if you had opened them.
✩ Time your Showers – We can all be guilty of letting the hot water run over us and our minds drift off into a tangent of thoughts and procrastinations. However by either setting alarms or by playing a timed playlist on your phone while you shower, you will be saving yourself water and electricity and even time! I personally have a selection of 30 minute music playlists, and I know that when I reach the final song my half an hour of bathroom ablutions time is up! Give it a go yourself and see how you get on.
✩ Close Your Doors – even by pushing your doors within an inch or twos gap of the frame will prevent lots of heat escaping in the winter. I usually pop a door stopper on the other side of said door once we are in (for example) the lounge with no intention of moving for an hour or two. This stops children or pets pushing the door open too far and letting your heat escape into a hallway for example.
✩ Invest in some USB Chargeable Lights – So I have several of these around my home and various types. I have bars in the hallways so I don’t have to bother turning any lights on, they have sensors so when you walk within range they just pop on. Useful for saving money on electricity! Also great if you forget to turn lights off because these USB ones turn off after 30 seconds to 1 minute (depending on brand). Other chargeable lights include ones that are freestanding and you simply charge them up and then turn them on and let them drain down. One that I have takes about an hour to charge but lasts up to six hours – great in an evening if I don’t need much light.
✩ Light Bulbs – one weekend or day off pop around your home with another person. One goes up a ladder and checks bulbs and the other writes down on a piece of paper what types and if they are energy saving and how many watts are the maximum. Then, next time you’re out shopping go and buy the bulbs that are energy saving and cost less to run. These bulbs usually last for ten years or up to 10,000 hours – whichever comes first!
✩ Watering a Garden – if you spend water from inside your home to water your garden it will slowly start to become a lot of expense. Instead buy one or two black dustbin type plastic barrels (roughly £14 each) and they come with a lid too! Use a watering can to dip into them and remove water as and when you need it. Set them up in a part of your garden where rain water can easily fill them up. You’ll be surprised how fast they fill on a rainy day! Use the water from the butts for your garden plants before turning your home taps on! It will save you money on your water bill especially if you’re on a meter.
✩ Buy or Make Draught Excluders – I have one on the inside of each door of my home, they keep draughts out and stop your heat escaping through holes under doors. If you cannot afford one because they often retail at around £15 these days, and you are good at seeing! Then you could always try and make one out of some old clothes and some stuffing. Might be fun to do with your children!
✩ Buy Thicker Curtains or Lined Curtains ready for Winter – I bought lined curtains for £15 in the fabulous Dunelm sale last year. And I also built a pole above my front door and put two curtains up there as well. One reason was to keep the heat inside during the winter because doors easily let your heat escape. Two is also from a security aspect, if you have a window next to your front door then people may be able to look inside easily, a curtain across prevents them from seeing anything.
✩ Invest in Fleece Throws – I love a nice comfortable throw, but by putting a couple where you frequently sit down will also save you money. I have one folded up across the bottom of my bed, I have two on my sofa. If I’m cold in an evening I will put that over me or around me and not touch the thermostat on the heating. Maintaining an optimum temperature for your heating is also a great start, then use other things such as wearing another layer of clothing or by covering yourself up with a throw while sitting down to help save the pennies. Fleece Throws can start from as little as £4 each in places like Tesco and Dunelm, I bought 3 at £6 each last year. They are large ones and one covers both mine and my sons legs when we sit and watch television in an evening. Fleece throws are also easy to wash and fast to dry due to the material.
✩ Clothes Airers and Camping Pegs – no I’m not mad! I’m letting you in on my clothes drying secrets! So for £20 or less you can buy a large freestanding clothing airer at a supermarket and a packet of camping peg hooks from a local do it all shop. You’ll be able to dry more clothes outside this way and in more weather types simply by pinning the airer down to your lawn with the pegs. This way it doesn’t blow over, but you can easily pull up the pegs and pick up the whole thing to move it indoors if the weather takes a turn. I regularly do this with small thinner items all year round if it’s windy and the sunshine is out. Any reason to not use the tumble drier I will surely take it! You can save lots of money by drying even half a load of washing outdoors.
✩ Turning it OFF! – I’m a big believer in “if you aren’t using it then turn it off” and this goes for lights, appliances and electronics. There are only 6 things that are always on, either because they are constantly running or on standby in my home, they are the Broadband Box, the Sky TV Box, the Boiler, the Washing Machine, my electronic Doorbell and the Fridge/Freezer. Everything else is off, I only put the oven or microwave or drier on when they are actually going to be used. It saves me a ton of electricity by turning things off at the socket and not leaving them standing idle – plus with a small child you don’t want them turning on appliances that might get hot! So there are double reasons for clicking that off switch on the wall. It’s the same with main lights, if you leave a room just turn it off. Finished cooking dinner and done with that Oven? Just turn it off.
✩ Grow Your Own – Every year I try and grow things but this year I am pulling out all the stops to try and grow more fruit and vegetables. Combining my rain catching water tubs with a watering can, I can easily water the tubs I have created. Follow me on my social media for updates on this because I will be documenting photographically just how well we do through the Summer and into the Autumn. Even if you have a balcony not a garden, you can get vertical planters nowadays where you can grow things such as herbs, raspberries or strawberries, tomatoes and chill peppers. I don’t have a patch that I am able to dig up, so I am simply using pots to grow everything. Check out my Instagram for more photographs on how I am managing to do this. Also, teaching your children (if you have any) about the importance of nurturing something while it grows is an excellent life lesson.
Thanks for reading this blog post today. I would love it if you would get in touch, write a comment below if you found any of this useful or you liked some of my ideas. Do you have any awesome ideas yourself for saving money?
If you implement any of my hacks yourself I would love to hear from you on here or on social media. You can tag me #SevernSabrina if you want me to see it too.
Have a great remainder of June!
✩ Sabrina ✩