Tips to Save Money for a Home | DOBI
 

Tips to Save Money for a Home

Save on Food, Energy and Home Repairs

If you’re looking to buy a home, you probably know that costs can quickly add up. While there are many different down payment options available for first-time homebuyers, we are sharing a few tips to help you save money and cut costs while preparing for your first home. We’ve broken down the advice into three main categories: saving money on food, saving money on energy, and saving money around the house so you can take that money and put it toward a down payment or even a home improvement project to build equity in your current home.

TIPS TO SAVE ON FOOD

Shop at your local farmers market

Right now in Michigan during the summer, be sure to check out your local farmers market to snag the freshest produce, fruits, meat, and dairy at a fraction of the price you’ll spend at conventional grocery stores. Not only are you getting better products, but you are supporting small farmers and local businesses. Bonus, a lot of times at the farmers markets you’ll find plenty of unique home goods and plants as well that can enhance your home space. Find farmers markets near you at our blog post here.

START A GARDEN

Consider growing your own fruits and vegetables, starting with the easiest vegetables to grow if you’re a beginner. With minimal spending and effort, you can cultivate and harvest your own vegetables and fruits. We recommend starting off with easy-growing herbs and vegetables that come with a high price tag when bought in stores. Veggies like swiss chard, green beans, and eggplants can cut down your food bill as well as strawberries, blueberries, and other fruits that can get expensive at the grocery stores.

Store Your Produce Properly

So you’ve stocked up on your produce, but now be sure to maximize your efforts by storing it properly. We’re all guilty of not using fruits and veggies before they go bad, but with food costs expected to increase between 6.5-7.5 percent this year, wasting or forgetting about produce is becoming pricey for many families. You can get more life out of your produce by storing it correctly.

The most important thing to do here is to keep ethylene-producing foods away from ethylene-sensitive produce. Ethylene is a gas that’s naturally produced by certain fruits and vegetables as they ripen. For produce that’s ethylene sensitive, any exposure to excess ethylene gas will speed up the ripening process, causing it to spoil faster. So what does that mean for storage?

A few bad combos to avoid include apples with avocados, bananas with mangos, tomatoes with cucumbers, potatoes with onions, and broccoli with peppers. In addition, there are plenty of Tupperware you can invest in that can actually extend the life of your produce in the fridge. We love these Green Tupperware by Debbie Meyer to extend the life of your food.

TIPS TO SAVE ON ENERGY

CHECK FOR INSULATION

With fuel prices soaring this year, now is the time to check your home’s insulation. Ultimately, any heating system is going to either underperform or cost you more money due to a longer running time if your home isn’t properly insulated. In fact, you can lose up to 25% of heat through the roof of an uninsulated home, so this is a great place to start to help save on costly bills.

USE APPLIANCES EFFICIENTLY

Conserving energy at home goes beyond shutting off the lights when you leave a room. Being more intentional about which appliances you choose and how you use them can help cut back energy costs.

Countertop appliances use less energy than most major appliances, so instead of baking in the oven, break out the countertop toaster oven or air fryer because you’ll use less energy and because they’re so small, they heat up even faster. Plus, cleanup is much quicker with smaller appliances!

UPDATE YOUR HEATING

If your home is still heated with natural gas or oil, this year might be the time to consider updating it or switching to an eco-eating system. Radiant floor heating, geothermal heating, and electric heat systems can all be far more cost-efficient than burning fuel.

Underfloor heating can be an incredibly efficient and cost-effective system for the home, with minimal installation requirements and very little maintenance. Overall, they are also environmentally-friendly thanks to lower energy consumption.

UPGRADE TO A SMART THERMOSTAT

A smart thermostat may come with an upfront cost, but it’s quickly offset by monthly energy savings. In fact, on average you can expect to save at least 7% on your heating and cooling bills with a smart thermostat, all the way up to 15% depending on your costs and usage. You can also look for rebate programs on smart thermostats in your area that can lower the upfront cost for faster savings.

TIPS TO SAVE AROUND THE HOUSE

GO TIMELESS NOT TRENDY WITH DESIGN

When it comes to decorating your home, interior design trends can be an enticing proposition. They’re fresh, and new, and they look great online. But, if you want to decorate in a way that saves money in the long run, timeless, quality pieces are your best bet. Decorating with longevity in mind means seeking both trend-proof design and quality craftsmanship that is designed to last.

It’s also easier to find it secondhand. Thrift stores and antique shops are full of high-quality traditional furniture, art, and decor, which gives you a low-cost option for decorating and updating your home. You can also find great deals at your local Home Goods or At Home stores featuring timeless pieces and decor that don’t break the bank.

LOWER YOUR HOME OWNER INSURANCE PREMIUMS

Homeowners insurance is a necessary expense if you own your home, but there are a number of ways you can spend less on your policy each month.

You can lower your homeowners’ insurance costs by increasing your deductible, installing home security devices like fire and burglar alarms, and reinforcing your home with things like storm shutters and laminated glass windows to make it more weather-proof. This also helps build equity if you choose to sell your home because many buyers will appreciate having the extra security and damage-resistant features.

KEEP UP WITH REPAIRS

It can be easy to push off small-but-pesky home repairs until the job can’t be ignored instead of spending time and money to make a small fix. But this can lead to much larger repair bills in the future.

The best way to avoid costly future repairs is preventative maintenance. Experts suggest keeping a $10-12 tube of caulk on hand that is multi-faceted when it comes to repairs. You can use it in the bathroom around shower tiles, and around windows to prevent water from getting into the walls and to help stop drafts, as well as around sinks to make sure that water doesn’t get into cabinets. Besides caulk, certain home maintenance tasks can save you money almost immediately. Try changing air conditioner and furnace filters and swapping burned-out lightbulbs to LED versions which can cut costs right away.

Did you try any of these tips to save toward a down payment? Let us know by tagging us on Instagram @WeAreDOBI

Sources:
Homes and Gardens Magazine