I almost wanted to title this post, “Save money so your husband can take you out to dinner.” But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
My husband, Jeff is a home inspector as well as a builder and he often shares all types of money saving tips with me. He is very, very frugal. He turns off lights, turns the thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter. He keeps windows and doors well sealed, and always goes with me when we buy appliances so he can look for the best energy savers. He likes to drive old cars, and finally has a Vintage Truck that gets very good gas mileage.
Our house is 20 years older than my daughter’s and about 3 thousand square feet bigger and yet our electric bill is around $150.00 per month, hers is about $20 less. Our bill fluctuates, obviously it is more in the summer when we run the air and the dryer.
Now, I realize I could save much more money on electric if I always hung out the clothes, but they are stiff as a board … so, if you have any tips on hanging towels outdoors and having them soft, please share that tip with me!
I on the other hand forget to turn off lights, leave my computer on all day (and night –shh) and sometimes I even forget to close the refrigerator quickly when I take things out for dinner. If he is home, Jeff’s eagle eyes notice all of these things. He loves to share helpful money saving hints like this, “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an energy rated bulb it could save enough money to run hundreds of thousands of cars. (The exact stats for this are on his home inspection website here.)
Or this helpful tips, “If I change 15 light bulbs with energy-savers, you could save $50 per year, and I can take you out to dinner.”
Now, that got my attention!
There are some environmental concerns as well as safety concerns with some of the new lights. Do your research and be informed. We live in sunny Florida and have a home that is wide open with lots of windows. So, turning on lights isn’t an issue during the day.
One time after a house remodel job for a customer we gained some new lighting. The recessed lights that the electrician installed were not what the owners wanted. My husband, the builder was delighted! He had the electrician change the lights, but kept the energy efficient ones because they were considered “used.” He happily brought home the lights and proceeded to change them immediately. It dipped our electric bill several dollars that month. We had energy efficient, but not this energy efficient!
Here are 25 Great Ways to save money that are low-cost or no-cost on saving energy:
- Turn off lights when you leave the room.
- Hand-wash and air-dry your dishes.
- Take shorter showers instead of baths.
- Air dry your hair instead of using the dryer.
- Make a plan before you open the refrigerator, close quickly.
- Replace and use light bulbs with energy savers.
- Use a timer on the hot water heater. They are easy to install.
- Lower the thermostat on your hot water heater to 120° F
- Use solar outdoor lighting these recharge with the sun and cost less.
- Wash only full loads of clothes and use cold water whenever possible.
- Leave curtains open in the day to keep from turning on the lights.
- Turn off the shower or lower the stream while you shampoo your hair.
- Preheat your oven but use a timer – this will remind you it is ready to use.
- Eat more raw foods to use the oven less. It is healthier and saves money.
- Clean the coils under the refrigerator, this helps it work more efficiently.
- Look for the Energy Star labels on home appliances and products.
- Use heavier curtains in colder weather to keep heat in and cold out.
- Be sure the weather strip seals around your windows and doors are in good condition.
- If you have a pool use a timer to turn it on and off. (This saved us mega bucks a month.)
- Charge cell phones and electronic devices in the car instead of the house. Most fast charge that way.
- Use ceiling, box or pedestal fans instead of air-conditioning if possible. Keeping fans on will keep the room cooler.
- Use your grill. The food tastes better and propane goes a long way. Be sure to turn off the tank when finished.
- Use your dishwasher but don’t use the drying cycle and never run until full. Use one drinking cup all day long.
- Install a programmable thermostat keep the air at 80 or above in the summer & 67 or below in the Winter. This may vary by family comfort levels.
- Plug home electronics into power strips and turn the strips off when not in use (TVs and DVDs and computers in standby mode still use several watts of power). Unplug it when you leave the house.
Here is a Printable of the list below with an easy to use check list! Give it to your family and see how much money you can save on electricity today.
Visit Energysavers.gov for more energy-saving ideas.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy. Copyright free.