It’s almost an imperative. With the rising cost of living, energy prices and essential consumer goods, we all want to save as much monthly as possible. But are we making the best choices? Do the tips we learn from parents or grandparents or read on social media really save a few euros? Is it worth washing the dishes by hand instead of using the machine, or heating water on the stove as an alternative to the kettle? Get to know these and other myths about saving and, with small gestures, start accumulating more every day.
10 Myths about Savings
1. Taking a shower is always cheaper
Many people believe that it is always preferable to take a shower instead of a bath. It’s not always like that. Savings (if any) depend on the time spent under the shower and the pressure of the equipment. If, for example, we choose to perform hygiene in a bathtub with about a third of water, we are talking about spending about 75 liters, regardless of whether it takes 5 or 20 minutes. A 10-minute shower, with the faucet always open, can consume 120 liters.
2. Choosing the cheapest products always pays off
It’s one of the myths about saving that we tend to adopt a lot. When we buy a new appliance or electronic device, we only take into account the price, without checking the energy consumption and durability of the devices. We also use the same criteria, with shoes and clothes. Choices that, in the long term, end up implying a greater expense, since many of these products are of poor quality and have a reduced shelf life. Before you go shopping, don’t forget: cheap is expensive and, therefore, it is worth investing in quality.
3. Driving in neutral allows for greater fuel savings
The strategy is adopted by many drivers: in a queue of traffic or on a descent, they put the car in neutral to minimize consumption of diesel or gasoline. Is it really the best option? Most cars today have electronic injection, a technology that allows for greater fuel savings with gear engaged. Furthermore, driving in neutral contributes to greater wear on the brakes and decreases the safety of the journey.
4. Heating water in the kettle uses more energy
It is still a myth that persists in many homes. To make tea, coffee or speed up the preparation of a meal, some prefer to use the microwave, or even the gas stove, rather than the kettle or electric jug, believing that it is cheaper. It’s not like this. Unlike other methods used to boil water, kettles are more economical, as they stop using energy as soon as their contents reach 100ºC, reducing waste.
5. Booking vacations through travel sites is cheaper
When booking a trip, we often opt for specialized websites that sell flight and hotel packages. These solutions are not necessarily the most economical – this is one of the myths about savings –, as these operators have profit margins that, in many cases, increase the prices charged. Consult airlines and hotels directly, compare prices and only then make a decision. Do not forget that, in addition to the trip, you may have to pay an amount for the luggage, for booking a seat and for taking out insurance.
6. Turning off the lights when changing rooms is a way to save
It’s a very common behavior. When we leave the bedroom for the bathroom, or the kitchen for the living room, we tend to turn off the switch to save energy. An intention that does not always have the desired effect, depending on how long it takes to return to that space. Did you know that if you return to the same room in less than 15 minutes, the expense can be higher, especially if you have LED lamps? This is because, in this time interval, the energy spent with the light on is less than that used to turn it on again.
7. Leaving appliances on standby does not waste energy
How many times do you turn off the TV with the remote? It may seem like a harmless gesture, but the truth is that leaving this and other devices on standby implies an unnecessary expense. In some cases, these consumptions, which in no way contribute to the performance of the appliances, represent around 10% of the monthly energy bill. The most obvious solution to avoid this waste is not to leave the equipment plugged in. You can also use sockets with a switch, or buy smart sockets that automatically turn off when not in use.
8. Washing dishes in the dishwasher is more expensive
It is one of the ideas that has been demystified, but there are still those who believe that washing dishes in a machine is more expensive than doing it by hand. Is not true. These appliances are increasingly efficient, and use around 10 liters of water, while a manual wash can involve twice as much. Try to make the most of the machine: fill it with each use, add the right amount of detergent (neither too much nor too little) and opt for the most economical programmes.
9. Cooking with the stove at maximum is more efficient
How many times have you opted for the biggest burner on the stove, setting it to the maximum, to speed up dinner? Well, it wasn’t the most energy-efficient option, nor the fastest way to speed up meal preparation. By placing a small pan on a large burner or setting the stove to maximum, you are just wasting heat. Instead, to speed up the process and save energy, cut food into small pieces and use a lid.
10. It’s always worth shopping on sale in bulk
This is one of the most ingrained savings myths in Western culture. With the arrival of sales, many people take the opportunity to buy an unnecessary amount of clothes, shoes and other products, thinking that this way they are saving money. In reality, they are overspending and taking home goods they don’t always need. To avoid these situations, use the sales only to purchase basic pieces that never go out of style, and, before each purchase, always assess the need for it.