Cut the Costs And Keep The Change: Part 7

When I started looking for ways to cut the costs, I thought of a lot of obvious things.  Turn off the lights when your not in the room, unplug appliances when not in use, keep the AC a degree or 2 higher then normal, and turn off the TV and radio when your not watching or listening attentively.  But it just wasn’t enough.  we could do more and better and save more money.

I started to look at different blogs and do searches for ways to cut the cost of utilities and I realized there are a lot of things I was NOT doing that could save me a ton of money.  I want to share the things I have already started to do and a couple others that I plan to do in the near future.

First off, I never realized the power of windows to give you light in your home.  We used to keep the blinds closed and we would use the lights in the kitchen all day.  We don’t have a window in our kitchen and I just never thought the light would make that much of a difference.  Well, it does.  I now don’t use the lights most of the day.  Once the sun gets over to that side of our home I will close them. this is at about 4:00.  We are saving energy until then.  I am torn as to if this increases our heat in our house.  I think that as long as I close it once the sun is coming in the window it is ok.  But the energy we are saving is so much more then we used to!

Next, take shorter showers or take navy showers!  I am a lover of longer really warm showers.  even in the summer I love to do this.  We have started to have a timer in the bathroom and we now have a competition going to see who can beat their shortest time.  It has been so much fun trying new ways of showering to cut the time.  I have sacrificed the temperature of the shower so I am not using as much gas to heat the water.  Navy Showers are another option. They are showers that use the minimum water amount and help to conserve hot water.  you turn on the water and get wet, then turn off the water and lather up and turn on the water to rinse.  This helps to conserve water.  If you are in a house where you have to pay for water and sewer and such, this will save you on more levels then just heat.

The third thing I have started doing is baking, cooking, and using other appliances as much as possible after peak hours and when it cools down a bit outside.  We used to have laundry day now we do it two nights instead of 1 day and night.  This helps to conserve our power in peak times to only needs.  Most areas have different prices on peak times as well, so it saves a bunch this way.  I bake now in the evenings.  So when I bake bread and muffins and such, I make then after the kids are in bed.  I also cook  as much as I can the night before or wait as late a sI can to cook dinner.  This takes a bit of extra planning to do it this way but we were able to cut $13.00 off our gas and electric bill this last month by doing these things.

These things have made a huge difference in our energy usage and have been saving us a lot.  There are still more changes that need to be made and will be made.  There are a few things that I am going to work on implementing this month to help to bring our bill even lower.  First, I am going to try to use our small toaster/convection oven to cook more.  We have a gas oven and it always takes a while to heat and then it heats up the house more which causes you AC to kick on more.  Second, I will be trying to turn our AC up 1 more degree during peak hours.  we already have it at 80 degrees, so this one will be a bit harder for me.  My daughter has bad allergies though, so we can’t open windows as much as I would like to anymore.  It causes her to cough and sneeze a lot and then she doesn’t sleep well, so we have to make another change since it will be running just a bit more often.  Third, We are going to try to get out of the house more often in the mornings.  when we are out, then we don’t use electricity as much by using lights or the computer or TV.  ( don’t worry, I will still be blogging, it wont keep me from posting anything first thing in the morning.  You just may see more breaks in between now when we are gone for a couple hours!)

Do you have any Ideas of ways to cut the cost of your gas and electric bill??  What do you do everyday to save?

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