Be a savvy saver

Kevin provides free budgeting advice.

By Kevin Milne
1) Take showers rather than baths. A short shower uses much less water, so set an egg timer in your bathroom to keep an eye on how long you are in there.
2) Fit a low-flow shower head – this could save you litres of water for every minute you’re in the shower. A good shower should take a minute or longer to fill a 10L bucket.
3) Use energy-saving bulbs throughout your home and always turn lights off when you leave a room.
4) Don’t leave appliances on standby. If you can see the standby light glowing, it’s still using up electricity.
5) Use cold water for washing your laundry – this will save you up to a whopping 90% in running costs.
6) Insulate your ceiling – lack of insulation can account for 40-60% of heat loss. Glass fibre insulation is a cost-effective way to keep your heating bill down. Check if you’re eligible for an insulation subsidy at energywise.govt.nz
7) Only run your dishwasher and washing machine when you have a full load.
8) Ensure your fridge and freezer doors are well sealed – the fridge should run at regular intervals, not continuously.
9) Be smart about heating during winter. Use a heater sparingly, and only when curtains and doors are closed. Make sure all internal doors to areas not in use are also closed.
10) Line dry clothes, or use an indoor clotheshorse in bad weather. If you do use a dryer, ensure clothes are as dry as possible – use the fast spin cycle if appropriate.

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