21 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Save Money on Utility Bills

Are you looking for ways to save money on utility bills, electricity or energy?

Do you have teenagers who think you get special discounts with the energy company?

If you are a parent who is tired of saying, please turn off the lights when not in use’ then I have great news for you.

There are clever ways to circumvent the bad habits of these teenagers who just believe that money grows on trees.

Yes, you have put up signs all throughout the house to remind them about the cost of running a house.

Their teachers gave them an entire term on energy saving, climate change and water conservation.

However, leaving the lights on and the mobile phone charger plugged in just seems to be a habit that is difficult to break.

In this post, you will learn of easy ways to help you and your children to save on energy cost without losing your mind.

a bowl of a popcorn next to a coffee mug

Why Save on Electric Bills

All over the world, you will notice that there are several issues when it comes to producing energy for larger countries.

Recently I was looking at a video which featured how the people in Singapore recycle their rubbish without pollution.

They don’t even export the rubbish to another country either.

It was so impressive that I was trying to understand why many more countries are not adopting these best practices.

Even though you may not have any interest in climate change the fact that you can save money on utility bills should be of interest to you.

According to Electric Choice, the average household in the US spends 2-3% of their annual income on electricity.

This is for electricity alone and does not include other utilities like rubbish, water, gas and cable TV.

I was surprised to learn that the state with the highest spend was Hawaii which spends 4.5% of their annual salary.

In real terms, this works out at $2,856.00 a year on electric bills. I suppose this relates to airconditioning.

If you are even slightly interested in saving $2,856.00 every year then keep reading.

How to Save Money on Utility Bills

Let’s look at some really simple ways that you can help your teenagers to get excited about saving energy.

I must warn you that these do require a change in habits so remember to be patient but persistent.

1. Use Energy Saving Bulbs

Four years ago when I moved into the home where I currently live I made it a priority to ensure that every usable light was energy saving.

You’re probably thinking, Alvern energy-saving bulbs are expensive but you need to trust me.

If I told you that I haven’t changed the majority of bulbs in 4 years would you believe me?

The electric company even raised their rates and I just ignored them.

Not only do you save money on electric bills but you also save on the cost of buying bulbs regularly as well as the cost of going to the shops.

2. Switch to Lamps

When I moved into this house the living room and kitchen have light fixtures that don’t have energy-saving bulbs.

The trick, in this case, is to switch over to lamps everywhere. IKEA had floor lamps for $14.00 each and I purchased 6 of them.

These lamps only take energy-efficient bulbs that last many years which is great news for anyone.

Remove those inefficient bulbs to discourage your children from accidentally using the wrong light.🤣

3. Hot Water Timer

It will take time to get it right but using a timer on your hot water tank will save you having to remember to turn on and off the hot water.

Another benefit is that you just set it and forget it and everyone will have hot water when they need it.

You may need to install one if it does not already exist.

a list of expenses next to a black calculator

4. A Timer for Home Heating

No one likes to come home to a cold house so using a timer on your heating system will also save you a lot of hassle.

It will take a bit of trial and error to get it right but it would be so worth it.

I cannot tell you the number of times that I have left the heating on for too long in the last number of years.

Maybe I need a new brain with a timer to help me in this area.

5. Ditch the Electric Dryer

You are probably thinking that I have gone completely mad but trust me on this one.

It is going to take a little bit of discipline to use an Air Dryer instead of an electric dryer but it really works.

Of course, this will work a lot better if you have a designated laundry room.

Yes, it does take about 48 hours for your clothes to dry so it does require a habit change.

If you have a hot cupboard you can use that to dry clothes overnight.

6. Switch Off Unnecessary lights

Now that you have energy-efficient light bulbs it is still important to switch those off when not in use.

As a parent, you have three ways to handle this challenge.

  1. Ask your child if they switched off the lights
  2. Do a check every 1-2 hours to see what needs to switch off
  3. Install motion sensor lights in the kid’s bedrooms

Getting them to adopt better habits might be the best solution but you can decide what works best.

7. Unplug Appliances

Depending on your set up at home it is a good idea to unplug appliances when they are not in use.

Many years ago I had a habit of using the microwave oven as my main clock in the kitchen.

Now, I just use my mobile phone as a clock. It may make sense to have a wall clock as a backup as well.

