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Save Money One Room at a Time

Saving money often seems difficult, if not downright impossible. Whenever we start to get ahead, some unforeseen event comes along, pushing our savings accounts right back into the red. Fortunately, there are things you can do to save money in every room of the house. Make a few easy changes and watch as your balance begins to build.

Kitchen

Consider these simple solutions to reduce energy and water use and cut waste in the busiest room in the house:

  • Downsize your refrigerator. When it's time to buy a new one, remember that bigger isn't better. Larger machines cycle more often and work harder to cool. Buy the smallest refrigerator you can get away with and watch your energy bills plummet.
  • Only run the dishwasher when it's full. Soak cooking pans and rinse plates and silverware before loading to guarantee that dishes come out clean the first time.
  • Eat on the fine china. Paper plates and plastic utensils may seem like timesavers, but their cost can add up quickly. Using your dishes daily will save money and make every family meal feel special.
  • Go green. Use dishcloths instead of sponges and paper towels. A package of cloth baby diapers can be used to clean countertops and appliances, wash windows and dust furniture. When they are soiled, just toss them in the laundry.
  • Make your own cleaning supplies. A white vinegar-and-water solution cleans glass and other surfaces. Mix baking soda and water into a paste to scour sinks or pots and pans.

Living Room

The name says it all. The living room sees a lot of use. Cut down wear-and-tear with these simple tips.
  • Revive tired furniture or keep new pieces looking that way with high-quality slipcovers. Slipcovers are an inexpensive way to freshen the look of a room. Choose covers that are machine washable in case of accidental spills. Measure your furniture carefully and take a picture before you shop so you can be sure to get the right fit.
  • Extend the life of your carpet with frequent vacuuming. Use area rugs or runners in high-traffic areas to prevent excessive wear. If you have hardwood or laminate floors, put rugs under tables and use protective adhesive pads on couch and chair legs to minimize scratches.
  • Zap phantom energy. Unplug phone and laptop chargers when not in use. Consolidate television, satellite or cable box, DVD player and gaming console cords into a power strip and shut down the strip at night. Any device that shows a light is drawing electricity even when it's turned off.

Bedrooms

The bedroom is the sanctuary of the home. Create an attractive and comfortable room without spending a lot of money.
  • Buy bed-in-a-bag sets to create a pulled-together look at a fraction of the price of individual pieces. Choose patterns that incorporate neutral colors so worn sheets and shams can be replaced from the sale rack without investing in a brand-new set.
  • Install a ceiling or window fan instead of running the air conditioning. Double-up on comforters or use an electric blanket to stay cozy on cooler nights without heating the entire apartment.

Kid's Rooms

Raising children is expensive. Get creative to cut unnecessary costs.

  • Use bedding in primary colors and removable window clings or wall appliques to create a character-themed bedroom without spending a fortune on licensed merchandise.
  • Children usually have more toys than they know what to do with and they tire of them quickly. In the excitement of birthdays and holidays, set aside a few overlooked toys or games and put them away in your bedroom or closet. Produce them later to beat boredom and avoid new purchases.