Easy Tips for Saving Money Around Your Home

Install a Water Heater Timer

This device helps you to program the times when your water heater activates and deactivates during a 24-hour period. Each household is different and you must determine, based on your hot water use, if a timer is right for you.

Replace Your Cabin Air Filter

A clogged cabin air filter can damage your carís blower motor and cause your AC to run longer and harder in the summer. Cabin air filters are easy to access and replace and youíll save about $30 by doing it yourself. Buy a replacement cabin air filter at any auto parts store and ask the clerk to print out the installation instructions.

Cabin air filters are usually located in the air ducts behind the glove box in late model vehicles. However, some car makers locate them in the cowling or console area. Just remove the access covers and slide out the old filter. Note the direction of the airflow arrows so you can install the new filter in the proper orientation. Then reinstall the covers and youíre done.

Repurpose Used Furniture

Many furniture pieces, especially those from the late 20th century were manufactured using higher quality materials than todayís offerings. Whether you plan to refurbish it or break down the piece for materials, this practice can really provide you with an opportunity to save a few bucks.

Restore Your Deck

After a few years, your deck is sure to show some wear and tear. Donít rush to replace boards that are otherwise in good condition. With a deck restoration coating and a few days in the sunshine, your deck will look as good as new.

Make Your Own Household Cleaners

You can help the environment and save a few bucks by making your own household cleaners. For instance, instead of using store-bought glass cleaner, mix 2 cups of water with a 1/2 cup of vinegar to create your own. Another easy formula for all-purpose cleaning is mixing 4 tablespoons of baking soda with 1 quart of warm water.

You Can Refinish Your Own Hardwood

Intimidated by this seemingly daunting project? Donít be. If you have the will and a whole day (or two) to yourself, you can refinish the hardwood floors in the major areas of your home. You donít necessarily need to sand, but if the floor is damaged enough to warrant buffing, check out your local hardware store and rent the equipment for anywhere from 4-48 hours.

Feed the Lawn

If your yard is mostly grass with just a few weeds, forgo the expensive landscaper. With one trip to your local hardware store or plant nursery, you can purchase $25-$50 worth of supplies, spend just a few hours on your lawn, and simply wait for the grass to grow. Make your garden look like Paradise, too!


Weatherstripping Is Easy

If you can see light creeping beneath exterior doors, air is also escaping. Grab a few packages of self-adhesive rubber foam weatherstripping and go to town, sealing any and all doors that lead outside. Weatherstripping already installed but youíre still suffering from a high gas bill? It might be time to replace the strips installed by the previous owners.

A Quick Coat of Paint

Almost nothing is quicker, easier or refreshes a room more than a new coat of paint. Even switching up a bright white for a trendy, bright grey can change your whole perspective and give you a starting point for new colors and decoration.

Gallons of paint range from $30-$50, and with primer/paint combinations, you will likely only need a gallon or less to finish an average sized room. Add another $10, and youíll be set with rollers, paint brushes, and painterís tape. This DIY repair could potentially save you thousands over the cost of a professional painter.

Install a Clothesline

A simple clothesline allows you to dry your clothes for free using the power of the sun instead of expensive electricity. Electric clothes dryers can really put a dent in your pocketbook (up to $85 a year in electricity costs), especially if you have a large household.

While a clothesline does require a bit of manual labor to hang the clothes, you will enjoy a fresh, natural smell in your laundry as well as a reduced utility bill.


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