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Inflation changes daily routines & home chores

Inflation choices started with limiting eating out and choosing generic over brand names at the grocery store. Now, we're swapping paper towels for cleaning cloths.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Consumer Reports says there are easy swaps you can make in your home that can help you reduce your waste and save you some money! 

"Replace your old incandescent bulbs with new LED lightbulbs. These can make a big dent in your electric bill. Another way to take those savings further is to replace them with smart bulbs," said David Wrockawski, Consumer Reports. 

You can program smart bulbs to automatically turn on and off at specific times of the day. Having all those lights turn off automatically will help you eke out those extra savings.

Smart bulbs can be pricey; the Wyze Bulb Color offers automation at a lower cost compared with many of the other bulbs CR checked out. 

To find a bulb at a lower price, check your power company's website. For example, Duke Energy's savings page shows many styles of LED bulbs for 50% -70% off the regular price. 

This next swap might be tougher: Paper towel alternatives. CR recently tried several of them. MioEco Reusable Paper Towels are biodegradable, absorbent, and offer a textured surface that is great for scrubbing tougher messes. They were $20 for 10 towels. 

But CR says you don’t need to spend that much money to reduce your paper waste. You can use 12x12-inch regular washcloths. They’re versatile, absorbent, and budget-friendly (get 60 of them for $40). And when they get too stained, instead of tossing them, you can repurpose the washcloths for outdoor use. 

Next up, if you need that daily dose of soda or seltzer, you can save money with a soda maker.  Let’s say you drink a liter of seltzer a day, and it costs about 90 cents. If you swap that for the $80 SodaStream Terra, in four months … it’ll pay for itself. 

Investing in a soda maker can also help reduce plastic waste. To see if buying a soda maker is worth it for your family, you can check out CR’s soda maker calculator at CR.org/sodamaker. 

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