Tips From Home To Save Some Money.

Tips 'n' Tricks to Reduce Household Expenses...

Greetings all again. Well, after living many years by myself and the last 22 years as a married father of four, I've learned a bit about saving on household expenses that I'd like to share with you, and hopefully you can take advantage of.

As mentioned, I have four, bascially-grown kids (two in middle-teens and two more in early twenties). You know, I'm not sure kids REALLY realize how much energy and money their living habits cost within a household. For example, my oldest daughter will shower, leave bathroom lights on, turn on hair straightener just to warm-up, turn on hall light, and leave radio and/or PC running in bedroom along with bedroom light on. Sheesh -- now, THERE'S a chunk of volts being unscrupulously allocated just to getting ready to go out.

My lovely wife does the same - multiple kitchen lights on, stove and oven at same time, dining room light on, washer/dryer activities, etc. And my other two mid-teen girls have TV running, MORE hair-dryers and straighteners, etc. My power utility REALLY likes our household...*s

I'm one for turning off, simply to reduce consumption (risk of fuses blowing, etc.) and trying to save money on the utility bill. Hard to compete around HERE, but I continue to educate the best I can. People take electricity for granted but here's some things that I implement on a regular basis to counteract that:

TIP #1: Cooking on the stove. For example, if your boiling up some eggs and like them well-done (hard), you bring the water to a boil, turn OFF the burner, cover and let them set for awhile. They'll cook fine without boiling the bejeebers out of them for 6 - 10 minutes. The latent heat from the burner and water will continue the cooking process and if you're not in a hurry, they'll cook. Same with anything else you cook on the stovetop -- just start the process (depending on what you're preparing), cover, turn occaisionally, and things will cook, almost by themselves.

TIP #2: This is an old one, but turn-off any lights you're not using. The old-time incandescent bulbs are power hogs and you can replace them with those swirly, energy-savers that are fluorescent. Only use lights that you really need.

TIP #3: Whilst cooking something in the oven, reduce the temperature a bit and when things look like they are cooking fine, turn the oven off. Keep door closed and things again, will probably cook just fine by themselves in there, surrounded by heat. Again, all depends on what is being prepared.

TIP #4: Only heat rooms that absolutely need them. In many houses heated with oil (forced air), vents are left open and maybe forgotten about. Check them, close them, and concentrate the heat in the areas most required. Why bother heating a room all day in the winter or colder times when nobody is there? Open curtains and blinds to let sunlight in for some radiant effect as well.

TIP #5: With your PC, set to "Standby" or low power mode when not in use. No need to keep monitor and unit up and running if you are not going to be there. Monitors and CPU's get warm, hot, etc. and eat up power to no end.

TIP #6: Lower overall house temperature on the thermostat or electric heating systems. You'll be fine -- put on some extra clothes, or whatever. Makes it all comfy to wrap up on the chair anyway!

TIP #7: Clothes dryers are hogs on the volts too. What I do, is to check the status of the clothes for dryness and if I think they are acceptable, I won't turn the dryer on again. Just stir them up, leave the door open a bit to get rid of moisture, and shut door again. My wife leaves the dryer running full cycle and gets kind of mad when I do that...heh. You can take any dampish clothes and hang them on one of those drying racks in another room that has heat, and they'll dry.

TIP #8: Throw out the dishwasher. Simply put, I don't like dishwashers. That's why women married MEN!! *s Seriously, I don't care much for that appliance, reason being that they simply DON'T get the job done. In our house, my wife rinses things BEFORE putting them in there and if you are on metered water, you pay. Then, expensive detergents go in and degreasers and de-whatevers if you like. Then, turn it on, using a ton of voltage and H2O to wash, rinse and dry. Then again, you take them out just to find out that a lot STILL have stains 'n' stuff; so, you have to do some again or put them in the sink with liquid dishwashing detergent.

Too much work when you can fill the sink with hot sudsy water, wash and rinse lukewarm, and dry with dishtowels. Over and done with, with just a fraction of the cost. Please...please...let MY wife know that, k? *s

TIP #9: Use cold water whenever you can, With a house full of kids and adults who all shower regularly, the hot water tank takes a kicking - and so does the wallet in trying to keep hot water in there. Substitute cold water for and washing, dish rinsing, and anything else where one would or be tempted to use hot water. Switch to clothes detergents that advertise themselves as great for cold water usage. Everything will still be as clean as before and your electric bill will be lower.

Tip #10: Don't run ventilation fans if you don't have to. In these dry winter days, instead of leaving the bathroom fan running during a shower, I don't run it at all. I simply open the bathroom door after and let the steam out there. It adds moisture to your overall household environment that might be drier these days and also doesn't use the power for the fan.

Overall, just take a look around the house to see what is essential for daily living, and what isn't or is wasteful. As mentioned, kids these days have EVERYTHING plugged in and you should educate or monitor what is up and running.

hmmmmm...what else? I'm sure you might have a few extra things to add but hopefully some of these tips will be of assistance to help you cut the consumption a bit. The biggest thing with kids is EDUCATION about money and electricity -- both don't grow on trees and it's a good thing to teach them about those things.

Turning off...er...SIGNING off for now!

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