8. Wash Dishes by Hand

If you have a small family you may want to consider washing all your dishes, pots and pans by hand.

It does require changing habits but you can use it as a way to bond with other family members.

My teenage daughter does find a way to wash the dishes while listening to music so it can be done.

9. Invest in Non-Iron Clothes

Ironing clothes every week is not my cup of tea (I don’t even like tea). So, I made the decision a long time ago to find ways to reduce ironing.

I guess I spent too many years watching at my parents iron clothes that I am somehow allergic to it.

Anytime I venture out to buy clothes, which is not often, I check the washing instructions as well as ironing notes.

Knitwear and clothes that can be hung up and worn are my favourites.

10. Motion Sensor Lights Outside

We live in a world that is not as secure as it was a number of years ago. So, depending on where you live you may use security lights outdoors.

The best ones to use outdoors are motion sensor lights unless you have lots of trees or animals like cats that run by frequently.

Carefully spend time considering your options and choose wisely.

11. An Efficient Vacuum Cleaner

Whether you have carpets, tiles or hardwood floors you will know that you probably use a vacuum cleaner daily.

Ensure that you get one that is double AA rated and that does a good job of cleaning the floor.

A very good broom can also work on tiles or hardwood but for stubborn crumbs, a vacuum cleaner is best.

ethanol burner

12. A-Rated Appliances

Nearly every home uses stoves, hobs, ovens, fridges and freezers so it really makes sense to ensure that these are all energy efficient.

You may not be able to change them all at once but as they get old, change to energy-efficient replacements as soon as possible.

This is especially worthwhile for refrigerators because your food storage will dramatically improve as well.

13. Charge Devices When Needed

Are your teens charging their devices 3-4 times a day? Yes, this is something that can be difficult to control.

One way that can help is if they see you not randomly charging your devices.

No one is perfect and devices can run out of charge unexpectedly so try and work out a way to bill your teens for charging during peak hours.

Do reward them for charging their phones during non-peak times.

14. Cut the Cable

I know that I already mentioned this in a previous post but the average household spends $107.00 a month on pay-TV.

A great way to save money on utility bills is to cut the cable completely. It will be a difficult habit to break but well worth the effort.

You can replace this habit with something a little more fun like an outdoor activity or games.

Need to save more money? Check out this big list of things to stop buying every month.

15. Invest in a Slow Cooker

Cooking can be fun if it is not a full-time job that involves sweating over a big pot of stew every day.

It is why investing in a slow cooker could be a great idea for so many families.

You just throw all the ingredients in and literally overnight the food is ready to go.

Make dinner while you sleep or work.

16. Install a Thermostat

To have a home that is ultra-efficient when it comes to heating and cooling you may want to install a thermostat.

It means that you set it to a certain temperature and your home will always be at the right temperature.

This means that you will easily save money on your electric bills.

17. Use the Microwave to Heat Food

If you find yourself in a situation where there is a need to heat food for different people during the day then consider using the microwave oven.

A good example of this is if you work from home. At lunchtime, you may want to eat a hot meal consider using the microwave oven instead of the stove.

Of course, it would mean having the food already prepared in advance and possibly sitting in the fridge waiting to be heated.

Remember that it is more economical to cook food in bulk and store them in portion sizes.

You can check more tips on how to save money on food here.

18. Use the Kettle Less

A big hidden energy stealer is the humble kettle. If you don’t believe me then think of how long it takes for the water to boil.

In fact, I often see people fill the kettle with water only to use a cup of water to make tea.

Bless their heart they wanted to heat water for friends and family just in case someone can join them for a cup of tea.

The worst is when they want to add a trickle of water to a cup that has gone cold but they heat over a litre or pint of water.😳

On a serious note, the only person thanking you for heating so much water is the electric company.🤣

19. Reduce Air Gaps

The biggest way your home loses heat is due to a lot of air gaps. Depending on your home there are some ways to improve this situation.

Some of these changes can be structural while others can be done via soft furnishings.

If you find your home drafty you may want to consider looking at reducing the cracks and spaces that air can pass to come into the house.

These include windows and doors.

Once these spaces have been reduced another clever idea is to use curtains and shades on doors and windows to retain heat longer.

20. Insulate the Attic

Because hot air rises you may find that despite taking all the necessary measures possible your home does not retain heat.

