Cost of living going up but the paycheck… not so much? We feel that. Luckily, there are hidden savings in your water and electricity bills, and we can help you find them! Taken together, making these changes can save you hundreds of dollars on your bills – and make your home more eco-conscious too!

Here are six easy-to-make changes that won’t cost you a dime:

Unplug your electronics when not in use.

That computer sitting on charge all day and all night is guzzling energy even if you’re not actively using it. You can do that manually, or by using a smart plug that you can program to turn off at certain times, like when you’re asleep.

Skip hand washing dishes and use the dishwasher.

Really, use the dishwasher more. This might seem counterintuitive, but if you’re spending more than 3 minutes on hand washing dishes, you’re actually using MORE water than if you did them all at once in the dishwasher, which typically uses 6 gallons of water, total. Water flows from your kitchen faucet at roughly 2 gallons a minute – so 10 minutes of scrubbing those plates will use 20 gallons of water. And turning off the heated dry function can save you more money–just crack open the door and let the dishes air dry!

Quick and clean laundry hacks.

Empty the dryer’s lint drawer after EACH. AND. EVERY. load. Leaving the lint in makes your dryer work that much harder (and uses more electricity). Also, wash your clothes in cold water. The vast majority of electricity usage in washing machines comes from heating the water, so if you take away the need for hot water, you instantly reduce your electricity consumption.

Look for leaks!

This is a two-for-one, because catching and fixing leaks not only helps your appliances function as they’re supposed to, but it also saves you money on your water bill. A dripping faucet may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it can cost you up to 20 gallons PER LEAK, PER DAY.

Keep the oven door closed.

Feed your baking habit, by all means. Just keep the oven door shut while they bake. Studies show that when the oven door is opened while something is baking in there, it can reduce the internal temperature by roughly 25 degrees Fahrenheit. So monitor the cookies by watching them, and setting a timer, and go unload the lint trap in the dryer till they’re ready! And if you have a smaller toaster oven, or a microwave, using those appliances for smaller items takes up far less electricity than turning on your full-size oven.

Save money and the environment.

When you go to bed or leave the house, close all the blinds and curtains for energy conservation. Be a more efficient shower-er! Shaving off just a minute or two from your daily shower can stop you wasting water, to the tune of 2.5 gallons of water per minute, not to mention money on your water bill. 

For bigger changes that might cost you some money (at first but will pay off in the long run), look into upgrading:

  • Old light bulbs to LED ones, which use 75 percent less energy and can last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs.
  • Old appliances to Energy Star ones for MAJOR savings on water and electricity use. (You may also be able to find rebates and discounts on the purchase by using this rebate finder.)
  • Your old thermostat for a programmable one that will save you up to 10 percent in heating and cooling costs.