If you don't subscribe to the "every little bit counts" idea for saving money and living green, we suggest you turn away now. This tip is going to have such a small dent in your monthly hot water bills that it almost won't seem worth it. In fact, we wouldn't even suggest it to you—but it is so. incredibly. easy. to do.
The latest issue of Real Simple magazine features this almost unbelievable tip on saving cash while you do your chores:
"If your dishwasher and washing machine are more than 10 years old, run them simultaneously when possible. By maximizing the use of your hot water heater, you'll save a few more bucks."
You can add to the savings by taking your daily defrosting hot shower at the same time, too. The idea is that your water heater—whether it's gas or electric—won't work as hard as if you did both (or all three) of these activities at different times throughout the day.
Of course, don't run an almost-empty dishwasher just because you're doing the laundry. But if you've got a full weekend of household chores to tackle, planning out when you use your appliances could save you a little bit of pocket change.