This could be happening because your home is losing heat just as fast as it is heated.

A great way to combat this problem is by insulating the attic.

Unless you are great at working on DIY projects you may want to leave this task to the professionals.

21. Turn Down Heat and Wear Layers

Now that your home is fully insulated and you have the heating under control there is no need to splash out in bikinis.🤣

Consider turning down the heat 1-2 degrees and wear layers instead of burning through your heating bills.

There are now so many comfy clothes that keep your body temperature just right without the need to look like a penguin indoors.

Fleeces, wool, sheepskin, cashmere and pashmina are materials that can keep you surprisingly warm and comfortable.

Socks are my personal favourites during the winter.

a hand holding a tv remote


That was one big list of ways to reduce your utility bills using 21 clever hacks.

Here is a brief shortlist for you.

  1. Energy-saving bulbs
  2. Use lamps
  3. Hot water timer
  4. Timer for home heating
  5. Ditch electric dryer
  6. Turn off unnecessary lights
  7. Unplug appliances
  8. Wash dishes by hand
  9. Non-iron clothes
  10. Outdoor motion sensor lights
  11. Efficient vacuum cleaner
  12. A-rated appliances
  13. Charge devices sensibly
  14. Cut the cable
  15. Invest in a slow cooker
  16. Use a thermostat
  17. Microwave to heat food
  18. Use kettle less
  19. Reduce air gaps
  20. Insulate attic
  21. Turn down heating

As you can see this list is very straight-forward but it does require a few sacrifices and new habits to get it right.

What has been your experience in finding ways to significantly save money on utility bills for the long term?


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34 thoughts on “21 Ridiculously Easy Ways to Save Money on Utility Bills”

  1. ‘Do you have teenagers who think you get special discounts with the energy company?’
    Yes I have 4 of them!! It drives me crazy! Thanks for all your tips!

    • Kay, that is so funny!🤣 Yes, teenagers are not always great at helping you save on energy around the home.

  2. We finally just switched from our old thermostat to a smart one and it’s saving us money AND heating our home correctly. Makes me SO HAPPY. Thanks so much for sharing this with all of us!

  3. I have always used a timer for the boiler, to have hot water in the morning and in the afternoon. There is no point of having it work non stop when nobody is going to take a shower at 2PM for example.

    • Joanna, you are right to use a timer. Kettles, boilers and other such appliances are the biggest users of electricity.

  4. Great ideas. I’ll have to put these to practice. One way I was thinking of reducing our electric was to install a key pad meaning you can keep an eye on what you’re using and where & also how much you spend. You can also top it up online or in store anytime you want and then go home and enter the code. We had it before and it really helped, now we have no guidelines.

    • Nyxie, that is a great idea. I know that you can get pay as you go electricity here as well but it is not something I can use in my current situation.

  5. You’ve listed a lot of great ideas on this post. After reading, I take a lot of conveniences for granted and never thought of how to reduce use. Thanks so much!

    • Tanya, you are very welcome. I am sure that you have other ideas to reduce use that I have not yet considered so do feel free to share.

  6. These are all really great tips. I do many of these. I’ve managed to bring my dishwashing down to once a week and hand wash during the rest of the week. It’s easier to run the machine, but it can be wasteful.

  7. So many good ideas! I’m not very good at number 7 to unplug appliances. So it’s something I can work on and maybe save a little bit of money

    • Mummy Mia, if the saving is not significant (like $5 a year) then it is okay to leave them plugged in rather than stress yourself about remembering to do this task.

  8. These are good tips! I am thankful our bill has remained low this year, but that’s due to it being warmer than usual this winter for us.

    • Jessica, global warming is affecting nearly every region of the world with unusual temperatures for seasons.

  9. Yes, I have those teenagers! It is especially frustrating when I go to bed before them and they don’t shut the lights off on their way to bed.
    I do several of these ideas already but there are some others I need to add to my list. Timers has always been on my list, but I just haven’t taken the time to do it. That time may be now.

    • Marie, I know the feeling when you get up at 4 am and there are lights on everywhere and everyone is sleeping🤔

  10. These are all great tips. Some I already do and some I will start doing. I always forget to unplug appliances when I’m not using them.

    • Cindy, we all forget to unplug at some point due to the fact that we are not perfect but I guess it becomes a habit after a while.

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