Large households have no choice but to find creative ways of saving. Budgeting has become a really important topic for families, especially since the lockdown. We now appreciate every penny, make sure that we’re not even the slightest bit wasteful, so we can live comfortably in the long run. Thankfully, there is a stupendous amount of saving techniques and budgeting opportunities all over the home. Your entire family should get in on the action, pool together your minds and work as a team, to save bucket loads of cash, every single month. You can make a competitive game of it, trying to beat last month’s record this month. Here are some amazing yet simple ways to get the ball rolling.
Three is better than two?
The number enemy of heat saving is the windows around your home. They are very large surface areas, where heat is lost to the outdoors. This is because glass is permeable, and even double-glazing isn’t as strong as you might hope. This is why triple-glazing has become so popular. Double glazing fits into many older homes but triple glazing is something that is mainly for contemporary homes. Why? Well, it’s because you need more space for the sheets of glass to fit and to build an adequate vacuum in between each layer.
The energy saving of one sheet of glass is an impressive 5.6 in u-value. For double glazing, it’s cut in half and stands at 2.8 in u-value. However, for triple glazing, it’s a staggering 0.8 in u-value. The lower the better and the clear winner is triple glazing. Not only do you save a lot of money over the course of a year, but you also suffer from less outdoor noise.
The noise level drastically decreases just by adding one more layer than double glazing. This is because the noise has to travel through two vacuums instead of one, so high frequency noises will have more trouble penetrating into your home. This is great if you have neighbors that play music in the evenings or perhaps, you live in a neighborhood where dogs are constantly barking.
Did you know that internet providers are making a huge change in how they offer the internet to customers? In a world where hardly anyone uses a landline, providers are shifting their packages and it’s become far cheaper to get internet purely on its own. Even older people can use smartphones as the touchscreens are pretty intuitive. This is why providers are making the landline a thing of the past and creating broadband-only plans. If you are paying for a landline that you don’t even use or need, then switching to a broadband-only deal could save you a heap of cash. But how much?
Firstly you should contact your existing provider and let them know you’d prefer a broadband-only plan if they have one. You could also threaten to cancel or leave their services at the end of the contract if they don’t take off the landline from the bill. Go on to compare websites and find the most affordable broadband-only. It’s common for broadband-only deals to be around $10-15 cheaper than landline plus broadband packages.
The most common weekly expenditure
For any household, the largest weekly expenditure is grocery shopping. There are so many ways you can budget carefully and turn cents into dollars and dollars into wads of dollars. The thing is you should design your family meals in such a way that less equals more.
Always have carbs in your dinner, as they can be stretched the furthest. Food such as rice, pasta, potatoes and grains should be the main or side dish to each meal. You can make a side of fries for very cheap and feed the entire family. Likewise, you can make a stir fry chicken dish but the majority of the meal is rice. The rice can be covered in the stew or sauce of the dish giving it a flavor so you don’t have to buy a lot of meat to please everyone.
You can also stretch treats as far as possible by buying them for wholesale, preferably with a discount or coupon, and making your own baggies to give to the kids. Let’s say you buy a large pack of chocolate covered raisins. You don’t have to give them out in the boxes the product came in, but instead, make your own little lunchable bag using cling film. You can also stretch chips and snacks like pretzels and biscuits by giving out little portions instead of the normal individual bags they came in.
Do the simple things like, stop buying packaged foods like pre-shredded cheese and salad. Buy it raw and make your own salad and shred your own cheese. Do you really need to buy chocolate bars when you have chocolate ice cream? Pay attention to where your food is overlapping itself.
The family washing needs
One of the primary needs of any family is fresh clean clothes. However, you could be spending far too much money when you need not be. You should have two kinds of groups of clothes, outdoors and indoors. For all the clothes that you wear indoors, you don’t need to do the extended cycles. No matter if the clothes are made out of synthetic fibers or cotton, you should put them all on the same washing mode. Most washing machines have a quick and easy mode, which ranges in the 20-minutes to 40-minutes washing time. Use the lowest or quickest setting for the clothes you wear around the house.
Instead of using a drier or the drying feature of your washing machine, you should hang them out on the line. If you don’t have a washing line in your garden, fix one to the walls. If you don’t have a room, then you can always hang your clothes around the house. You should place them on the radiators, on your dining room chairs and place the chairs in front of a window. The sunlight will naturally heat up the clothing and evaporate the water quicker. You should also try to dry your clothes on the guardrail of your staircase. It’s a solid surface but has a low surface area, so water can be lost from all directions.
Wash your clothes strategically. Pay attention to the weather forecast and use the heat from the sun to dry your clothes. You can wash your clothes at night when the utilities are cheaper but set your alarm for when the clothes will be done. Get up during the night to put them on the line and by the time you’re ready to leave for work, they could be dry.
In case of emergency
Sometimes, saving your home from the weather is what you need to do, in order to save money. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, has frequent tornados pass through the neighborhood or perhaps thunderstorms with rain and heavy winds, you should seek out the best home and auto insurance. Every part of your home, from the garden fence, the roof tiles, gutters, driveway and the exterior garden lighting, is protected under the best home insurance coverage plans. However, they also protect from theft and burglary as you may be in a position whereby losing electronics will set you back thousands of dollars. You’re already budgeting so having things robbed from your house will be such a burden to cope with financially.
You could be involved in a flood whereby your home looks fine, but the sudden rise in water levels has forced the sewer pipe to burst in your garden. Normally you would be on your own, and even the local authority won’t help. But with a good home insurer, you can get these things fixed without paying a dime.
Rather than saving up for a holiday this year, use the money you would have spent on home repair needs. Do you have a floorboard that is cracked or loose? Do you have a door handle that has broken? Maybe you need to replace an appliance. You can make these repairs with money that you would otherwise use for leisure. It’s tough for families to sacrifice their leisure activities but when you’re on a serious budgeting mission, everything is up for grabs.
However, you should also make home repairs by yourself instead of calling out a handyman. There are tons of videos online, which you can watch to make easy repairs all over the house. Watch a tutorial YouTube video on how to fix a rusted lock, how to clean a carpet, how to fix a window crack or how you can de-ice your refrigerator so it’s more efficient.
Budgeting will become a normal part of your lifestyle if you include these things. The weekly grocery shop is where many people like to start because it gives them a feasible goal to reach for. However, you should also look ahead and plan to save your home from natural disasters and burglaries.