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Cut Costs at Home

Rent that extra room

Saving Money Home

Chris Mueller/Redux

Millions are looking for ways to shave dollars and dimes from their daily expenses. To share your own tips, send us an e-mail telling us how you save. You can save money on everything, but here's how you can get started around your home.

See also: Save at the grocery store, too.

Use up to 60 percent less energy by boiling water in a microwave rather than on an electric stovetop. When you do use the stovetop, make sure pots and pans fully cover the heating element. A 6-inch pan on an 8-inch element translates to an energy waste of more than 40 percent.

Improve freezer efficiency by keeping the thing as full as possible—with bags of ice, for instance. But keep a 1-inch open space on each side of the interior for better air exchange.

Lower your thermostat in the winter. For each degree that you drop, you cut your heating bill by 3 percent. To feel more comfortable at lower temperatures, place pans of water near heating outlets or radiators. Water-filled air retains heat better, and the added humidity reduces itching and dry skin.

Mix your own garden dirt. Those “enriched” bags of soil boost flower and vegetable growth—at about $8 a bag. Instead, for each one part of dirt or topsoil mix in about two parts of compost—shredded from leaves and branches and available for free at many municipal recycling centers.

Save on a flush in an old toilet by putting a plastic bottle full of water, weighted with pebbles, in your tank.

Get a rain barrel. Connected to your home’s storm gutters, it will collect water for later use on your lawn, vegetable garden or car.

Next: How to save money in the shower. >>

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