Nowadays, finding ways to save money wherever and whenever we can isn’t a trend–it’s a basic instinct.
Houses are expensive to maintain each month. On top of all the bills to pay, you have mouths to feed, unforeseen costs, and random life occurrences that convince you that God must have a twisted sense of humor (like that time the freak storm blew your brand new shingles off the roof).
To make life easier, you scour the interweb for any tips you can find to keep your wallet that much heavier when payday rolls around. We understand the struggle. Here’s a few tips to save a couple bucks in the kitchen.
1. Use A Cleaning Wand To Wash Dishes
Traditionally, cleaning up the kitchen consisted of either filling up the dishwasher or filling up the sink. Both use a tremendous amount of water, and can set you back financially without you even knowing it. How about a third, less-pricey option?
Cleaning wands are essentially magic. They cost anywhere from $0.99 – $9.99, and you can purchase them almost anywhere. You unscrew the bottom cap, fill the wand with dish soap, and voila–instant cleaning tool minus the excessive use of water, though you’ll still need the tap for rinsing. Once you go to the store and come back with your new wand, feel free to pat yourself on the back–you’ve earned it.
The wands are great for everything from plates and bowls, to greasy skillets and gunk-covered pots. Stop changing out your dish water every time you dunk a dirty pot, and go to town with the cleaning wand instead.
2. Install A Water-Conserving Dishwasher
If you absolutely, positively must have a dishwasher (we get it, time is a luxury not everybody has), then take a gander at some of the finest and most energy-efficient dishwashers on the market:
– Bosch: This is your 2013 energy-savings winner according to Energy Star ratings. You’ll save anywhere from $100 to $226 during the dishwasher’s lifetime compared to other brands. It has a 2.9 gallon water cycle, and only uses 190 kilowatt hours of energy per year, which will save you approximately 1,260 kilowatt energy hours during its lifetime.
– Asko: While nearly twice as big as the Bosch at 4.1 gallons, the energy savings aren’t all that different. The Asko will save you $85 to $192 during its lifetime, and only uses 206 kilowatt hours annually–a lifetime savings of 1,068 kilowatt hours.
– LG: This washer’s capacity is slightly smaller than Bosch’s at 2.5 gallons, and about half as energy efficient, but still a great purchase. You’ll save around 600 kilowatt hours during its lifetime, and around $50 to $110 in costs.
3. Don’t Use The Oven Cleaning Feature
Depending on how frequently you use your oven, and what sorts of things you bake, you may need to clean it quite often. To many people, that “Clean Oven” button may seem mighty tempting, but don’t be fooled–it’s an energy hog. You’re much better off doing it manually.
4. Install An Eco-Tap For Your Sink
We recommend outfitting all taps and shower heads in your home with water-saving extensions. Take a look at Niagara Conservation’s options, and choose the type that best fits your lifestyle.
5. Build (Or Buy) A Compost Bin
You needn’t throw all your food scraps in the trashcan each day. You can build or buy a cheap compost bin to throw away all your organic scraps, and save you a few bucks in trash bag costs. Composting is also a great way to teach your children the importance of recycling and re-usability.
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