These easy practical tips will make your home feel just like new on a budget

Small changes that can help you save money in the New Year

This year has been a tough year financially for many of us, research by Oust revealed that Brits are expected to rack up £6 billion worth of debts following this year. Come January we might all need to tighten our purse strings.

Related: Recreate your dream home on a budget with Dunelm's genius snap and shop tool

Replacing appliances and items around the home is one of the biggest household expenses. According to Oust, British households are set to spend £2.5 billion replacing items around the home.

However, there are plenty of tricks to refresh and look-after your home and all its appliances that could help save your money in January. Straight from the mouths of the experts, here are five practical tips to refresh your home on a budget.

Five practical tips to refresh your home on a budget

1. Decorate (and insulate) your home with thermal curtains

living room with photoframe on yellow wall and rug on floor

(Image credit: Dominic Blackmore)

In winter a lot of our hard-earned cash can go simply on staying warm at home. However, a few clever investments can help save you money in the long term.

'The more your home is insulated, the warmer it will be in the winter and the cooler it will stay in the summer sun,' explained Demetir Efstat, Gas Engineer. 'Well-insulated spaces allow the air to be trapped within the house and will prevent it from escaping from areas such as your loft space - also resulting in a lower energy bill.

'Thermal curtains are a cheap and super effective way of keeping out the cold air, and will instantly give your home a refreshed vibe,' he advises.

2.Descale your household appliances

dining room with wooden shelves and dining table with chairs

(Image credit: Future PLC)

Looking after your household appliances is essential to make them last longer and avoid having to shell out on an expensive new version.

'One of the key factors to watch out for is limescale, which can impede the functioning of appliances and shorten their lifespan,' says Claudia Berto, Descaling Expert. 'It’s been proven that regular use of descaling products such as Oust, can extend the life of everyday appliances such as your kettle, iron and washing machine for years without causing any damage.'

3. Empty your appliance filters

Washing machines and tumble dryers are big investments, so it is important that you make them last as long as possible. If yours seems to be on the blink or using more electricity than it should, it could be that the filter needs to be cleaned.

'The filter of your washing machine should be cleaned every six months to remove any material build-up, stray coins and any other bits which may have escaped over time,' explains Perry Weston, Xtraclene CEO. 'The filter of your tumble dryer, on the other hand, should be emptied after every use. This helps ensure the dryer isn’t working harder than it needs to and using more power as a result.'

4. Make your house more energy efficient

room with photoframe on grey wall and white staircase

(Image credit: Dominic Blackmore)

Swapping your light bulbs with LED and getting a smart meter installed are two easy but big ways to save on energy bills.

'LED bulbs typically use up to 90% less energy. So the switch will save money on energy bills, and the bulbs themselves last longer, which saves costs on replacing light bulbs throughout the year,' explains Chris Georgiou, Heating Expert. 'The use of a smart meter allows you to control your energy usage much better.'

5. Clean your cleaners

kitchen room with kitchen cabinets and wooden flooring

(Image credit: David Giles)

It is easy to forget to clean appliances that clean for us. Taking the time to clean your hoover and dishwasher regularly will not only help them last longer. But the results will be amazing too.

'To maintain a healthy, long-lasting dishwasher, you must remember to use dishwasher salt in every was,' says Lauren Preston, Home & Parenting Influencer. 'Salt prevents limescale from building up in your dishwasher's filter, so it affects how clean your plates come out. If you find that your dishes are coming out 'streaky'  instead of sparkling clean, you might be running low on salt.'

Related: Healthcare experts reveal the common mistake households make when cleaning surfaces

Will you be trying any of these budget tips at home?

Rebecca Knight
Deputy Editor, Digital

Rebecca Knight has been the Deputy Editor on the Ideal Home Website since 2022. She graduated with a Masters degree in magazine journalism from City, University of London in 2018, before starting her journalism career as a staff writer on women's weekly magazines. She fell into the world of homes and interiors after joining the Ideal Home website team in 2019 as a Digital Writer. In 2020 she moved into position of Homes News Editor working across Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc and Ideal Home covering everything from the latest viral cleaning hack to the next big interior trend.