A calculator being used to slash household expenses.
Personal Finance

Slash These Household Expenses Right Now

For most people, household expenses make up a huge portion of their monthly budget. Luckily, these expenses are some of the easiest to manipulate for savings. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to trim down your budget, let’s take a look at ways you can trim your household bills.

Save Money On Groceries

This is by far the easiest place to slash household expenses and you can realize big savings without even changing your quality of life. All that you have to do is start planning.

Thousands of people have realized huge food savings by simply starting to plan their meals. Meal planning allows you to cut out food wastage and purchase just what you need. Since Americans waste about 30 percent of the food they buy, you can see how some major savings can be achieved. Imagine spending 30 percent less for food.

To start meal planning and maximize your savings, start with the circular from your local grocery store. Plan out your meals based on the food that is on sale. If hamburger is on sale, add that to the list. If chicken is being discounted, go heavy on poultry based meals.

Once you have your list of meals for the week, write down all of the ingredients that you will need to prepare them. Then, take this list and cross off anything that you already have in your pantry or refrigerator. Now, you have your list and can start shopping for your weekly groceries. For best results, take advantage of online curbside pickup. This will keep you from making any impulse buys while shopping. Those grocery store displays and endcaps are so tempting.

With meal planning, the average family should be able to realize hundreds of dollars in savings a month. Even better, you will save time by having your meals planned out.

Slash Your Utility Bill Down

Now that you have your grocery expenses under control, it is time to turn your attention to your utility bills. Electricity, water and gas bills can be substantial, especially if you have an older home.

The key to saving money on utilities is to stack little savings. You are not going to find one thing that will save you 1000 dollars a year, but you can find dozens of little things that can add up to big money.

Water Heaters

Most people have their water heater set entirely too high. This is both dangerous and costly.

The ideal temperature to set your water heater to is 120 degrees, according to the EPA. This can prevent scalds and can easily save you over 100 dollars a year on your electric or gas bill.

Window & Doors

One of the most neglected items in your home are your window and door seals. These little strips of silicon and rubber are extremely important if you want to keep the heat or cool in. Since they only cost a few dollars a piece, there is no reason not to replace them when they show signs of wear.

HVAC Costs

Obviously, the biggest burden on your utility bill will be your home’s heating and air conditioning system. Simply turning your thermostat up in the Summer and down in the Winter will save you hundreds of dollars, but there is more you can do. Replace your air filters on a regular basis and invest in an inexpensive programmable thermostat. Nothing too high end, just stick with a nice $20 model.

Lower Your Home Entertainment Costs

There are a lot of ways that you can trim the fat off of your home entertainment costs without being bored.Check a few of them out.

Cut Cable Or Satellite

There are far too many good alternatives to cable and satellite these days. Why pay $100 to $150 a month on subscription TV when you could get the same entertainment value out of a $10 Streaming Service? That is 1200 dollars to 1800 dollars a year that you could be putting to far better use.

Streaming services have a number of advantages over cable packages. All of the shows can be watched on demand and you have access to many programs that are not available on cable or satellite. In addition, streaming services do not hold you to a contract and many offer free trials for up to 30 days.

Stream Cheaper

If you want to save even more money, switch to free streaming services. With apps like Crackle and Peacock, you can get entertainment that is completely free. You might have to sit through an occasional ad, but it is well worth it to save money.

Audit Your Internet Bill

A lot of people are simply paying for too much internet. You might be paying for 500 MB speed when all you really need is 50 MB speed. If all that you are doing is streaming on a few devices, the lower speed will work just fine for most people and switching could save you a few hundred dollars a year.

Insurance

Insurance can be expensive, and you may be able to reduce your costs to help slash your household expenses. Here are some ways to cut your renters and home owners premiums.

Renters Insurance

Renters insurance is not terribly expensive, but every penny counts when you are trying to save money. The easiest way to cut your renters insurance is to shop it around. Rates can vary wildly from insurer to insurer. You might be paying 40 dollars a month when you could be paying just twenty bucks. That may not seem like a lot in the short term, but that is nearly 250 dollars a year.

Another option is to cut your coverage. Take a realistic look at the value of the property in your home. If it is worth $50,000, why are you insured for $100,000.

Home Owners Insurance

With renters insurance, you can achieve instant monthly savings, but home owners insurance savings will not kick in until your next escrow adjustment. Still, the fact that the savings could be much larger means that looking for savings is worth your time.

Just like with renters, the easiest way to achieve these savings is by shopping your policy around. Insurance companies base their prices partly on losses that they have incurred in your area. If an insurer has more losses, they typically charge more. This means that prices can be all over the map. Get quotes from 3 to 5 insurers to make sure that you get the lowest price.

The second best way to cut your insurance cost is to raise your deductibles. The difference between a 1000 dollar deductible and a 1 percent one can be substantial. Just be sure that you have the money in case of a claim. If you have a 400,000 dollar home, for example, your deductible would be 4,000 dollars. Can you come up with that much money out of pocket?