10 easy ways to lower your electric bill

10 easy ways to lower your electric bill

I don't know what the weather is like where you live, but here in Austin, Texas, the heat and drought are the topic of 85% of conversations (that's science).

As a native Texan, I usually roll my eyes when people lament about the heat. One of my friends summed it up nicely: “I'm tired of hearing people talk about the weather. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Welcome to Earth.”

But this year is different. According to the Lower Colorado River Authority, a nonprofit public utility in Central Texas, the 10 months from October 2010 through July 2011 have been the driest for that period since 1895, when the state began keeping rainfall records. Without rain, temperatures hit record levels in June and July, which were the hottest months on record statewide. As of August 5, Austin hit 100+ degrees 52 times this summer.

Lowering Energy Use, the Lazy Way

As a result, the cost to cool our house is getting obscene. We could dial the temp up to 80 degrees, put a kiddie pool in the living room, and buy some $72 over the course of a year, install a programmable thermostat when ours works fine, or purchase a new washing machine with energy-efficient motors and pumps. If I needed new appliances, sure, I'd check out energy-efficient models, but ours are all sufficient.

I know I could be doing more to

  • Seal up the house. I'm pretty sure we have money leaking through cracks around the doors and windows. It's simple enough to buy caulk and weather-stripping to seal cracks — in fact, we already have caulk left over from other projects. According to Consumer Reports, sealing leaks can reduce energy costs by 15 to 30%
  • Use heat-generating appliances at night. I know this should be a no-brainer, but I like to bake, and because I work at home, I can bake whenever the mood strikes. But obviously a hot oven in the heat of the day forces the AC to work harder to keep the house at a comfortable temperature. The same goes for clothes dryers and dishwashers. Use these at night when outside temps are cooler.
  • Go retro with a crock pot. Speaking of ovens, there's nothing that heats up our house faster than a preheating oven and a few pans on the stove top. Slow cookers, on the other hand, use less energy and won't turn your kitchen into, well, an oven. I think the crock pot often gets a bad rap thanks to the old way of slow cooking: bland recipes created from canned and prepackaged ingredients. But the slow cooker is enjoying a quiet revival, and with it we're seeing better recipes, such as this pulled-pork sandwich and these triple chocolate brownies.
  • Air-dry clothing. I like this idea in theory. J.D.'s wife Kris credits always allergy season. But if you have the room to spare, you could dry clothing inside on hangers. We've enough space in our laundry room to hang quite a bit of clothing, so I'll start air-drying more.
  • Turn on fans. Fans make a room feel cooler, and the one in our living room quit working weeks ago. We need to fix it. Bluejay says it could save us $438 per year.
  • Unplug electronics. I know, I know. It should go without saying. I seem to forget about phone chargers and camera battery chargers, though. Because of this, they stay plugged in, sucking change from our bank account. By using power strips, I could shut off electricity to these devices all at once. Consumer Reports also found that you can save $25 to $75 each year just by putting your computer on standby.
  • Don't cool an empty house. If you have a programmable thermostat, program it! We don't have one, which means I have to make it a habit to raise the thermostat when I do leave the house. Close off rooms you aren't occupying, as well.
  • Replace air filters monthly. We're pretty good at replacing our filter, but we could be more diligent. Dirty filters restrict airflow, causing the AC system to run longer and use more energy. I've added a recurring task to my calendar to make sure the air filter gets replaced each month.

All of these tasks should add up to noticeable savings and don't require much time or money. (Fingers crossed that ceiling fan will be an easy fix!) Once I've taken these steps, maybe I'll be ready for more. For now, it's much too hot to think about new appliances, insulation, and replacing windows. Besides, I've got triple chocolate brownies to bake.

What are some other easy ways to take a bite out of your electricity use? Share them in the comments!

