5 Tips to Decrease Costs around your Home


Throughout January, we have been posting some smart ways to save money around your home with tricks to increase energy efficiency and reduce costs through creative means. Sometimes the most simple ideas and tips can pay dividends into the future with big savings!

So here are 5 ways to decrease the amount you spend around your home with things you have to purchase. And check out tip #3 for a nod to investing in a reusable Cook shed over paying those expensive monthly fees for an off-site storage unit!

Plan your meals in advance

By spending a little time the weekend before you will save yourself time, money and frustration through the busy work week.  Cooking meals at home is a much better value than even hitting the fast food drive-thru and much healthier too.

First, check what you already have in the fridge, freezer and pantry and make a list of any components that will need to be picked up. Then, use a calendar or a fridge magnet planner, to map out those meals. This will remind you each morning what needs to be defrosted or prepped. 

There are tons of helpful meal planning websites such as emeals.com or plantoeat.com and make it even easier on yourself by making Thursday or Friday a leftover night.

Shop smarter

Be smart whenever you’re shopping for those things your household needs. Check the Sunday paper for coupons or load electronic coupons to your store card. It’s free money, so why not use it!

Keeping an up-to-date list ensures that you will get everything you need in one trip and won’t buy anything that you already have. Condensing all your shopping into one trip saves you time and money on gas. Also, remember the old rule- never shop when you’re hungry, or you might end up with things your family won’t use.

Always shop around too for those more expensive home services like cable/satellite television, cell phone plans, insurance, etc., because there is most likely a better deal out there if you just look for it!

Invest in reusable items

Think about those disposable items that your family buys repeatedly. Yes, they might be more convenient but it can also be a big waste of your finances. For example, replace paper towels with washable cloths or plastic water bottles with a Brita or reusable aluminum bottles.

Before you buy something, think about a more sustainable solution. The amount of savings over the course of one year will definitely surprise you!

Another way to produce a reusable supply of goods is to grow a small garden. Things like basil, mint, sage, tomatoes and onions can be grown in relatively small spaces.

Buy secondhand items

Some things can be bought used without any real difference in quality from the new (and more expensive) versions. For example, you can find some great reads at a local used bookstore compared with a large bookstore chain or on Amazon.

Other household items to buy secondhand include sports equipment, toys, tools, CDs and DVDs. Shop at garage sales and thrift stores to find the best deals.

Entertain at home

It’s easy to keep costs down by having a get together with family and friends at home. Ask everyone to bring a dish or appetizer and have a potluck style gathering.

For the kids, keep them entertained at home with fun board games, a family movie night or if the weather is nice, visit a park to get some exercise and use the playground.

One bonus tip is to always be conscious of the energy usage around your house. Smart ways to do this is to always turn off the lights when leaving a room, time your showers and take more baths.  Learn more energy saving tips by reading this blog post!

And here are some more winter home organization tips to download for FREE from Cook Portable Warehouses!