Being a homemaker is a lot like running a business. You have to manage other people and their schedules, keep the place well stocked on supplies, and maintain a balanced budget. You are responsible for what comes into the house as well as what goes out. You are in charge of keeping everything and everyone safe from accidents and when something goes wrong, the unhappy parties come to you. Yes, being a homemaker requires a lot of thought, planning, and skills. Especially in this struggling economy, many homemakers are also tasked with keeping the house running on a lower budget than it may have in the past. There are a number of ways for homemakers to save money, below are just a few to get you started.
Save on your heating and cooling bills by setting a thermostat. One very easy way to cut your costs is to save money on your heating and cooling bills. There are a number of ways to save money on these costs but the easiest one can also have the biggest impact. Most thermostats these days come with timers in them, but a lot of people forget to set them. There is no reason to keep your house heated or cooled when you are not there. Using a timer will turn these utilities off automatically, saving you time, money, and energy.
Start cooking at home instead of eating out or ordering in. A lot of people get into the habit of ordering in takeout – whether it’s pizza, Chinese food, or even health foods – or dining out, largely because it’s convenient and saves time. But it also costs a lot of money to do this. Cooking will cut your food costs and your calories. It is almost always healthier to dine in than to eat out!
Cut your water use. Another bill where you can save money is your water bill. Small changes can make a big impact. The Nest provides the following advice, “Fix a dripping faucet, which can leak as much as 100 gallons per day, or 3,000 gallons per month. Check to see if your municipality offers a rebate on low-flow toilets. If you can’t afford one, take a liter soda bottle, fill it with water and place it in your tank to reduce water use each flush. Run the dishwasher and do laundry only with full loads.”
Make your own cleaning supplies instead of buying them at the store. Like cutting your water use and your heating and cooling bills, making your own cleaning supplies is not just good for your budget but it also beneficial to the planet. Mixing together some baking soda and vinegar creates an effective cleaning solution and it works on almost all household surfaces. Got some scrubbing to do? Mix baking powder with just enough water to create a paste and use it for the scrubbing. Just test an area first – the abrasive scrub can damage some surfaces.
Replace meat with other high protein alternatives. If you and your family eat a lot of meat, you are not only shorting yourselves on nutrients and other health benefits found in other protein sources, but you are also upping your grocery bills. You do not have to make a full switch to vegetarianism. Start by replacing one normally meat meal a week with something else, like a bean or egg dish. These foods also have a lot of protein. Veggie chili is another great option for a hearty vegetarian dish.
Use cloth diapers on your infant. If your baby is wearing disposable diapers, then you know that it creates a lot of waste. It also costs a lot of money. Consider using cloth diapers instead. Although they cost more on the front end, they will save you a lot of money later down the road. According to HowStuffWorks, “One case study showed that a family with a newborn spent around $600 total on cloth diapers, compared to $1,500 to $2,500 that families tend to spend on disposables over three years [source: Jackson]. If you have more than one child the cost is even lower, since you can use those same cloth diapers for baby number two (and three!) And you aren’t contributing to the landfill.”
These are just a few ways to start saving money on your household costs. There are always more out there. The key is to find cost cutting tips that work for you and your family and to stick with them.