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Kevin
Kevin
9 years ago

Light Bulbs: Yes, CFLs are wonderful, but do the math before blindly installing them everywhere. Why replace a $0.60 incandescent with a $4 CFL in a spare bedroom you hardly use? That $0.60 will probably last a lifetime (since it’s rarely used).

Air Filters: Replace them monthly? Are you kidding? I don’t know where you live, but around here, our air filters cost $30 each. We replace them every 6 months. So your advice would increase our air filter cost by $25/month. Is my air filter really increasing my electric bill by $25/month? Doubtful.

Tom
Tom
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

$30 a piece? Yikes. Are you buying the super-duper high allergen blocking filters? I’ve heard from a friend in the HVAC business that cheap air filters are just as good as more expensive filters, and that the expensive filters sometimes are too restrictive for your system. They seem to work fine for me, butm y family also doesn’t have serious allergies.
I replace at the beginning of the season and every 2 months, but effectively it’s about 4 times a year because we don’t run the system year-round.

mom of five
mom of five
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Ours are pricey too. However, we do replace them once a season (4 times a year) not to save on energy bills but to optimize our air quality.

Jane
Jane
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Our filters for our new high efficiency system cost $30 each, but you only replace them every 6 months. This is likely the type of system Kevin has. You could certainly research whether cheaper ones work just as well, but I don’t think $60 a year is extreme for filters.

Beth
Beth
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

I confess I hate CFLs for some tasks like reading or working on the computer. I find they contribute to eye strain! Still, I use them where I can.

I also use LED or solar-powered LED for decorative lights, but they’re more like sun catchers 🙂

Frugal+Texas+Gal
Frugal+Texas+Gal
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

That seems high, not sure what kind of filters you are buying. Also not sure about our climate. Mine cost between ten and fifteen, and with an air conditioner running full time (one month of triple digit weather), mine is full with dust hanging down after three weeks. We buy a years worth at a time and change them monthly. Its an absolute must if (in my opinion) if you life in a place where a system is running costantly-and yes, the savings will more than equal out.

mark
mark
9 years ago

This is exactly correct. We buy a dozen at a time so we never have an excuse to not change it and then we change the filter every 480 hours of air-handler run time, which works out to roughly a month in the summer and longer in the winter. Our thermostat has a timer that keeps track of run-time.

Shara
Shara
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

We paid a bit more, but ours is a semi-permanent filter that can be cleaned and reused.

Lou Lamoureux
Lou Lamoureux
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

I just had a new HVAC system put in a couple months ago and I had been using one of the expensive cleanable/reusable filters. I thought I was saving money and being green, but my HVAC guy recommended the really cheap filters and frequent changes. Those other filters apparently make the system work harder, especially if it isn’t changed frequently and that damages the system. Our programmable thermostat has a 30 day filter reminder (which is 30 days of use, not 30 calendar days).

Cathy
Cathy
9 years ago
Reply to  Lou Lamoureux

Same here…we were buying the “good” kind due to my allergies and asthma, but our A/C guy who is also a personal friend, told us to get the cheapie kind and stack two and change more often. Efficiency is key here since we’re also in a hot climate (64 days and counting of triple digit temps so far).

Alyssa
Alyssa
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

$30 is a lot! Ours are $10 and we get the fancy 3M allergen blocker filters. I, too, live in Austin like April, and we have to change ours monthly. Way too many allergens down here. We could change it more frequently, really, but we try to make it last the whole month.

Thanks for the tips, April. It’s nice to see a relevant post related to the sweltering heat.

Claire
Claire
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

The filter you buy states what type of filter it is. Usually the $3-$5 cheapies are only 30 day filters; the $20-$30 (and up) ones are usually 90 days+. Make sure you put a reminder somewhere you can see it (or on Google calendar or whatever) to make sure you change them on time.

Sara
Sara
9 years ago
Reply to  Claire

Yes, definitely put it on your calendar when the next replacement should be made. I didn’t do that before and realized I was leaving my filter in for too long before changing it. With the reminder, I’m sure to get it done.

