Posted in Penny Pinching

Little Ways

In our city, we have a combined utility bill that includes electric, water, sewer, trash, and recycle. Sewer is completely based on the water usage and the trash/recycle is a fixed amount each month. The only variables are the water and electric.

I’m usually charged the minimum amount for water each month. There’s only 2 of us in this house most of the time, my fiancé is only here once a week or occasionally stays for an entire weekend with or without his daughter along. I can think of only a few times in all these years I paid more than the minimum. This happened during the summer months when we watered our plants, washed the car, or tackled some outdoor cleaning project like scrubbing the siding on the house.

Electric is a different matter. My electric usage/charge is always consistent, only varying based on how much we had to turn the whole house air conditioning on or how much the furnace ran during the winter. I like the hot summers and will only switch the air on when things are unbearable. Humidity makes sleeping impossible so I do turn the air on at night. I dislike being cold and will keep the furnace set at a reasonable temp all winter.

Though I’ve always been conscious of turning off lights, etc.,  I never really thought too much about the electric bill. However, now that I’m very money aware since I quit my full-time job for a part-time job it’s a different situation.

I try to conserve our electric usage as best as I can nowadays by not only turning the lights off when I leave a room but in other ways, too. I will only run the dishwasher or wash a load of laundry if I have a full load. I will dry clothes whenever I can by hanging themimg_3142 outside on the line. Obviously, this is tough to accomplish in the winter months but I take advantage of a sunny day when the temps are above 40 or so.

Here’s a pic of my guinea pig blankets drying recently in the sun instead of running the clothes dryer. I found these ‘piggy bedspreads’ to buy instead of purchasing bedding. I was spending approximately $20 every 3 weeks on bedding for their cages when we first got the pigs 4 years ago so these fleece bedspreads have more than paid for themselves over the years. Expensive up front but well worth the investment.

I make sure to open all of the curtains as soon as I get up in the morning so that I’m not turning on lights. Natural light is better for me anyways. I have an LED nightlight in the bathroom that is motion sensitive so I rarely turn the overhead lights on for simple bathroom tasks. When I boil a pot of water for my coffee (I use a French press) or for a cup of tea, I always turn the burner off well before it hits boiling. Boiling a pot of pasta for a set amount of time, I’ll turn the stove off when there’s still a few minutes to go. I use a broom to sweep the kitchen and sunroom floors instead of running the vacuum. We don’t watch a whole lot of TV here except a couple evenings during the week. When I’m home, I busy myself with housework, yardwork, reading, or I go for a walk to occupy my time.

I’d like to come up with some more ways to cut my electric bill each month, every dollar counts at this point! This should help us stay Above the Waterline




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