If you spend a huge chunk of change renting or owning your home, you know that every penny counts! In the past when I lived at home or at my residence in university, it was easy to take things for granted. If I let the water run for longer than I needed or did multiple loads of laundry a month, it was no biggie because I didn’t have to pay for it. I cringe now when I think about how much water and electricity I seriously wasted when I was younger!
That mentality changed real quick when I got a full-time job after graduation, moved out on my own, and actually had to start paying for everything myself. They say there’s no free lunch in this world (so true!) and with sky-high rent prices where I live on top of having to pay for utilities, groceries, and all of my other bills, I really needed to figure out a way to save as much money possible. With a bit of time and testing, I was able to figure out what I could do to save that money and that’s what I’ll be talking about today in my post.
If you’re looking to lower your utility bill whether you rent or own your home, here are 10 simple tips I learned over the years that can help you save money on utilities each year so you can put that money elsewhere such as towards a trip, saving for retirement, or investment vehicles.
1. Use electricity during off-peak hours
The very first tip that can help lower your utility bill each month by a landslide is to use most of your utilities during off-peak hours. If your municipality has smart meters and time-of-use pricing in place, you definitely want to use these hours to your advantage!
Try to avoid using electricity during mid-peak or on-peak hours. By doing this, the amount of utilities that you can save is seriously outstanding. Where I live, the on-peak hours are almost twice as costly as off-peak hours – yikes! Now close your eyes and visualize that. Just by changing around the times that you use your appliances, you can really save a lot of money without doing anything different! So if your off-peak hours are from 7 pm to 7 am, try your best to use most of your heavy electrical appliances during these off hours, such as running the dishwasher, using the dryer, or cooking dinner.
A lot of times I end up having to move my schedule to accommodate the off-peak hours but as it’s only a small sacrifice for me and it saves a big chunk of change, I’m all for it! If you can’t change your schedule around though because of work or at school, that’s a bummer but it’s always good to know just in case you have an off day and you’re re lounging around at home.
2. Take shorter showers
One of my favorite things in the world especially during our brutal winters here in Canada is a long, hot shower. But with lengthy, hot showers comes a price. If you’re like me, you may find that you spend a ton of money on water and water heating. This can easily be avoided.
If you want to save money on your water bill, shorten your showers. Keeping your showers to a maximum of around 10 minutes is a good middle ground. You can still enjoy your shower but save money on utilities and water resources at the same time.
And if you’re even more adventurous, you can also take short, cold showers (although I can’t imagine doing this myself!).
3. Install water efficient toilets and shower heads
Another great way to save money on your water bill is to install a low-flow toilet. These toilet bowls reduce the amount of water you flush down and this can really help reduce your water bill over time. There are also toilets that have different types of flushing options so that the amount of water used will be much less if you’re just doing a number one compared to a number two.
Installing a water-efficient shower head is also an option to save money when you take a shower. Combining this type of showerhead with taking shorter showers can do wonders to save money on utilities over time!
4. Fix Leaky Faucets
Have you ever noticed a leaky faucet either in your bathrooms or in the kitchen? Fix these leaks yourself or hire a plumber as soon as possible because you’ll end up wasting a lot of water along with money down the drain if you leave them dripping.
5. Avoid using the dishwasher
Although I talked about only using high electricity appliances during off-peak hours, if you really want to be frugal, you can avoid using the dishwasher altogether if you don’t have a high-efficiency dishwasher. Dishwashers use a lot of heat and water so depending on how many dishes you have, it might be best to stick to washing your dishes by hand especially if you’re only home during on-peak hours. If you really must use a dishwasher, make sure you use it as efficiently as possible by only turning it on when it’s fully loaded and using the ‘eco-setting’ if it has that feature.
6. Avoid using the dryer
In addition to avoiding the dishwasher, another great electrical appliance that uses a ton of heat and electricity is the dryer. Avoiding this appliance can seriously save you a lot of money especially if you have family members in your household that dry their clothes multiple times a week! If you live in a warmer climate, I would recommend air drying your clothes on a clothes rack.
If you absolutely can’t deal with the feeling of air-dried clothes (because I know how clothes can sometimes feel really papery and hard after being air-dried), try to decrease your dryer use by air-drying half of your loads and using the dryer for the other half.
7. Tweak your thermostat
If you live in an area that experiences all 4 seasons and long, cold winters during the year without fail, you’ll understand that having a well-heated home is such a necessity. Or if you live in a really hot climate, it’s also super important to cool down your home so it doesn’t feel like you’re baking in an oven!
Although it’s important that your needs are met, a great way to save money on utilities during these seasons is to make sure that you don’t go overboard with heating or cooling your home. Every temperature degree that you turn up or down can make a huge difference in your utility bill.
Instead of putting the heat or air conditioner on full blast, bundle up and use a portable space heater in the winter and turn on a fan in the summer. This way, you can just heat up or cool down specific rooms and you’ll save money throughout the year.
8. Turn off lights when you’re not in the room
Another super easy way to use less electricity on a daily basis is to make it a habit to turn off all of the lights whenever you leave the room. Although it might be hard to get used to at first if you’ve always been used to leaving them on, it’ll eventually become second nature to you and this new habit can save a lot of money over the year!
You can also install long-lasting energy efficient lightbulbs around the house to save electricity. Just change them once and you’re good to go until they die out.
9. Turn off appliances when you don’t need them
Do you ever leave your appliances or electronics connected to outlets even though they’re fully charged or you don’t need them at the moment?
One way that you’re using electricity passively that you probably don’t think about on a daily basis is that you’re leaving these things plugged into outlets all around your home. For example, if you often leave your phone charging when it’s already fully charged at 100%, it’s using unnecessary electricity. Unplug your appliances when you’re not using them to help you save money on utilities.
10. Insulate your home
Lastly, try to fully insulate your home. A lot of times, we are unaware that our homes have air leaks such as through a crack between the wall and our windows or doors. It’s important to fix these areas with materials such as caulk or weatherstrip tape so that you can reduce the amount of heat or cool air that leaks outside. You can also insulate your walls with a material such as fiberglass.
And there you have it – 10 simple ways to save money on your utility bills in your home each month!
Don’t forget to check out my other posts on how to save money and make extra cash:
- 7 Awesome Shopping Apps That Helped Me Easily Save Over $500
- 30 Amazing Side Hustles You Can Start Right Now To Earn Extra Cash
- 17 Effortless Ways To Make Extra Money In Your PJ’s
- Ibotta: The One Shopping App That Will Actually Save You Money
- Save Money Every Time You Shop Online And Get A $10 Free Giftcard
- 13 Easy Ways To Save Money On Groceries Each Month
What are some ways you like to save money on utilities? Leave a comment below and let me know!