I am challenging myself to lower my utilities
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  1. #1
    Registered User Missy's Avatar
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    Default I am challenging myself to lower my utilities

    yeesh, utilities just went up again.

    here's the current costs

    Water : 14.52
    Wastewater: 13.19
    Electricity: 48.60
    Gas: 42.29


    My goal is to cut Electricity and Gas by at least 5.00 each. Even if I don't reach that goal, I hope to lower it. I am leaving lights off, haven't turned on swamp cooler today, used the crock pot, and entertained myself by doing things outside. I have worked my tushie off to get these totals to where they are now. (pat on my own back) But I know I can do better. Any suggestions? I will post some of the things I do too.

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    Registered User KKCondrey's Avatar
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    Good luck Melissa. It's nice when bills go down. I'm glad we switched ISPs to ad it to our phone bill. It was over 20 and now its $4.95. It may only be a savings of $15 but it goes a long way.

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    Registered User ThriftyWife's Avatar
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    We have really cut costs by hanging out all laundry, it has taken some getting used to - especially at our house - we seem to have tons of laundry! So much better than using my electric dryer though, that was costing a small fortune. Another thing that I have done is switch out the most-used lightbulbs in each room for those compact low-energy ones. I still keep regular bulbs in reading lamps as we need brighter light for reading.

    I have done some small things too that I think add up, little things like unplugging the clock in the guest room when no one is staying in there. Every evening I cruise through the house and turn off unnecessary lights, just leaving on essential ones. Our electric bill is lower than it ever has been before - I am always looking for ways to cut it a bit more.
    Vicky

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    Heres a few things we did Melissa. Our gas, electricity and water all went up this year. Gas has again gone up and they've asked for another increase. Electricity has also asked for 3% increases in 2005 & 2006. What I do is look at how much I used each month to see if I've used less. For me, its a bit more accurate because then I can see what I need to do. I like that usually when you've used less, it means your amount is less. With these new raises coming into effect, I'm not sure the amount owing will be less on our next bills.

    So I do:

    For electricity:

    ~no lights on until dusk. I open all my blinds and let the sun in. When it gets extremely hot, I won't be able to do that, but up until now its been okay.
    ~we unplugged our freezer because its not energy efficient and what I had in it, I could put into the freezer in the fridge.
    ~my computer is now shut off when I'm not using it. I started that when the monitor was going wonkie. Its just become a habit now.
    ~no tv or radio is on unless someone is watching or listening to it.
    ~I'm using my crockpot as often as I can.
    ~we purchased an energy efficient kettle to heat our water in for dh's tea, rather than using our stove top.
    ~I don't have a dryer, haven't had one in years and years. I dry all clothes outside or if the weather is bad, I dry them inside. I have 2 clothes racks. When I started this, we cut our electric bill in half immediately. It is amazing how much a dryer costs.
    ~I changed the amount of time my laundry washes. It use to wash for 30 minutes. It doesn't need to wash that long. I now use the cycle that washes for 12 minutes. Saves water & electricity.

    For gas (heat & hot water):
    ~we lowered our temps. to 62 at night and used more blankets. When we got up in the morning, I would put our temps to 66, but as soon as it warmed up this spring, I'd lower the temps each day. Even now when its cool, the furnace is off. Our family has gotten use to the cooler temperatures in our home and I firmly believe we've been much healthier because of it.
    ~we insulated our home. We took all the plaster off, lathe and dh had 2x4's cut into 2x2's. He made our walls into 6 inch walls. We only have our m/bedroom left to do. We did all the work ourselves.
    ~we installed new windows and doors the year we moved in here. This one was costly but saved us huge amounts of $$.

    By installing new windows & doors, we cut our heat bill in half. The next year when we insulated, we cut our heat bill in half again!!!

    For water:
    ~I keep 2 containers of water in the fridge at all times. They are filled up after each meal. That way the kids aren't running water to get it cold for a drink.
    ~I save bath water or rain water to flush the toilet with. I'm not sure how much this has saved us yet, we only get our water bill every 3 months.
    ~I'm not washing my dishes and rinsing them in a dishpan, rather than running hot water the whole time I'm doing dishes. We don't have a dishwasher.
    ~I only wash large loads unless I have a small load. I'm very careful then to make sure I change the load button on my washing machine. I use to forget all the time and I'd have a full load of water, with a small load of clothes.
    ~we will not be watering our lawn this year. All rain water is being saved to use for our garden once its growing. Rain water is much better for your garden anyways. (We just need to make sure our rain barrels are covered well so we don't have mosquitoes breeding in the standing water.)

    Those are just a few. If I think of more I'll post them.

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