Show of hands: How many of you had “save money” on your New Year’s resolutions list? While we can’t see who raised their hand, we’re willing to bet at least some of you reading this did. In fact, according to a Forbes survey conducted between November 18 – November 28, 2022, 30% of respondents listed “Improve Finances” as their top goal for 2023.

Yet with the rising cost of food, utilities, clothing, and everything else needed to function on a daily basis, saving for anything can be a challenge. So to help you reach that goal, we’ve put together some simple changes you can implement at home to put a little extra in your piggy bank each month.

Here are 8 money-saving tips to try.

  1. Lower the thermostat. One of the easiest and most effective ways to save on heating and cooling costs is to lower the thermostat by just a degree or two during colder months and raise it by a degree or two during warmer months. This one simple task will allow you to reduce overall energy consumption, put less wear and tear on your HVAC systems, and save on utility costs – all without sacrificing indoor comfort.
  2. Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms. It’s a task so easy to do yet so hard to remember. If you or anyone in your home struggles with this one, consider investing in an occupancy sensor that will turn lights on automatically when someone enters a room and turn them off shortly after they leave. Or for a less permanent and cheaper solution, grab some motion sensor light switches and install them in rooms that are most often forgotten.
  3. Switch to cold-water wash cycles. Anytime an appliance or fixture calls for hot water, electricity, water, and possibly oil or gas add to the overall energy costs. Save money and reduce energy consumption by washing your laundry in cold water. Cold water is also gentler on fabrics so your clothing items will last longer, reducing spending.
  4. Meal plan for the week. These days you can satisfy just about any craving with the touch of a button and have a meal arrive at your door in minutes. But all that take-out can put a serious dent into your food and grocery budget. Meal planning is a surefire way to  save money and eat healthier. Build meals around food items that happen to be on sale that week or that you can purchase in bulk and stash or freeze. When possible, make a double batch to use as leftovers for lunch or freeze half for a night you don’t have the time or energy to make a home-cooked meal.
  5. Use smaller appliances . When preparing a smaller meal, use your toaster oven, air fryer, or crockpot instead of your full-size oven. These appliances use a fraction of the power of a full-size oven to bake or cook the same meal.
  6. Put window treatments to good use. Those custom blinds and flowy curtains aren’t just decorative. During colder months, leave drapes and blinds open on sunny days to allow natural light to warm the space. Close them at night to keep warmth in. And keep window coverings closed during hot summer months to prevent the sun from heating up the room.
  7. Switch to LED light bulbs. Sure they cost a little more up front, but LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy and last up to 25 times longer than regular incandescent bulbs. If you can’t make the switch all at once, just replace each burned-out incandescent bulb with a compatible LED bulb until all are converted.
  8. Ditch the disposables. As a whole, we purchase an incredible amount of disposable items each month. Paper towel, cups, and plates; plastic wrap, utensils, and bags; not to mention the amount of disposable water bottles households go through every month. Instead, switch to more environmentally-friendly solutions that can be cleaned and used time and time again. If you must go with disposable, choose compostable or biodegradable options.

Want another money-saving tip? Have your heating and cooling systems professionally inspected once a year by the home comfort specialists at Zach Heating & Cooling. It’s the best way to ensure your systems are ready to keep your home perfectly comfortable are year long. Contact us today for annual preventive HVAC maintenance, repair, or a new system proposal.