How to drastically cut your household expenses! Learn how to reduce your bills and living expenses so you can live within your means, pay off debt, and save money.
Your household bills probably make up most of your monthly expenses.
They’re a burden on your bank account, and makes it feel like your money disappears as soon as you get paid.
Cutting back on some common household expenses will leave more room in your budget for things you want and need.
Even little adjustments add up in a big way, and can make a HUGE difference in your budget’s wiggle room.
So if you’re looking for tips on reducing your bills and living expenses, here are tons of tricks for you!
Lowering these household bills every month means you get to keep more of your income, and make it easier to achieve your financial goals and dreams.
In this post, you’ll learn:
- What bills to cut to save money
- Simple ways to reduce your living expenses
- How to negotiate your bills for lower rates to cut down your monthly costs
This post may contain affiliate links. You can view my full disclosure policy here.
How do you cut down your monthly expenses?
1. Create a budget
Seeing where your money is going is the first step in taking control of your finances.
That is where creating a budget comes in!
It’ll give you a clear picture of where you stand financially, and exactly where you’re overspending.
Consider it a great ‘jumping off point’ in knowing which expenses to eliminate or reduce.
Or if money is really tight, just grab a notebook and a pen.
2. Cook at home
One of the very best ways to drastically cut your expenses is to cook at home.
Instead of going to restaurants or getting takeout, cook at home for most of your meals.
If you do nothing else, that alone could save you several hundred dollars a month.
New to cooking at home? No problem, I’ve got you covered:
- 10 Easy and Cheap Meals ANYONE Can Make
- 15 Quick & Easy Dinners Using Rotisserie Chicken
- 15 Frugal Dinner Meals Under $2!
3. Plan your meals
It’s all good to plan to cook at home more, but what exactly are you going to cook?
That’s where meal planning saves the day.
No more wandering around the grocery store without purpose or intention… and coming home with random ingredients that won’t magically turn into meals.
Planning your meals reduces your food bill, because you can shop according to exactly what you need to buy for the meals for that week or month.
It also prevents you from wasting food you already have, overbuying, and spending money on unnecessary food items.
If meal planning sounds scary, grab my done-for-you 6 Week Meal Plan! It has six full weeks of easy dinner recipes, with the corresponding shopping lists.
It totally takes the guesswork out of what to make for dinner!
4. Cancel any unused subscriptions or memberships
There are SO many subscriptions to sign up for these days.
Individually, they may not add up to much. But when combined, they can rack up your household-bill-total FAST.
(Don’t believe me? Add ‘em up!)
Look over your bank account or credit card statement, and notice which subscriptions you may have forgotten about.
Cancel anything you aren’t using, and cut back on any that you don’t really love.
Common subscriptions to look for are:
- Gym memberships
- TV streaming
- Premium versions of services (when the basic version would suffice)
- Music streaming
- Subscription boxes
- Meal kits
- Credit monitoring
- Grocery or food delivery subscriptions
Canceling these unnecessary subscriptions will REALLY help to reduce your overall household expenses, and leave more wiggle room in your budget.
5. Save money on housing costs
Housing is probably the largest monthly household expense for most of us.
Your mortgage or rent payment can feel impossible to pay some months.
A few options for lowering your housing costs are:
- Refinance your mortgage for a lower interest rate and payment
- Move to a smaller home, or one with lower rent or property taxes
- Get a roommate, or rent out a room in your home
6. Cut the cable cord
I keep expecting the price of cable TV to go down, since most people are primarily using streaming services.
Well, it hasn’t.
If you’re trying to ditch unnecessary bills, cut your expenses to the bone, or don’t really use cable much anyway, consider cancelling your services.
Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video are much cheaper than cable, and offer many of the same shows.
Ditching cable could save you up to $100 or more a month!
7. Unplug your devices and appliances
There are actually some simple ways to reduce your electricity bill.
An easy one is to unplug your devices and appliances when they are not in use.
They still consume ‘phantom’ energy when they are turned off.
You could unplug your TV, computer, phone chargers, washing machine, etc. between uses.
It’s a small amount, but when you’re drastically trying to reduce your bills, this is worth trying.
