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A few simple changes can make all the difference to your bills.

| By Rachael Thompson | Entertainment

12 Easy Home Hacks That Can Save You Money

A few simple changes can make all the difference to your bills.

There's no denying that the cost of living is rising, which means the majority of us need/want to pay closer attention to our expenses. Whether it's being more savvy with your electricity usage or paying more attention to your weekly grocery shop, there are several easy ways you can save a bit more money around the house.

Every little bit counts, so we've rounded up 12 ideas to help cut the cost of living to take some pressure off your bills without dramatically changing your life.

1. Freeze fresh produce

Three are countless foods you can freeze and keep fresh for months rather than throwing them away when they expire. Items like soups, pasta dishes, meat, cheese, vegetables and more can all be stored in freezer-safe containers and simply defrosted when you’re ready to enjoy. Also buying frozen vegetables is very affordable and according to dietitian Chloe Mcleod just as nutritious. "They’re a great way to still hit your minimum five servings per day while keeping the grocery bill down," she shares.

2. Switch off power points

If an appliance is plugged in and not in use make sure to switch off the power point. Appliances often still use power when they're on standby and they will contribute to your bill at the end of the day.

3. DIY cleaning supplies

Cleaning your home is a skill, and knowing how to make your own cleaning products can be significantly cheaper than purchasing commercial alternatives while doing just as good a job. You can make everything from all-purpose cleaners to glass cleaners. Check out CleanTok guru Chantel Mila's DIY cleaning products that she swears by for gleaming results.

4. Grow Your Own Herbs

If you love cooking and find yourself regularly buying herbs, it's probably worth growing your own. Most herbs are easy to grow and they taste better when freshly picked. Follow our guide for growing herbs indoors.

5. Take advantage of good weather

Where possible try not to use larger appliances like dryers as they significantly increase your electricity bill. Take advantage of good weather and try to hang your items outside. Aside from the cost benefit to you, your linen will love you for it. Air drying helps preserve fibres, colours, shape, and elasticity, so we encourage you to use this technique where possible.

6. Ditch the disposables

Rather than constantly buying paper towels or cling wrap opt for reusable cloths for cleaning surfaces and reusable containers for storing food. Not only is this better for your wallet, but it's better for the environment. Double win!

7. Regularly take stock of your items and get organised

Food that's tucked away at the back of your fridge or pantry, or, cleaning products hidden at the back of cupboards often results in us re-buying items as they aren't in sight. This can also be the case for clothing. Organising and taking stock can help you avoid buying multiples of the same thing.

8. Choose home-brand/generic

Choosing home-brand products and generic medicines can add up when it comes to money saved in a shop. Often they’re the same ingredients but for a lower price.

9. Do a subscription audit

In this day and age it's easy to have several subscriptions to services you may not necessarily even use anymore. When it's something that's not physically in front of you, it can be easy to forget about. Do a check of services you do/don't use e.g. multiple streaming platforms, and see if there's anything you pay for which you don't use or use too infrequently to justify.

10. Repurpose old furniture

While buying new furniture items is fun and exciting, it can also be costly. Revamping old furniture that you have rather than buying new can give it new life and save you some cash, not to mention it's more environmentally friendly. For example, give your chair an update with a newly upholstered cushion or pair a new shade with your vintage lamp base. The combination of old and new will elevate your space further.

11. Take advantage of lower tariff times

If you're on a time-of-use electricity plan this means the price of power changes throughout the day depending on whether it's a peak demand period or not. Try to run your washing machine, dishwasher, and dryer at lower cost (off-peak) times to save money on electricity charges. If you’re on a single-rate tariff plan, however, there are no peak or off-peak periods, meaning you pay the same rate at whatever time of the day you are using energy. You can check which tariff you are on by looking at your bill.

12. Take a look at your utilities

If you haven't reviewed your gas or electricity plans lately, there's a good chance you could be paying less elsewhere. Take some time to sit down and go over your bills and do the research to see if you could be saving money in this area.

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