Bills are a huge deal for me. I don’t like throwing money away for no valid reason. So when I was a single mom, I tried to find ways to save on things I had control over. My water usage, electricity, and the food budget. Electricity was the biggest bill so that had to be lowered significantly if I was going to afford it to begin with. Now married, I’ve brought almost all the same tricks I used into our home.
Appliances: I vacuum behind and under my appliances. Especially the tubing/coils and the back of my fridge. They get dusty and gunky and can force the fridge to work harder. I frequently clean my dishwasher both inside and in the trap to avoid clogging and running multiple cycles. This ensures that everything will flow freely and it won’t have to work harder to clean my dishes. Also, with my dishwasher, I don’t have it on heated dry. It’s so much easier to run at night so as we sleep I can prop it open to dry for FREE. My washing machine is always set to cold water. I don’t need hot water to clean my clothes which not only uses electricity to run but my gas bill is effected to heat it.
Lights: I go with dim lit lights that are singles versus overhead lighting. We have both in our home. I’ll often cook by the light of the stove light instead of turning on the kitchen lights. Why not?! I can see just fine because its really bright and I took the aluminum screen off to make it brighter. I have a vanity in my bathroom with 6 light bulbs in it. Take out half of the bulbs and only have enough light for what you need. It also helps with those sleepy eyes in the morning so you aren’t blinded when you wake up at 6am. LOL! I unplug appliances that sit on my kitchen counter, turn off the Xbox machines when I turn off the TV. Not only does this save you electricity by sitting idle, but will save you from having to buy a new power adapter cord as I had to previously. Lesson learned. We also use LED light bulbs in a lot of our lamps.
Thermostat: I keep this on 65 pretty regularly during the cold months. It is so much cheaper to just put on socks, a sweater, or grab a blanket. I’m a huge bathrobe and slipper person. During the spring months, watch out! because this mama loves loves loves the doors and windows open. I create cross breezes with windows and doors so it cools the house beautifully and really airs out the home too. I will do this until I start to drip with sweat. I’m a New England girl and no AC works for me. July/August I do have our AC on but it stays at 76. Those months it is usually 95-105+ degrees outside and 76 is still cooler. We also have a ceiling fan in each room that provides a slight breeze.
Doing all of this has saved us a lot of money. We live in a 2500 sqft one level home and our monthly electric bill varies between $60-$90 each month in North Dallas. Huge savings compared to the first month we moved in and it was $160 with not really paying attention. Make slight changes and when all added up will make a visible difference.