Various ways to work to lower your household costs.
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As a family grows, so does the cost of maintaining it. Expenditures on food, clothing, transportation, and nearly every area of family life escalates through the addition of others to the home and inflation. For most households, this increase in spending begins to put a strain on the household budget. Finding ways to reign in these expenses can become a priority if the family is to thrive through the ups and downs of the economy.
Learn to set the thermostat to a more energy favorable temperature.
Everyone like their house to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The extent of that cooling and heating is relative to the lifestyle of each household. The first step to controlling these costs is to find a temperature that your family can tolerate that is at least a few degrees away from your optimum. This will mean learning to wear more clothing indoors in the winter and less in the summer. It may also require some less expensive alternatives like fans to put more climate control in some places than others. A permanent move of 5 or more degrees will make an immediate and noticeable difference in your monthly utility bills.
Resist the urge to turn your thermostat up and down when you are at home.
If you have a programmable thermostat, set the program to make energy efficient changes to the house temperature for times when you will be away for an extended period like for work. You may want to make similar programmed adjustments for sleeping times with the heating. However, just because you come inside from vigorous work or exercise is not a reason to crank the air conditioning down to refrigerator level.
Do your grocery shopping in bulk at discount stores.
Everyone likes the little bump in quality that often comes with purchasing major brands of various products. Sometimes, it is possible to get these brands at significant discounts during sales or by buying in larger quantities. Take advantage of these opportunities.
Buy private label brands when practical.
However, when the preferred brands are not selling for a good price, switch to private label discount brands to economize. Unless you have learned that these brands have serious quality issues, buying them will cut large portions of your grocery bill in half. Always buy meat in larger quantities and separate it out for freezing and long-term storage when you get home. Many times the difference between buying 2 pounds of hamburger and 10 pounds can be a savings of up to a dollar per pound.
Published in: Personal Finance