Warm, sunny weather and the scent of blooming flowers are a welcome change as we say goodbye to winter and say hello to spring. But as many people are feeling the pressure of the rising cost of living right now, it’s also a great time to take a fresh look at your finances and see if the new season brings new opportunities to save on daily expenses. It all adds up, after all.
Here are some cost saving ideas you can implement for the new season.
1. Dry your clothes outside in hot weather
Had the dryer been running constantly throughout that wet winter? While there are still some wet days ahead in the spring and summer, the warmer weather will hopefully create longer sunny spells that you can take advantage of to hang and dry your laundry. Constantly using your dryer is not only expensive, but all that energy used isn’t good for the environment either.
Ashley Iredale, CHOICE laundry expert, says, “The average annual running cost of a vented dryer is around $153. Go from your dryer to a clothesline and that’s money you can put back. right in your pocket.”
If you need to buy a new dryer, spending a little more money up front on an energy-efficient heat pump dryer will save you electricity in the long run if you use your dryer to dry clothes. full loads three or more times per week. But if you only use your dryer for laundry emergencies, a cheap vented dryer will likely be cheaper overall.
You can view annual dryer running costs in CHOICE dryer reviews.
2. Hold back the air conditioning and protect your house in the summer
Heating and cooling your home is one of the biggest household expenses, so it makes sense to limit the energy you use where you can. As the weather starts to warm up you will hopefully be using the heater a lot less, but before you know it those scorching summer days are going to be here.
But before you crank the air conditioning on full blast, keep in mind that you’ll save money if it’s running at the most optimal temperature for efficiency. The greater the difference between the outside temperature and the inside temperature you set, the harder the air conditioner has to run – which means more energy used and higher electricity bills.
Aim for 8°C less
“The running costs and energy used by your air conditioner can vary widely depending on a number of factors,” says Chris Barnes, CHOICE home heating and cooling expert. “But generally, for optimal efficiency, aim to set your device to a temperature 8°C lower than the outside temperature.”
Do you need to consider better options for curtains, blinds or shade coverings to keep the heat out and reduce cooling costs? Planning ahead now could save you money later
In general, says Chris, each degree cooler (or warmer in the winter) adds about 10% to the cost of running your air conditioner.
It’s also a good time to give your air conditioner filter a good clean to make sure it’s running optimally on the hotter days, and start thinking about how you could protect your home from the summer. Do you need to consider better options for curtains, blinds or shade coverings to keep the heat out and reduce cooling costs? Planning ahead now could save you money later.
3. Get stuck into seasonal produce
Fresh spring produce is wonderfully tasty and, as a bonus, it’s usually plentiful and cheaper.
What is in season and what is available to you will vary depending on where you live in Australia, but you may soon start to see lower prices on fresh spring fruit and vegetables such as berries, beans , tomatoes, avocados, asparagus and more. Incorporating them into your daily meals can help reduce food costs.
Shop at farmers’ markets if you can, and take advantage of bundle deals to save more – but be sure to use what you buy (or put it in the freezer) so leftovers don’t go to waste and cost you no more expensive.
4. Spring clean your home and closet
Spring is the perfect time for your annual decluttering, which can also present opportunities to earn some extra cash. Sort through the spring and summer clothes you’ve stored away over the winter and see if there’s anything you don’t think you’ll be wearing or that no longer fits. Maybe you can hold a garage sale or sell online to earn a few extra bucks. . It can also help you rediscover some old items that you forgot about, saving you from spending money on something new.
If you have children’s or baby items, sports equipment, or tools that you don’t use all the time, you can try checking out various peer-to-peer rental marketplaces, such as Kindershare or Quipmo, to see if you can win. a bit more. money by renting your items to people who need them.
5. Reconsider your gym membership
Nobody likes to go for a run outside when it’s wet, cold and windy, but maybe the days are getting warmer and longer and the beach is more appealing, you might consider canceling your gym membership in favor of outdoor exercise.
Dust off the bike that hasn’t been used much over the winter, hit the beach for more swim sessions, or (hopefully!) take advantage of better weather to take more walks outside instead of using the car, which will also save you gas.
Archive footage: Getty, unless otherwise noted.