Tips and Guides

5 Ways to Lower Household Expenses

Save energy and water with these expert reminders


Many homeowners would agree that aside from spending on pieces that can beautify and improve the home, a large chunk of our hard-earned cash goes to monthly bills that cover rent and utilities. With the rising costs of water and electricity, we’re always on the lookout for ways on how to save on these necessities. From turning off appliances when not in use to maximizing natural light, there are ways and habits you can easily apply and practice at home.

To help and guide you on your journey towards smarter living and a better space, interior designer Michelle Dumlao-Pastoral shares these must-dos:

1. Choose good design with a purpose.

Familiarize yourself with decorative elements that are indispensable. According to Michelle, horizontal wood panels, louvers, or awnings may look like they are just parts of your home's exterior, but they serve a function. "They are placed to help deflect heat from the sun while adding more drama [to your space]—given the light and shadows they [seem to] add," she explains.

2. Invest in light sensors.

These advanced must-haves automatically power lighting fixtures on and off based on motion. It assures you that no energy is wasted—especially if you often forget to switch off the lights when not in use.

RL Tip: Aside from lighting fixtures, remember to unplug appliances when you are not using them. "Leaving them plugged in costs money and wastes energy. Appliances like the computer and the TV consume power when left on standby mode," the designer says.

3. Consider having a rain garden.

While you can always have a landscape garden if your space allows, it can be challenging and expensive to maintain one. As an alternative, Michelle suggests having a rain garden instead. It is built lower than ground level, using the catch basin system for rain water to help maintain the plants. "It is also usually located near the gutter—for more efficiency in collecting rain water for your [greens and blooms]," she says.

RL Tip: If you live in a small unit, you may want to consider having a hydroponic garden. It allows you to grow plants and vegetables in a controlled environment using less water and space.

READ: 4 Things You Need to Grow Your Own Hydroponic Garden

4. Check for items for repair and work on it ASAP.

Replacing broken toilet tank fittings can help you save on water. "Broken toilet tank fittings consume water non-stop even if the flush button isn't pressed," Michelle says.

5. Clean your appliances regularly.

Doing regular maintenance can keep your investment pieces in tip-top condition so you can use them for a long time. "Appliances like the aircon, the dryer, and the vacuum should be periodically cleaned to maintain its efficiency," the designer says.

RL Tip: If you're in the process of replacing appliances or sourcing for new ones to complete your first home, research and look for those that use inverter technology. This feature is said to reduce power consumption. There are also washing machines out in the market that consume less water.

PHOTOS: This Old House and Laurel Home (Main) | Home Bunch | Amazon | The Local Shed | Gravity Home via Tumblr | Tennessee Tiny Homes via Pinterest.

More on

5 Easy Ways to Save Money and Reduce Waste

Dos and Don’ts of Creating an Energy-Efficient Home

5 Energy Saving Tips for Your Home


Latest Stories

A Tiny Studio Unit Becomes A Hotel-Style Home

In another makeover marvel by Elle Uy, the decorator transforms a dark studio unit into a chic and airy space

Get the Look of Iza Calzado’s Bedroom

Give your sleeping space an easy, dainty makeover with the right pieces

5 Amazing Closet Cleaning Tips You Can Try

Achieve your dream wardrobe with these handy tricks

How To Vacuum Your Home Properly

Here’s how to avoid all the usual vacuuming mistakes. Plus, learn about a revolutionary new material that will help you bust all that dirt at home.

A Cozy and Modern Family Home in Quezon City

Works of art, beautiful fabrics, and a mix of old and new pieces bring this townhouse to life

5 Things To Never Clean With Baking Soda

This finely milled powder has its downsides, too

There's An Affordable Way To Keep Your Home Smelling Good 24/7

Say no to artificial fragrances with this three-step hack

A KonMari Reality Show Is Coming To Netflix

Will de-cluttering diva Marie Kondo's new show spark joy?

You Only Need P5,000 To Work On These Home Improvement Projects

The best part? These can increase the value of your space, too.

What's Inside The Vatican Walls?

Aside from having one of the largest collections of art in the world, the Vatican holds many other treasures

Meet The Architect Behind This Industrial-Pinoy Home

Inspired by the Bahay Kubo, this architect worked with industrial details and affordable building materials to create an inviting space

Is It Possible to Paint Over Tiles?

No one likes the sight of lackluster tiles. Know what to do with these tips from an interior designer.
Load More Stories

Get inspiring design ideas and handy hints.
Subscribe to our newsletter now!