Richard
Richard
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

CFLs are actually less than $1 apiece. If you do a search at Amazon for ‘energy smart’ you can see the GE brand, an 8-pack for $7.49 or two 8-packs for $14.79, both with free shipping (I think – I have Amazon Prime, I’m not sure if this is eligible for free super saver). Awesome deal! According to my last bill, I was charged 11.8 cents per kWh of usage – thus, 8.47 kWh costs $1. These bulbs replace a 60-watt bulb and use 13 watts, so that’s a savings of 47 watts. Well, 8.47 kWh is equivalent to 47W… Read more »

jeffeb3
jeffeb3
9 years ago
Reply to  Richard

The bulbs at my LHS have color ratings, and you can get them redder (yellowish) or more blue. I prefer the standard fluorescent color though.

Wojo
Wojo
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

In Florida, most places will tell you to replace them once a month. In fact, most good rental communities will provide you with a new filter to pop in for free. But it’s true that some sizes run 10-20 bucks, and more for the high-HEPA varieties.

jennypenny
jennypenny
9 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

We have a child with serious breathing issues, and the $30 filters were recommended to us also. Try using the cheaper filters, and covering the inside of the vents with cheese cloth. It will do a better job of filtering the air, and cheese cloth is cheap. And you can switch it out more frequently in the rooms that concern you most (like the bedroom).

Peter
Peter
7 years ago
Reply to  Kevin

Hi, you may think CFL light bulbs are a good idea to save energy but read up about the mercury they contain. So the few dollars you save could go towards your funeral plan. LED lights use less power are brighter and do not contain deadly mercury. What you ask they are encased in glass these mercury lights. Well the glass they are made of is paper-thin with the constant On-Off over a period of months or years the glass gets what they call micro cracks. Water will not pass through these micro cracks but what they call Nano Particles… Read more »

Beth
Beth
9 years ago

All good tips! I use a toaster convection oven instead of my oven or cook on the stove stop (lots of stir fry!) when the weather gets hot.

Using drying racks this time of year can be tricky where I live due to the humidity, but I find my clothes last longer hanging them to dry. I do put them in the dryer for about five minutes to release the wrinkles before hanging up — no ironing! 🙂

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Beth

We put a laundry line on our front porch. it doesn’t add humidity to the house and on days I do sheets or towels, the extra shade makes the rooms near the porch significantly cooler.

Tom
Tom
9 years ago

I was under the impression that newer cell phone chargers aren’t an electricity drain (YMMV)? Anybody have discrete evidence for this?

jennypenny
jennypenny
9 years ago
Reply to  Tom

Get a car charger and charge your phone while driving instead of using electricity from your house.

Leah
Leah
9 years ago
Reply to  Tom

I used a kill-a-watt (energy meter) to check my energy usage. With both my cell phone chargers, they registered less than a penny of electricity use over a 24 hour period when my phone wasn’t plugged in. But I think the watts used depend on the charger. Check to see if your local library has a kill-a-watt you can check out — that’s how I got mine — and check your phone charger and other electronics. It’s a nice way to know exactly how much you’re spending to keep the TV/VCR/microwave etc plugged in. In my case, the microwave was… Read more »

Diane
Diane
9 years ago
Reply to  Leah

I started unplugging my microwave oven because the clock uses more energy than the oven if you use the oven for less than 7 mins a day. (I got that info from here http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/vampire.html)
I’m hoping that my power bill will be reduced just a little bit at least.
😀

My University Money
My University Money
9 years ago

Great tips. I live up in Canada, so for us the focus is more on keeping your bill down in the extreme cold in winter. Luckily I cut my own firewood so that helps a lot with the costs, but the idea of trying to keep more of the hot/cool air inside your house is exactly the same! Didn’t realize that cold water made THAT large of a difference!

