Monday, September 21, 2009

Money Pinching Monday

Save on Utilities:

Turn off lights when leave the room. Teach your kids to do this as well.

When you go to bed, turn off your computer.

Don't sleep with your TV on.

If you don't have a lot of extra wiggle room in your budget, I would recommend budget-billing your electric and gas utilities.

In the winter time, use your oven to help cook meals on the bitter cold days. Turn your thermostat down at night, and use electric blankets. I use a safety, energy star heater in Natalie's room b/c she won't stay under the covers! (I also put it directly under the smoke detector just in case it isn't as "safe" as they say--I'm just paranoid like that.) The BIGGEST way to heat our bedrooms in the winter, is WARM mist humidifiers. It keeps the dry skin and noses away, PLUS it keeps our bedrooms so much warmer than the rest of the house. (So I can turn down the thermostat at night and save $$)

I don't have a working fireplace, but an electric one that takes the chill away on bitter days. However, I've heard that a real fireplace actually creates a lot of heat loss through the chimney! That surprised me! The wood burning stoves, (more specifically, the pellet burning stoves) are BY FAR the most energy efficient way to heat a home. If you have one, you know what I'm talking about.

In the summer, cook with your oven only when you must, and avoid using it the hottest days of the year. Employ your slow-cooker, steamer, and stove top. Microwave if you must...that's a whole other topic! Run your dishwasher at night, and do laundry in the evenings or early mornings...if you're saint to get up that early. Close your blinds on the windows that have direct sunlight on them, and open them when they're shaded.

I tried a little experiment this summer, and I have seen a big drop in our utility bills as a result.
First, install ceiling fans in the rooms you spent a lot of time in. For us, it's our living room, kitchen, and bedroom. Turn the temp up on your thermostat, and turn on your ceiling fans. I have kept our thermostat at 78 degrees this entire summer with the fans on, and even my husband (the human furnace) has felt comfortable in our house. The only time I turn down the thermostat is when I'm doing housework. I have noticed our utility bill drop over $20 dollars a MONTH this summer because of this change. That's impressive to me...but the again, I get a thrill out of saving money.

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