Also be sure to turn off any lights when not in use.
8. Buy energy-efficient appliances
When it’s time to buy new appliances, be sure to replace yours with energy-efficient versions.
Most washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes dryers, air conditioners, and chest freezers have ENERGY STAR certified versions available.
That will really help to reduce your electric bill long-term.
Bonus: You may even get tax exemptions or rebates when you buy ENERGY STAR certified appliances!
9. Downgrade your services
One of the best ways to cut your household expenses is to downgrade services.
If you’re not ready to cancel them altogether, check for ways to get a lighter plan of your cable, internet, or cell phone package.
Unlimited data or high speed internet plans are definitely not necessary.
You may not even notice a difference!
And your cable package might include all kinds of channels you don’t even watch.
10. Renegotiate your contracts
If you’re not interested in downgrading your services, you can always call your service providers to negotiate a better price.
They may be offering a much better deal on a new package, or offer a loyalty credit for being a long-term customer.
I know it’s a pain to call them, but I’ve saved as much as $30 a month on each service by doing this.
That REALLY adds up!
Check in with your service providers about twice a year to see if they’re offering any specials.
Make sure to be polite when you ask for a lower rate.
Kindness goes a long way!
11. Line dry your clothes
Another way to cut back on your electricity or natural gas bill is to line dry your clothes instead of turning on the dryer.
When it’s nice outside, you could hang your sheets, clothes, or towels to dry in the fresh air.
Laundry hack: Washing your clothes in cold water helps them last longer AND reduces your utility bills!
12. Use a programmable thermostat
Adjusting your thermostat can really cut down on your heating & cooling costs.
Even a few degrees can make a big difference, and when you’re away from home or sleeping, you probably won’t even notice the change.
You could actually cut your heating bills by up to 10%, or save up to 3% on your electric bill for each degree of temperature you raise or lower.
And a programmable thermostat makes it easy, so you don’t even have to remember to adjust it.
13. Cut back on water usage
Our water bill is always way more than I expect.
Reducing your daily water usage can definitely add up to a decent savings.
Here are very simple ways to cut back on water usage:
- Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when you have a full load
- Take a shorter shower
- Turn the tap off when you are brushing your teeth or washing dishes
- Fix any leaking taps
14. Use weather-stripping
Gaps between your windows and doors can be very expensive.
Add in some weather-stripping to seal any gaps, and reduce your heating and cooling costs.
15. Get better insurance rates
Better insurance rates on your car, home, life, or health insurance can make a huge difference in your bottom line.
And who really wants to pay for insurance?
Shop around, then get in touch with your current provider to see if they’ll lower your rates to keep your business.
And you may be eligible for discounts that you’re not even aware of, so it never hurts to ask.
Consider raising your deductible, or reducing coverage on older vehicles.
Bundling your home and car insurance together with the same company should save you money as well.
Switching companies or getting the best deal from your current provider could add up to several hundred dollars a year.
16. Use public transportation
If you can use public transportation instead of owning a car, you can drastically cut your monthly expenses.
Car ownership is expensive, with fuel costs, repairs, insurance, and basic maintenance.
If you live in a city with access to a decent public transportation system, you may be able to live without a vehicle.
17. Change your HVAC filters regularly
Dirty, clogged furnace filters reduce the efficiency of your heat and air conditioning systems.
That leads to more energy consumption and bad air quality in your home.
By changing your filters every 2-3 months, you’ll increase the efficiency of your HVAC system, which saves energy usage and costs by 5% to 15%.
Plus, your heating and cooling systems will last longer, your house will be less dusty, you’ll breathe cleaner air, and your utility bills will be lower.
Ready to reduce your household expenses?
I hope that these tips and tricks will really help you cut back on your living expenses.
Even though these changes are small, they could add up to hundreds of dollars a month.
That money could be used to pay off debt, save for an emergency, or just plain enjoy!
For more money saving tips and tricks, check out:
- 10 Things To Do To Finally Get Control of Your Finances
- The Easiest Way to Keep Track of Your Spending
- 15 Money Saving Challenge Ideas (with something for every budget!)