DIYers Home Cost-Cutting Guide

By: Joe Truini


Reduce your power bill with compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs.

The most recent issue of AARP Bulletin magazine had an article entitled, ”99 Great Ways to Save”. It was very informative and filled with good ideas for cutting your living expenses, with the 99 money-saving tips divided into various categories, such as health, shopping, travel, insurance, taxes, and the like.

Under the “home” heading, the article listed 25 different cost-cutting hints, tips and shortcuts. Most were very smart and practical including: how to sell used books, conserve printer ink, and save by purchasing ripped bags of garden mulch.

However, as I read through the list of home tips it suddenly dawned on me that here at Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford and todayshomeowner.com, we’ve covered all of these money-saving techniques—and many more. And in most cases, we provide a much broader range of ways to reduce spending.

Cost-Cutting Tips for Your Home

Below are brief descriptions of 10 home tips from the AARP Bulletin story, followed by a link to a related article or video on our website. Hope you try at least a few of these tips; I know they’ll save you money.

Cost-Cutting Tip #1:

AARP Tip: Cut your electric costs by boiling water in a microwave rather than on an electric range.

Danny’s Tip: Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) to slash your electric bill.

Cost-Cutting Tip #2:

AARP Tip: Cut heating costs by lowering your thermostat. For each degree you drop the setting, you’ll save 3% on your heating bill.

Danny’s Tip: Eight sure-fire ways to reduce heating costs in your home.


Look for the Energy Star label.

Cost-Cutting Tip #3:

AARP Tip: Improve the efficiency of your freezer—and save energy—by keeping the shelves as full as possible.

Danny’s Tip: Purchase Energy Star appliances for your home.

Cost-Cutting Tip #4:

AARP Tip: Save water with every flush by placing a water-filled plastic jug inside the toilet tank.

Danny’s Tip: What to look for when shopping for a water-saving, low-flow toilet for your home.

Cost-Cutting Tip #5:

AARP Tip: Save water by fixing faulty faucets. A faucet dripping once per second wastes approximately 6,428 gallons annually.

Danny’s Tip: Quick tips for repairing leaky faucets in your home.

Cost-Cutting Tip #6:

AARP Tip: Shower quickly and save water. One 15-minute shower per day costs about $310 per year. Reduce the shower by five minutes, and save over $100 annually.

Danny’s Tip: Do-it-yourself tips for saving water throughout the house.

Cost-Cutting Tip #7:

AARP Tip: Don’t discard household goods, recycle them and avoid landfill fees.

Danny’s Tip: Recycling and other green living ideas for your home.

Cost-Cutting Tip #8:

AARP Tip: When to tackle your own home improvements, and when it’s best to hire a pro.

Danny’s Tip: How to avoid being ripped off by contractor scams.


Make a rain barrel to collect rainwater for use on your lawn and garden.

Cost-Cutting Tip #9:

AARP Tip: Collect water from your rain gutters for use in the garden.

Danny’s Tip: How to make your own DIY rain barrel to capture runoff from your roof.

Cost-Cutting Tip #10:

AARP Tip: Mix your own potting soil, instead of buying expensive “enriched” premixed garden dirt.

Danny’s Tip: How to enrich the soil in your garden by adding soil amendments.

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