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- Frugal Living
Ways to save a little money on household expenses.
I'm sure everyone at one time or another, wanted to find ways to save a little money on household expenses. With today's economy and increasing expenses in just day to day living, saving a little here and there could help all of us in the long run. I remember as a kid growing up, how my mom would always have to tell us to turn the lights off, when you leave the room, don't let the water run, and most of all, she would not let the AC run all the time. Even today, my parents still leave their thermastat set high, so that the AC is not running constantly during the summer months, causing the electricty bill to be so high.
I'm hoping that some or even just one of the tips below will help you realize that it is possible to still save some money on just simple day to day expenses, that could help.
Every little bit helps.
- Turn off lights. Make sure you turn off all lights if not being used. Make sure your family does the same. I know, it may get redundant, telling family members to "turn off the lights", but soon it will be habit for them. This is what I remember as a kid growing up, from mom.
- Shorten your dryer vent hose: Trim the hose length so that it's just long enough for you to pull the dryer a few feet out from the wall. This shorter line will make your dryer run more efficiently. Since you already have the hose off, go ahead and vacuum out the old hose, to get it clear of particles.
- Close closet doors: Ok, this goes with telling the family, to "shut the lights off". Just by shutting closets doors will lower the square footage you're heating and cooling.
- Turn up your thermostat on your ac unit. Make sure you set your thermostat to 78 in the summer months. Use fans when possible. A ceiling fan or standard room fan can help keep you cool also, in the summer months. A ceiling fan in each room can make a difference. An AC runs at 220 and a fan runs at 110. You can see the difference.
- Replace central air conditioning filters every month during the summer to keep air flowing freely through the ducts and reduce the strain on the blower motor. A new filter helps keep dust and mold from collecting, which will extend the life of your unit.
- Turn down the thermostat on your water heater: Check your water heater, It's probably set at 140 degrees F or the highest point you can see, so that you have a nice short wait for hot water. If you can adjust it to 120 or even 110 degrees, or move it down a notch, it will still get you that hot water, just a little longer wait, but save on energy cost. Also, put a time limit on showers or baths, to cut back on water consumption.
- Use your microwave. it consumes half the power of your range. It will also keep your kitchen cooler, cutting down from you lowering the AC thermostat to cool the house.
- Use your laptop. Do you have a laptop? most of us do. Well, It runs on batteries, which uses 80 percent less electricity than a desktop computer. Some laptops state up to 5 hours of up time.
- Set your computer to sleep or shut it down. Don't just set the monitor to sleep, but the hard drive too, or shut down your computer if you don’t plan on using it any time soon.
- Rain barrel. Do you have plants, or even a small garden. Have you thought the rain we get and if you could save some of that for your plants. Purchase a rain barrel. It is safe for the enviornment and can save you some money in water bills. Plants grow better with natural rain water also. There are many styles to select from. Do you have a gutter? place one that catches from the down drain pipe.
- Use a deluxe battery recharging station and stop using disposables. You can find a charging unit to keep a supply of AA,AAA,C, and D batteries on hand. This will also save our landfills from disposing of batteries.
- Install a ceiling fan. In the winter, run it a low speed in a clockwise direction to recirculate the warm air that rises to the ceiling. This will allow you to lower the thermostat a couple of degrees. There is a switch on the side of the motor, to switch from clockwise to counter clockwise.
- Plug in a Smart Strip. Don’t unplug items after every use, hook them up to a Smart Strip surge protector, which automatically kills power to electronics when you turn them off and returns it when you switch them back on. A Smart Strip is able to know when there is still a current going through the outlet. It will turn off the flow to the equipment when it is not in use.
- Cancel your phone line and use your cell phone, or purchase the magicJack, a USB device that you insert into your computer's USB port, instantly utilizing your broadband access that you're already paying for into free phone service.
- Plant a tree on the south, west, or east side of your house. Once mature, it'll shade your roof and cut your cooling costs by up to 30 percent. I planted several Crape Myrtle trees, in my front yard, due to the sun’s heat all day long in my living room and bed rooms. It took years, but finally the trees blocked so much heat from inside the house. Even when buy a house, pay close attention to where the sun is during the most hottest part of the day.
- Solar Lights. There are many types of solar outdoor lights, from Flood lights to now, Christmas lights. I've used the solar flood lights for areas where there is no electricity, and the cost for having an electrician run me power, was way too much. The solar flood light put off enough light, that I was pleased. Check out the solar Christmas lights.
We are all probably a little spoiled here and there. We are use to running our laptops on the power from the wall outlet. We leave lights on all the time. When is the last time you changed your filter on your HVAC unit? Bottom line, there is so much we can do to cut back a little here and a little there to save us a little money. It all adds up.