Saving money on home expenses can mean the difference between making ends meet and seeing a big gap in the financial situation. The good news for home owners comes from a few simple tips that will reduce expenses and make keeping a budget one step easier.

Tips to Save Money on Home Expenses

Turn out the lights – the amount of heat that one 60 watt light bulb can raise the temperature of a typical bedroom about five degrees per hour. Multiply that by all of the light bulbs around your home and you can begin to understand why it can be so difficult cooling your home. Turning out all of the lights in rooms where they are not necessary will help you cut down on the cooling expenses of your home.

Change the way you do your laundry – run all of your loads of laundry back to back. The dryer will still be warm from the last load and it will not require as much energy to dry the clothes. You might want to consider doing laundry during the coolest times of the day or night to help reduce the need to run the air conditioning while you are doing laundry.
Keep the freezer full – a full space will stay cooler and will use up less energy. Most people only think about the foods they buy frozen or maybe meats. You can also freeze chopped vegetables, sauces, cooked meats and casseroles, and even fruits to keep fresh foods from going bad. These prepped foods will also make it easier for you to fix meals in the days to come (which will save you from eating out at restaurants or bringing home take out meals).

Eat out more often – on the grill. Cooking out will do more to reduce the amount of heat you produce in your kitchen then just about anything else that you can do. It can also be a great way to spend some time with friends and family. When you do eat in, use a toaster oven for smaller amounts so that you do not have to heat the whole oven to cook.

Turn up the electric (in summer) or down (in winter) – keeping the thermostat below 67 or above 74 will save you hundreds of dollars each year on your electric bill. Change the temperature by one degree every few days and your family may not even notice the difference.

Home expenses can eat up a big portion of the budget each month. Tightening economic times make finding ways to save even more important for most home owners. The little ways to save money on the ordinary costs of your home can start adding up to extraordinary savings.

Written by Peter “Van The VA Man” Brady is A Veteran’s Administration Home Loan specialist based in Southern California who helps veterans get VA home loans and VA refinance loans.