Five money-saving tips for homeowners

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With the economy in a fragile state, it’s essential to hold onto your hard-earned cash. Penny-pinching is easier than you think, so start saving money around the house.
Here are five useful money-saving tips that should help you through the recession:

Fix all leaky taps
Getting water to your taps uses a lot of energy – particularly when it’s heated up. Therefore, you should save as much water as possible by fixing all leaky taps and damaged faucets. Try your hand at a little DIY or contact a plumbing and drainage insurance company for help and advice. They’ll send out a plumber and will recommend a decent insurance policy for the future.

Wash your clothes by hand
If you’ve got time, why not wash your clothes by hand? This will reduce your energy bills and will strengthen the muscles in your arms. Simply fill up a bucket with warm water, add a drop of washing powder (you won’t need as much as you think) and get scrubbing. Leave the garments to soak for a few hours, rinse them in cold water and hang them up on the line – it’s as easy as that.

Fill the dishwasher up completely
Do you own a dishwasher? If so, fill it up completely before turning it on. Make sure all sections are packed with plates, bowls and cutlery and don’t overuse the detergent. This will save you money and will leave you with a decent supply of clean kitchenware. If you’ve got the energy, run a bowl of warm water and wash up by hand, as this is even more economical.

Arrange a boiler service
According to the Energy Saving Trust, boilers account for 60 per cent of what you spend in a year on energy bills – so arrange an annual boiler service. A Gas Safe Register approved engineer will check everything is running smoothly and could knock pounds off your heating bill. Central heating insurance could also prove cost effective in the long run, so reassess your existing policies.

Raid your kitchen cupboards
Branded cleaning products can be expensive, so raid your kitchen cupboards for low-cost alternatives. Lemon juice leaves work surfaces sparkling and vinegar combined with baking soda can unblock a clogged sink. Salt is a natural abrasive that can remove tough stains and olive oil makes a great furniture polish.
These useful tips should help you out, so start saving and protect your bank balance.

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