Week (1-3) My Saving Ways: Prepping/The Results Are Coming In

Our utilities bills are coming in and to our amazement, last month’s (May) and this month’s (JUNE) bills are no longer increasing but are steadily declining.

So may I have a Drum Roll Please!

Devildriver - Heavy T.O 2011

Devildriver – Heavy T.O 2011 (Photo credit: TonyFelgueiras)

Our Electricity Bill

MAY(s) electric bill was reduced by…………$40 dollars.

JUNE(s) electric bill was reduced by……….. $70 dollars.

Our Gas Bill

Our gas tank is still at the half way point….meaning we have succeeded in reducing our heating bill to less then half. That’s 50% savings!

Our Water Bill

MAY(s) water bill was reduced by…………..$10 dollars.

JUNE(s) water bill was reduced by…………$17 dollars.

So we have a total savings of $227 dollars thus far on our utilities! This is huge! I am overjoyed and my husband was shocked at the results. It is so encouraging and we feel good knowing that our new methods are working thus far!

You may also re-read the outline and read further (re-hash) about what we have been doing and what changes we made thus far that brought about these amazing results.

Outline (of what we are doing):

ON ELECTRICITY~~~

Week (3) C. On Lowering Our Cooling Bill (in which the thermostat was usually set between 68-70 degrees but instead we started controlling our air conditioner usage and unplugging the air conditioner when not in use)

Week (2) On Surge Protectors, Unplugging Everything Not In Use and Shutting Out Lights:

Week (1) On Swapping out regular light bulbs with CLF bulbs:

ON GAS~~~

Week (3) D. On Lowering Our Heating Bill (in which the thermostat was usually set at 68 degrees, instead we started controlling our heating furnace’s usage and unplugging the furnace when not in use)

Week (2) On Getting Good Insulation Installed And Covering Windows:

Week (1) On Using Crock Pots:

ON WATER~~~

Week (3) On Lowering Our Water Bills “Old Navy Showers”

Week (2) On Getting Good Insulation Installed And Covering Windows:

Week (1) Save gallons of water over time as you flush:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rehash on previous weeks

ON Electricity

Air conditioner, complete with piping, insulat...

Air conditioner, complete with piping, insulated with foamed rubber pipe covering (common refrigeration insulation, along with foamglass). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Week (3) C. On Lowering Our Cooling Bill

When it’s 80 and 90 degrees outside our electric bill sky rockets to $300 – $350 per month due to the frequent running of our air conditioner.

We decided to continue doing what we did during this past winter which is to no longer set the temperature on the thermostat to control how often the air conditioner comes on, for how long and when it shuts it’s self off but instead to control it ourselves at one hour intervals because then we run it less frequently and we also unplug it when not in use.

So we turn it on and let the house get comfortably cool then shut it off and most importantly unplug the air conditioner, letting ourselves be the judge as to how long and often we need it to be turned on again.

So far we have had to turn the air on for only 2 or 3 hours a day and then we unplug it and the house remains cool. We noticed that when the air conditioner remains plugged up even when it’s not running our bill is extremely high. In addition we make sure the doors and windows are closed to keep the heat out.

So far so good because last year we had installed insulation in the ceiling on the poor insulated side of the house but the walls aren’t properly insulated. So because of that we covered all the windows on that side with thick clear plastic sheeting then with light weight fleece blankets and then with insulated curtains to hide the blankets.

Now that we implemented those two things #1 insulating the ceiling and #2 covering the windows on that side of the house it stays 50% warmer there in the winter and cooler in the summer and the rest of the house stays 75-80% warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer than it had before. Which adds up to savings and not needing to keep the air on all of the time. So we are so glad about this. Hooray!

Also the other end of the house stays nicely shaded due to the angle of the house and all of the windows are tinted, so during summertime we can remove all of the curtains on that side and let shaded sunlight in and yet it stays cool.

Our next plan is to purchase a couple of dehumidifiers to dry the air which will aid in making it even cooler longer.

We also keep on our persons spray bottles filled with cold water to mist ourselves and neck ice packs as an extreme measure as well.

So just doing the few things above seems to be working well. But the ultimate test will come when the scorching heat still ahead of us comes.

English: Surge and noise protector. Most hV6.

