Facing rising costs of goods and services and slowing wage growth, many Americans are struggling to stretch their dollars far enough to cover basic needs.
If you’ve already culled streaming subscriptions and pared down other expenses, there are simple ways to spend less with subtle behavioral changes around the home, where little shifts can lead to big savings.
“You have the potential to save thousands upon thousands of dollars a year by making small, incremental changes,” said Paul Hope, home and appliance editor at Consumer Reports.
Let’s start in the kitchen.
Americans in general overuse paper towels, which takes a toll on the environment as well as household budgets.
Instead, use reusable towels or wash cloths to clean up light messes in the kitchen.
Hope said his family now saves about $600 a year after switching to reusable cloth paper towels.
While you’re still in the kitchen, head on over to your home coffee station and trade packaged coffee pods for a reusable pod filter. This simple swap can save you $393 a year, according to Consumer Reports.
Save water, save money
Saving water can save money too. When doing the dishes, lightly soiled plates and cups don’t require a pre-rinse. Throw them right in the machine and save on water costs.
In the laundry room, consider how much detergent you use per wash load. Many Americans use more detergent than is necessary.
“Most machines don’t need more than about a shot glass worth or 1.5 ounces of detergent to do a really good job,” Hope said. Also, use cold water to wash your clothes.
“Our testing pretty routinely finds that it cleans every bit as well as the hot setting,” Hope said.
Also turn the hot water heater down a few notches. Turning it from 140 to 120 degrees can earn you $453 in savings.
There are ways to save in the bathroom, too. Installing a bidet seat that sprays your backside allows families to cut down on toilet paper consumption, and can lead to savings of $231 per year, according to Consumer Reports.
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