Perspective

10 tips to save on household expenses

Wednesday, September 1, 2021by  PEMCO Insurance

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​Whether you're simply noticing higher bills at the checkout line or you became a first-time homeowner during the pandemic, many of us are taking a closer look at our budgets. These small changes can help you trim expenses without sacrificing comfort, convenience or safety: 

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Financial services 

  1. Bundle your insurance. When you buy both your auto and homeowner or renter insurance through the same company, you'll get a discount on both. With PEMCO, that's 25% off your home policy and up to an additional 14% off your auto policy. Here's why to bundle and how to do it.  
  1. Use automated bill payment. You'll avoid late fees for overlooked bills when you set up automated payments for expenses like rent and utilities. PEMCO offers its Easy-Pay plan, which lets you spread your insurance payments over 12 months with no service fees. Sign up online with your pemco.com account. 

Home energy 

  1. Install a programmable thermostat. It will automatically adjust your home's temperature when you're away or sleeping. You can save about 10% a year, plus your local utility company may pay part of the cost.  
  1. Replace older, water-wasting showerheads. Many showerheads made before 1992 had flow rates of 5.5 gpm, more than twice the rate of today's. And if you have a drippy faucet? Fix it and save about 350 gallons of water a year! 
  1. Add insulation in attics and crawlspaces. Know your insulation's R-values (short for thermal "resistance") and if it's lacking, beef it up to match recommendations for your area. We like this easy-to-use map from Energy Star.  
  1. Hang cold- and heat-blocking drapes. Keep heat in during winter and out during summer when you replace sheer curtains. They're a second line of defense after ensuring you have good caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows. 

Groceries 

  1. Cook at home. Plan your meals with a weekly grocery list to ensure you have supplies to cook at home, rather than dining out. Restaurant meals cost five times more than home-cooked meals, according to Bureau of Labor statistics, yet we dine out an average of 5.9 times a week.  

Household items 

  1. Embrace reuseWhy buy new when new-to-you can be so much fun? From a treasure hunt on Craigslist to discoveries at the local thrift store, we're fans of secondhand clothing, gently used furniture, dishes and more (no safety equipment, electrical or infant gear, though). Not only do you save a bundle, but you reduce manufacturing and transportation impacts on the environment, keep usable items out of landfills and often benefit a good cause.  

Entertainment 

  1. Cut unused streaming or cable services. They're the modern equivalent of having subscriptions to magazines that you never look at.  

Gasoline 

  1. Cut aggressive stops and starts and reduce gas consumption as much as 37%. Here are more ways to boost your mileage

Ready for more? Check out these five tips for building an emergency fund – a pre-pandemic "I wish I'd done …" cited by 43% of people in a financial survey.  


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