10 Money-Saving Tips To Do Now

Wash in Cooler Water

Use these simple and effective DIY's to cut costs big time.

01 of 10

1. Make Your Own Cleaning Solutions

Make your own cleaning solutions
Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

Pantry staples like white vinegar, lemons, and baking soda make for great cleaning products--dissolving dirt, soap scum, and hard water deposits. Mix 1 cup of white vinegar with 1 cup of water as a substitute for a spray cleaner. Sprinkle some baking soda on a sponge and get to work on grimy bathtub rings and stuck-on food in the sink.

Cost: a few extra bucks on pantry supplies

Savings: $50+ on commercial cleaners

02 of 10

2. Extend the Life of Your Filter

Extend the Life of Your Filter
Photo by Getty Images

Who knew that something as simple as vaccuming your air filter could save money? Most households go through four air filters per year, at a total cost of around $40. Use the hose attachment on your vaccum to clean the filter, and cut the cost in half.

Cost: a few minutes

Savings: $40 per year

03 of 10

3. Remove Marker From Walls with Toothpaste

Remove Marker From Walls with Toothpaste
Photo by Getty Images

Toothpaste is one versatile product. Next time your kids decide to display their "artwork" on the walls, grab a tube of toothpaste. Simply squeeze the paste on a rag and scrub until the marks disappear. This works on Crayloa-type markers as well as ballpoint and felt-tip pens.

Cost: $3-$5 for a tube of toothpaste

Savings: About $35 for a gallon of paint, new roller, and paint-tray liner.

04 of 10

4. Choose a Neutral Trim for the House

Choose a Neutral Trim for the House
Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

Instead of buying (and probably wasting) a gallon of trim paint for each room, try finding a neutral trim that will work with your entire home. Crisp white paint never goes out of style, and you won't have to worry about using the wrong can for touch-ups.

Cost: You'll have to forgo trendy paint color combinations

Savings: $50 on paint for 3 rooms

05 of 10

5. Shorten Your Dryer Vent Hose

Shorten your Dryer Vent Hose
Photo by Charles Walton

Disconnect your hose and clean it with a vaccum. Then, trim the hose so that it is just long enough to pull your dryer away from the wall. This will help your dryer run more efficiently, save you money, and dry your clothes faster.

Cost: less than 15 minutes

Savings: $25 per year on electric, gas, or propane

06 of 10

6. Lower Your Water Heater Temperature

Lower Your Water Heater Temperature
Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

There's nothing like the feeling of a nice hot shower, but lowering your water heater by just 10° F can save up to 12% on your bill. Heaters should be set anywhere from 120° to 125°, which is still plenty hot when you need to relax.

Cost: A few minutes in your utility room

Savings: $30 or more per year on gas, oil, electricity or propane

07 of 10

7. Silence Squeaky Floors with Talcum

Silence Squeaky Floors with Talcum
Photo by Getty Images

Save yourself the time of calling a carpenter for squeaky wooden floors. Simply sprinkle talcum powder and use a paintbrush to work it into the joints between boards. Sweep away the excess. You can also use powdered graphite from a tube for tighter spots.

Cost: $5 for large container of talcum powder or small tube of powdered graphite

Savings: Starting at $50/hour to hire carpenter for repairs

08 of 10

8. Set Your Computer to Sleep

Set Your Computer to Sleep

Make sure to set both the monitor and hard drive into sleep mode so that it dims after 10 minutes of nonuse. Not only will this save money on your electric bill, but it is also better for your computer's well-being.

Cost: two mouse clicks

Savings: $75 per year off your electric bill

09 of 10

9. Wash in Cooler Water

Wash in Cooler Water

Using hot water to wash clothes uses more energy than using cooler water. Wash full loads in warm water instead of hot water and you will cut your energy use in half.

Cost: nothing

Savings: $60+ over using hot water

10 of 10

10. Use Toothpaste to Fill Holes

Use Toothpaste to Fill Holes
Courtesy of Tom's of Maine

Toothpaste is a great alternative to spackling if you have a hole in your wall smaller than 1/4 inch. Try to find a toothpaste close to the color of the wall, then squeeze the paste into the hole and wipe off the excess with a putty knife or playing card. You may need to do a second coat, as toothpaste tends to shrink as it dries.

Cost: $3-$5 for tube of toothpaste

Savings: $15 on spackling

For more money-saving tips, visit thisoldhouse.com

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