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Most couples I know want to see their monthly bills slashed without drastically diminishing their quality of life.

One way you can do that is by tackling your big bills. Optimizing your monthly and irregular home expenses can provide you with some huge savings.

For those ready, July is all about slashing your home bills – mortgages, utilities, maintenance, and more. We'll examine ways you can improve your house and save money regularly.

Replacing Your Lights with CFL and LED Bulbs

To start us off I want to share an easy fix that can save you a ton – replace your inefficient bulbs with compact fluorescent or LED bulbs.

You may think it's too simple, but taking inventory of your current lighting situation and appropriately replacing lights can help you cut down on your energy bills.

The Department of Energy estimates that just replacing incandescent bulbs can save you at least 25% and they will last longer. (According to CNET ,CFL bulbs can last around 10,000 hours and LEDs on average are about 20,000 hours. )

If you have an older home, go ahead check all of your lights, you may need to switch more bulbs and fixtures than you think.

Tips for Buying More Energy Efficient Lights

When replacing your bulbs, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Take your old bulb with you.  I have a hard time remembering the brightness of the bulb I'm replacing so to make sure you're getting a good match go ahead and grab that old bulb. You also want to make sure you get the right ‘warmth' or ‘cool' tone with your light.
  • Check with your power company and see if they offer rebates. Save more money and take advantage of rebate programs your utility provider may offer.
  • Keep receipts. Got a bad bulb? If it's an Energy Star bulb, you may be covered under a warranty.

When deciding on CFL or LED, please keep in mind that even with prices dropping on LED bulbs, it can be expensive if you're buying large quantities. You may want to go with compact fluorescent for now.

On the other hand, when you do dispose of CFLs, you need to recycle them as they have a tiny amount of mercury.

If you're looking for more helpful information, Consumer Reports has plenty of articles. (Some require a subscription):

Save Money, Make Money

Congrats to Kristy for winning June's $20 Date Night Challenge!

New month means there's a new contest. For July, our social contest is Home Smart!

Share your money saving tip to help others on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram and use #homeSmart. Like last month, once I confirm you're a Couple Money Newsletter Subscriber, you'll be entered for a chance to win $100 (Paypal or Amazon Gift Card).

About Elle Martinez

Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..