Time to prepare for winter and trim the electric bill!
Well we are two weeks into October now. It is rainy and getting colder which means it is offically time to seal up the house to keep the drafts out. In the summer it was not so bad despite it being over 100 degrees, I simply tore the plastic off the windows and opened every possible one in the house. Now I am seriously regretting it. As they say it is always easier to get yourself into a situation than it is to get out right? Well I wanted air circulation, I sure got it. Reversing this is not going to be fun or easy at all.
However, it is a deed that must be done and I will be joining the thousands of people around the state that are probably gearing up to do the same thing. Being that our gas has not been turned on since last winter I really do not have to worry about the bill from heat, unfortunately that means space heaters and doubling up on socks to keep it bearable. I am energy concious to a point though. Sometimes you just want the house to be toasty but at night as long as you have a thick blanket you really have no need to turn the heat on at all. (That is if outside is in fourties, any lower and I cave) Probably a good thing I love cold weather and winter right?
What motivated me to start sealing the cracks in the house was an article I read on Yahoo! today. It is about a new show coming onto TLC called “Extreme Cheapskates.” Part of the article made my stomach twist slightly. I am all for saving money. Hell, in this economy we are lucky if we have six dollars in the bank that we can spend on whatever we want. I do believe though when you get to the point where you are asking strangers at the next table if you can take their leftovers home from the diner you are at you may have problems. That was not the only part that made me cringe. Washing papertowel, seperating the two-ply toilet paper to make it one-ply, wearing the same undergarments for a week to avoid washing a load of laundry, and dumpster diving for gifts is a bit much for me to handle.
On the other side of the coin as there always is another one there a few things I never considered to pinch a few pennies. Cutting open the tube of toothpaste once you have squeezed all you could out of it? How about putting a brick in the tank of your toilet to save on water? Even filling up your ketchup bottle with the free packets you get from drivethrus? Makes sense when you really think about it. My question is in the long run how much does it really add up?
Sure we all got yelled at by our parents when we were younger about leaving a room with the light still on. Little did I know how much of a difference it really makes. I noticed a difference in my bill that by opening the blinds and waiting until the sun goes down to turn on a lamp it saves money. Lighting a few candles instead of turning on the lights when you take a bath is not only relaxing but cuts down on the electricity as well. Unplugging alarm clocks, toasters, microwaves, phone chargers, and toaster ovens until you need them adds up after a while as well. Another trick is all about placement. If you place lamps in key areas of the room where you really need the light there is no need to turn on more than one.
Now my biggest fault is being a complete night owl. I will watch tv until I fall asleep. I make sure the timer is on when I watch a dvd or cable tv, but when I use my computer both the computer and tv will turn themselves completely off if there has been no activity. This is my saving grace because I can’t imagine how much higher my electric bill would hike up if left on for 5-6 additional hours per night.
What does everyone else think about the tips I came across to save money? How about your own personal tips? I am always looking for little tricks to lower the bills. Perhaps we can help eachother out?
Published in: Homemaking