5 Ways to cut your expenses: #4 Utilities

Day 4! We’ve got one day left after today! Today focuses on reducing the cost of utilities. 

  
Lets face it, unless you live off grid, we need electricity and other utilities to live.  There are some ways to reduce your monthly bills and I’ve listed them below.

  • Turn off the lights when you leave the room.  How many times have you heard (as a child) or said (to your own kids) “Turn off the lights when you leave a room.”  Why? Because it’s a waste of electricity and you will be paying more each month if you leave all the lights on.  This also goes for radios, tvs, computers and so on.  If you leave a room, turn everything off.
  • Keep lights off and curtains open during the day.  The sun is natural light and it’s FREE! Take advantage of that!
  • Only run the washing machine when you have a full load.  
  • Use drying racks or a clothesline to dry your laundry if you have them.  It saves on the electric or gas bill by not running the dryer.
  • Keep your freezer full.  Freezers run more efficiently when they are full. Not so jam packed that the air can’t circulate, but full enough so that it’s not empty when you open it.  If you need to, place empty milk jugs that you e filled part way with water in the freezer to fill up some space.
  • Only run the dishwasher when you have a full load. Again, why waste the electricity and water on only a partial load. 
  • Reduce the temperature on the hot water heater.  A lower temperature means it does less work to keep that tank of water warm and ready.
  • Increase the temperature for the air conditioner setting, and lower the temperature for the heat setting.  It’s free to open the windows and let a breeze blow through the house or to put on a sweatshirt as an extra layer to warm up.  Take advantage of free!
  • Limit the time you are in the shower and/or turn off the water while you are soaping up. Get in and get wet, turn off the water, soap up, rinse off, done.  As much as we all love a nice hot shower to stand in, keep the temperature down and don’t waste time standing under the water.  It’s a waste of water and electricity/gas/propane. 
  • Invest in some thermal curtains for your windows.  In the summertime they will help to keep the colder air in and in the winter, they will keep the warm air in and block drafts.
  • Maintain door and window seals.  If you need to replace or repair them to help keep the house insulated.
  • If you use gas or propane, find out from the company you purchase it from if you can get a discount for purchasing it all at once for the year.  I know out here in Indiana, we can prepay for our propane in the summer for the following 12 months.  It’s a great way to prepay while propane prices are at their lowest.  We couldn’t do this last year because it was our first year using propane and we had no idea how much we would use.  We have been keeping track so we will take advantage of this this coming year. 
  • If you can afford to, invest in solar or wind power.  You can have it fed back into your electric meter and you may even be getting a monthly credit from the electric company instead of a monthly bill.
  • Call your phone, Internet, cable companies and see if they can offer any discounts.  This is a great thing to do if you have multiple companies to choose from in your area.  Sometimes you can get a better deal by switching to a new company.  If you have been with the same company for a while, calling and asking may get you some savings… especially if you say “I’m looking to lower my monthly bill and “such and such company” if offering this deal for new customers.  Are there any savings you are offering so I don’t have to switch to a new provider?”  You’d be surprised what they can do for you.  

I’m sure I am forgetting some, or that there are some I don’t even know about.  Share yours in a comment and I’ll add them to the list!

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