Whether you’ve made the down payment on your first home, or you’re sitting in a grimy apartment with six roommates and dreaming of a way to cut down your rent check, you’re one of the many people who have trouble cutting down spending on their home bills. From gas to electric to cable to internet to water to Girl Scout Cookies, it seems like there’s always some nefarious piece of paper popping up in your mailbox and giving you a hard time. Here are a few easy ways to make those costs just a bit more manageable.
Cut Out That Cable
The things that this country’s cable TV monopolies can get away with are bordering on the diabolical. Intentionally throttled connections, channel packages that don’t make sense, and ridiculous pricing plans are just some of the things that the Time Warner/Comcast behemoth have done to their customers. The problem is, unless you’re in a city lucky enough to have Google Fiber, there’s almost no other alternative.
Unless, of course, you cut them out entirely. With streaming services like Netflix, HBO Go and Hulu, and other live-TV substitutes like Roku boxes and Apple TV, there are plenty of ways to legally get the same exact content you’re used to getting on your TV, all without that pesky cable bill popping up in your mailbox every month. Consider dropping the cable portion of your home entertainment bundle first if possible, then explore other, potentially more radical options if all goes well.
Cut (Not Mow) That Grass
Deadly drought conditions or not, excessive lawn watering is one of the easiest ways that your water usage can get way, way out of control. Explore ways to limit the amount of times per week you water your plants and lawn. Consider switching to dry-weather-friendly plants on your porch, and explore ways to consolidate your lawns to a more manageable sprinkling range. Your water usage can garner a surprisingly hefty bill by month’s end, especially in the summer, so now’s the time to act and make sure you’re limiting it as best as possible.
Also, If you really want to have a beautiful lawn that’ll use your neighbor’s envious tears as extra water supply, consider switching to an artificial lawn. No, it’s not real, but the savings might convince you anyway. (No wasted time on mowing, either.)
Bring Back That Hand-Wash
If you’re still struggling to cut your water bill down and want a chance to bond with your family, turns out you can have your cake and eat it too — just be sure to wash afterwards. Many modern dishwashers are ecologically and economically friendly, but if you can set aside the time for hand-washing your dishes instead, you might see a sharp decline in water usage. This same philosophy extends from the kitchen to your laundry room. Consider moving to a dry-rack permanently if the electric bill just needs a bit more off the top. Plus, dry racks can easily be put and stored almost anywhere in the home when not in use.
Compost That Food
This isn’t necessarily a “bill” per se, and it won’t reap financial rewards anytime soon (unless you have a gang of particularly rich earthworms in your compost garden), but if we’re trying to save money, we may as well try and save the environment! Consider starting a compost pile in your backyard. It’s remarkably easy to do, and if you start separating your biodegradable food waste like banana peels and discarded vegetable ends, you’ll end up making a significant impact on your home’s waste output. Not to mention, they’re extremely helpful for starting up a little gardening plot if you have the yard for it!