26 April 2010

Saving on Utilities

Howdeeeee! Guess it is about time I talked a little bit about how I save on utilities.  There are the usual things, like turning down the thermostat and the water heater's temperature, but I take those things a little further.  Yes, I turn down my thermostat, but I turn it down probably more than most people.  I usually keep it at 63 degrees and wear "long handle" underthings.  And a sweater. And I invested two winters ago in an electric throw.  It feels like heaven to turn that thing on and snuggle up underneath it while watching TV.  I also called my utility company to ask a few questions and found out that the lower the temperature the lower your bill, of course, but also that if you are going to be gone from your home for 8 hours or more, the prudent thing to do is to turn the heater off.  Of course you have to be careful not to turn it off during very low outside temperatures, but you have to use your common sense.  I turn it down to 50 and it rarely comes on during the night, so I figure that is good for when I am gone all day, too.  I also hung a pair of sheets to divide my open floor plan into two sections and only heat one section.  The thermostat in the other section, the kitchen area, is kept at about 55.  Yep, it's pretty chilly, but my bill is doable, so that's the bottom line.  And there's always my electric throw. And even though it is moving on toward the end of April, nights are still chilly.

Now the water heater is another area where I save.  It is turned down to its lowest setting and I only turn it up when I shower, run the dish washer, or have something I need to wash that HAS to have hot water (I almost always use cold water to wash and rinse my laundry and always full loads---- another savings), and I make sure that I do all three of these things during the same time frame, one after the other, so that the water heater isn't heating to its highest temp except during the hours I am doing these chores.  Huge savings. 

I use my crockpot.  A lot.  I use my convection appliance rather than my oven for everything that will fit in it, except for baked goods (brownies being the one exception I have found so far)  the oven is much better for that.  When I do use the oven I leave the door open when I am finished baking, turn off the heat, and just let the residual heat waft into the kitchen.  And it seems I always find something that has to be cleaned on that kitchen stove while that warm wonderful air is wafting out.................

Then there are all those other things you have heard about I am sure.  Using flourescents instead of incandecent, timers for your lights, turning off the lights when you are not in the room.  Little efforts add up to lots of savings.  Oh, and my bedroom is not heated at all.  I have an electric blanket on the bed during the winter and turn it on about an hour before I hit the hay.  Once snuggled down inside that warm cocoon I turn it off.  The control is slung over my headboard so that if it does get cold during the night it is handy to turn on, but this rarely ever happens.  Flannel jammies are heaven, too. 

Thanks for stopping by today and I hope you got something out of today's blog that you can put to use to save YOU some money.  Sometimes convenience rises above savings, but for me this is what I feel I must do to get by.  It works for me.  In the near future I am hoping I won't have to be quite so frugal, but heck, by that time all of this will be such a habit I will just keep doing it!! Smile, the world wants to see your pretty countenance.

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