English: Surge and noise protector. Most hV6. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Week (2) On Surge Protectors, Unplugging Everything Not In Use and Shutting Out Lights:

I read somewhere that even when appliances are turned off electricity is still being used if they are plugged up. One lady told me she goes around her home unplugging every single appliance, lamp and television that is not in use except for the refrigerator before she leaves for work each morning or before going away on business trips and she said that from the moment she started doing it she noticed a big difference in her electric bill, it was much lower. Well when she told me that immediately I wanted to try it.

So we took it one step further and purchased at least one surge protector per each bedroom and two for the living room and kitchen and so we only have to flip one or two switches in each room at bedtime and before leaving the house. Plus whenever we leave a room we turn off the lights anyway. Even while sitting in a room if we are watching television then we don’t need to have any lights on right. And if we wake up during the night to go to the rest room then we carry flash lights so as not to turn on any lights all night long.

I started to notice a ten to twenty five dollar difference in our electric bill right away. Ten and Twenty dollars does not seem like much to some people but I am cheap and would rather keep that little money in my pocket or put it in our emergency savings fund each month rather then giving it away to the electric company as before due to our own ignorance.

I find it amazing that by just doing this one particular thing we have saved between $120 and up to $300 dollars a year. So when it comes to saving any amount of money I am all for it.

My husband and I divide up what needs to be unplugged or shut off between the two of us each day. He is responsible for switching off the television surge protectors in the two back bedrooms and his man cave at bedtime and the kitchen toaster in the mornings. I am responsible for unplugging everything in my sitting room and the kitchen refrigerator before bedtime and he re plugs the refrigerator back up in the morning because I tend to forget oops. So we have a little routine here and it works for me! There is not anything plugged up to a socket that cannot be switched off and that includes the washing machine too when it’s not in use.

So the less we spend on our electric bills the better because the electric company is already rich anyway.

119.365 Phosphorescence

119.365 Phosphorescence (Photo credit: ReillyButler)

Week (1) On Swapping out regular light bulbs with CLF bulbs:

We switched out the majority of the regular light bulbs we were using and converted to Eco smart 14 watt daylight compact fluorescent (CLF) light bulbs (Equivalent to standard 60 watt bulbs) and I am feeling so satisfied that I am doing something that will help the environment and save me a few bucks over time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Save On Gas

preheat (365.348)

preheat (365.348) (Photo credit: splityarn)

Week (3) D. On Lowering Our Heating Bill

Our heating costs sky rocketed in the past and the house was always very cold so you had to keep the heat going 24/7.

So in order to lower our heating bills while not risking freezing ourselves to death, we stopped setting the temperature on the thermostat which was usually set around and between 68 degrees. Instead we control it ourselves and decide when it’s best to turn it on or shut it off at one hour intervals and because it’s being run less frequently and the furnace is unplugged when not in use our gas and electric bills are lower.

We let the house get comfortably warm and toasty then shut the furnace off and most importantly unplug it, letting ourselves be the judge as to how long and often we need it to be turned on.

So far we have had to turn the heat on for only 3 or 4 hours a day and the house remains warm for some time. Plus we take care that all the doors and all windows are sealed and closed to keep the heat in.

As I stated this past winter we had installed insulation to the ceiling in one poorly insulated area of the house but the walls are not properly insulated in that area so we covered all the windows with a thick clear plastic sheeting and then covered the plastic with light beige fleece blankets and then covered the blankets with insulated curtains.

Well this was the first winter that the house actually stayed warmer and stayed warmer longer saving us money on heating our heating and electric bills this go around. We only had to fill the gas tank up once the entire year. So it seems to be working well now.

Also at bedtime we use the energy saving electric heat blankets all night (my husband has one and I have one because I am the cold one and I turn mine up on high, he sweats winter and summer) and so stay nice and warm. We also wear woolen or cotton sleep caps because that’s where the heat leaves your body at the crown of your head. (my sleep caps are pastel colors cotton candy pink and baby blue, I love these colors and my husband’s hats are Grey but he looks so cute when he wears his, lol!) So once we are tucked in bed for the night the hats go on our heads and the heat stays turned off all night.

If by chance we wake up in the middle of the night to make a restroom run or to get a glass of water, we have very thick and warm robes to slip into and toasty warm fluffy slippers for our feet. Well my slippers are fluffy lol!

