SAN DIEGO — We all know that living in San Diego gets more and more expensive each and every year. However, there are ways to save money… starting inside your home!
Money Saving Expert, Andrea Woroch stopped by Morning Extra to give some of her easiest ways to save money around the home.
1. Tame Home Energy Hogs
The typical U.S. family spends an average of $2,060 per year on utility bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A programmable thermostat automatically turns off your cooling or heating system when no one is home and can help you save anywhere from from 10% - 30% on your energy bill. Similarly, keeping your computer and other gadgets powered up all day long will cost you big. Electronic devices continue to use energy even in the off mode. To combat this, connect devices to a power strip so you can easily switch them on and off. This is especially important for those set-top cable boxes because two-thirds of the power they eat up is from sitting idle.
2. Reduce Food Waste.
Food is among the top three biggest household expenses, yet Americans waste 25% of the groceries they purchase. Cut out food waste by reviewing the contents of your refrigerator, freezer and pantry, and prepare meals with overlapping ingredients and those nearing their expiration dates. Supercook.com can help--it’s a free online resource which curates a list of meals based on ingredients you already have. And, if a meal calls for out-of-season produce, opt for frozen to cut costs.
3. Cash In On Clutter
You could be sitting on hundreds or even thousands of dollars’ worth of items around your home that you could sell. From furniture to old smartphones to clothing, take the time to go through your closets, garage, attic space and kitchen drawers for items you no longer need or use. This task can be overwhelming so give yourself time. Divide the organization into three steps: one day searching and pulling items you want to sell, another taking pictures and the last day posting them for sale. Sites like Facebook marketplace make it really easy to sell your items locally, especially those large items!
Don’t forget about your gift cards! I recently found over $100 in gift cards from past birthday and holiday celebrations in my desk drawer, and I know I'm not alone. If you're among the average American household that has over $300 in unused gift cards laying around the house, you can sell them for cash through sites like GiftCardGranny.
4. Review Recurring Expenses
A 2018 report from Waterstone Management Group surveyed 2,500 Americans and found that 84% of grossly underestimated their monthly tech and entertainment subscriptions. Another report found that 1 in 10 millennials spend an average of $200 per month on subscription services like Spotify, Hulu, Netflix and iTunes. Recurring purchases — from the free trial you forgot to cancel to the gym membership you're still paying for, but never use — can eat up a sizable chunk of your income. Make it a point to review your monthly bank statements or take advantage of apps like Trim and Truebill to identify and cancel any unwanted subscriptions.
You should also actively negotiate your bills. If you notice your cable plan suddenly becomes more expensive, a promotion on your account may have expired. In this case, call the provider and ask for a better deal. If you need help with other providers, sites like BillCutterz will actually negotiate for you!
5. Shop Around for Insurance
Most of us put our insurance policies on auto pilot, but doing so sabotages our budgets. According to a study by JD Power, only one-third of auto insurance policy holders shopped around for lower insurance rates, but those who did saved an average of $360 per year. Sites like The Zebra help you easily compare rates across several carriers so you don't have to waste your Sunday afternoon switching between bids.