Some things that are worth spending more money on now in order to save money later are:
1. Programmable Thermostat. This will automatically regulate the temperature in your house at certain times during the day, like while you are asleep. It may cost you about $100 or less up front, but the energy savings could be well worth it when those bills come in every month.
*If you do not have the extra $$ to get one of these thermostats, then do what we do: just keep the thermostat off at night --use extra blankets if you need, and keep it off as much as possible during the day. Hot days: close the curtains and blinds to help keep heat out. Cold days-wear a sweater or cuddle under blankets!*
2. Seeds. Grow Your own Herbs, Fruits and Vegetables. Did you know that for every $1 you put in, you can expect to get about $9 worth of food out? So says expert Elizabeth Rogers, author of Shift Your Habit: Easy Ways to Save Money, Simplify Your Life and Save the Planet. Tomatoes, bell peppers and yellow squash are your best bets to get the most for your money, says Rogers.
Of course the savings won't come for a while: wait about 2 ½ to 3 months before you can harvest if planting from seeds, and half that time if starting with a pony pack [a tray of growing plants bought at a nursery for transplanting]. And don’t forget fresh herbs and leafy greens like basil, oregano, spinach and lettuce, which typically grow in 40 days if planted from seeds. “You can harvest a few leaves at a time, depending on how much you need, and the plants will keep growing,” she says.
3. High Quality Sheets. Sinking into a comfy bed at night with luxurious sheets is actually practical, not indulgent! (could it be both??). Egyptian cotton with a high thread count (300+) will be more expensive—often twice as much—but will likely last three or four times longer than their cheaper sheets. So go ahead, splurge now, sleep better and save in the long run!
4. A Water Filter. A water filter system you attach to your faucet will cost around $25. The savings will be tremendous. Not to mention what a "green" way to save money! Consistently change the filter, and the system should last indefinitely. Replacement filters cost about $20, usually last 2 to 3 months and can filter a total of at least 100 gallons of water. “To purchase the equivalent amount in bottled water would cost you about $400,” says Rogers.
5. A Low Flow Showerhead. A little investment on a new low flow showerhead can save you about about $150 a year on their water bill. Go visit your local hardware store...it is so worth doing this simple task.
6. Re-Usable Lunchbox. Forget the paper bags, plastic baggies and juice boxes. A re-usable lunch box has separate compartments for food and comes with a reusable beverage bottle. And according to Rogers, investing about $25 to $29 will save you about $250 a year on paper bags, baggies and individual drinks.