The R11 attic insulation

The R11 attic insulation (Photo credit: zieak)

Week (2) On Getting Good Insulation Installed And Covering Windows:

So we went ahead, bit the bullet and had extra insulation installed in the one side of the house that was poorly insulated. That one side kept the house freezing cold in winter and extremely hot during summer. I have to tell you that just putting in the insulation alone made a huge difference. So now when we heat up the house up it stays warm longer and in the summer stays cooler for many hours before we have to turn the air conditioner back on again for an hour or so. When we were told that we were basically throwing away our dollars because the heat and/or the cool air was going up and out of the house just as soon as it came in we knew we had to do something better.

In addition to the installed insulation, we covered some of our windows with plastic and covered all of the windows in the house with light white fleece blankets and then hid the blankets by covering them with insulated curtains and we used a double rod to do this. That one thing made a huge difference as well especially when this past winter has been the coldest winter we had yet.

It was so cold this winter that my neighbor was complaining a lot about how all of her flowers and plants died leaving her with only two out of the bunch in her yard. She says this type of thing has never ever happened before. So I know she’s been talking about building a green house for some time so I know she wished she had done it. Because it will be costly to replace all the flowers she lost.

Crock-Pot

Crock-Pot (Photo credit: What’s the rush)

Week (1) On Using Crock Pots:

Over the years I very rarely use the oven or top of the stove as much as I used to because I switched to using crock pots instead. Crocks are well known for their low energy use so they will not run up your electric bill as much. I like to think of or find easy one dish recipes for all three meals of the day. And what’s so great about it too is I can always make enough food to last for a few days which is good for me because the less I am in the kitchen the better. LOL!

Plus I love to make healthy nutritious homemade soups which are so much better than the ones in a can and everyone knows that crock pot food is water based instead of oily or salty. Also having a meal cooked at home is better for health and keeps the pockets full instead of spending too much on take out. So ingraining this change in our life has really helped us make ends meet.

Save On Water

Shower Head Water Drops 7-26-09 1

Shower Head Water Drops 7-26-09 1 (Photo credit: stevendepolo)

Week (3) E. On Lowering Our Water Bills “Old Navy Showers”

Just like most folks my husband and I love taking long showers every single day using delicious smelling soaps and shower gels. But a 20 minute or more daily shower can run up your water bill drastically and when it comes to paying it you wonder how you can do things differently so that your bill is much lower the next time around.

So one day we started talking about this thing and whether we could do something to lower our bill just a little bit and whether it is possible or not. Well that’s around the time I over heard someone saying something about taking an “Old Navy Shower” and so I was curious after that. So I asked my husband what is an Old Navy Shower? Because with him being a man I just knew he had to know and so he told me what it meant. So since I decided to write about this on my blog I went ahead to see what I could find online and this is what I found and read on it. Old Navy Shower: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navy_shower)

So we started taking them every other day and noticed our water bill was down by $10 dollars. So now we have turned this into a game and so we want to cut our water bill down by at least half of what we are paying now so we have started taking old navy showers 5-6 days a week.

So it hasn’t been a month since we started implementing the new plan so we will have to wait and see what our bill looks like on the next cycle and I will be the first one to jump up and down with joy at saving us a few more bucks. LOL!

Week (2) Save Gallons Of Water While Taking Showers:

I read somewhere that if all shower heads and faucets in your house is replaced with water efficient ones you can save gallons and gallons of water over time. So this is something we have not done as of yet because I am still researching. I want to get good quality ones for my money. I’m just not too sure which ones I should get and whether they will fit these faucets or not. I guess Super Walmart and Home depot will be the best places to start looking because if by chance I get the wrong sizes I guess we could always bring them back to get the right size or a refund.

So this is the next thing to get done as soon as possible…..times a wastin….LOL!

DIY low-flow toilet!

DIY low-flow toilet! (Photo credit: Clint Gardner)

Week (1) Save gallons of water over time as you flush:

I read on a blog that by putting a pint sized bottle (that is filled with water, sand or rocks) in the side of your toilet bowl tank helps to conserve on the gallons of water being flushed away and that the savings add up over time.

So we did just that and cannot wait to reap the benefits.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

About lovelyseasonscomeandgo.wordpress.com

I like to call my self a happy soul, a daydreamer and have a heart of a gypsy. Love to use my imagination. And trying out new things. Life can be so wonderful and enjoyable when I am being positive and releasing.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s