Claire Brown
Claire Brown
9 years ago

What about roof insulation reducing the need for air conditioning? It works all year around and is easy to self-install in the loft.

Also, CFLs both use less energy and generate less heat, so you win on both counts.

mom of five
mom of five
9 years ago
Reply to  Claire Brown

With wrestling, ball playing boys in my house, I worry about the CFL’s because they contain mercury. It doesn’t happen often, but light bulbs do break from time to time.

EnergySimple.org
EnergySimple.org
5 years ago
Reply to  Claire Brown

Insulation is definitely an important factor in your electricity bill. I recently read an article about a couple who renovated their roof and found that their electric bill had been cut in half! So I would definitely recommend checking out your insulation if you don’t think it’s adequate.

Debbie
Debbie
9 years ago

One of the things that consumes a lot of power is a freezer running in an uncooled garage, storage room, etc. I used to beg my mom to disconnect hers (she lived alone and really didn’t need the extra freezer space) but she was a tough cookie when it came to changing her ways. Also, make sure your cooling system’s duct work is intact and not leaking cooled air into your attic. Consider turning off your electric water heater when you leave home for a week or more.

Claire
Claire
9 years ago
Reply to  Debbie

A lot of water heaters also have a “Vacation” setting. When I had a roommate in an apartment, we put our water heater on that setting and never ran out of hot water.

techsupported
techsupported
9 years ago
Reply to  Debbie

I was worried about that when I put my new freezer in my California garage, but the reality is, it’s increased my power usage about $1 a month. A new freezer with good seals and it is well packed with dog food. (Yes, you read that right.)

Jan
Jan
9 years ago

We put our crock pot outside in the garage. Why heat up the house? My sister has the countertop oven on a rolling cart and puts it outside in Tucson when she bakes.
Windows open for 20 minutes in the early am- you still need fresh air in a house.
Vacuum air filters monthly.
Cut out thick Styrofoam insulation for basement windows in the winter.
In a humid area- use a dehumidifier. Seems like a waste of money- but it actually cuts the amount of electricity we use. Is dry air easier to cool?

Angie
Angie
9 years ago
Reply to  Jan

@ #10 Jan: Yes, dry air is easier to cool. That’s one of the things the ac unit does, remove moisture from the air.

That being said, drying clothes indoors with the ac running MAY be counterproductive.

Jane
Jane
9 years ago
Reply to  Angie

I would say running a dehumidifier in a hot climate is counterproductive, unless you are running it in an non-airconditioned space like a basement. Dehumidifiers produce A LOT of heat that remains in your house. It makes much more sense to run your AC which is located outside your house (or conversely a window unit that also vents outside). They both dehumidify your space, only the AC does it much more efficiently. Dehumidifiers use a lot of energy. You would be better to run your AC. We use our dehumidifier in the basement the most in the spring and fall… Read more »

Becka
Becka
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Indeed. I thought I was being smart when I picked up a handmedown dehumidifier in my old place. I ran it for maybe 2-3 hours before I walked by and could feel the waves of heat pouring out of the room it was running in. That dehumidifier now lives in a friend’s soggy basement.

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Jan

We do this in the few hot weeks we get each summer – cooking outdoors saves the house heating up, whether you’re grilling or running a slow cooker or a toaster oven on the deck.

Or just don’t cook so much. This is a great time of year for fresh fruit, raw salads, etc.

Daria
Daria
9 years ago

I live in Austin and we have allergies. I dry our clothes overnight in the bathrooms on hangars that then are transferred straight to the closet in the mornings. Underwear, socks, washcloths, and dish towels are dried on a plastic drying rack that can be folded up and put out of the way when needed. For large items like sheets, blankets and towels, I drape them over the stair railing overnight to dry. I have not used a dryer in several years.

Tina
Tina
9 years ago
Reply to  Daria

Likewise. I’m another Austinite with allergies. I dry all my clothes and kitchen towels on a couple racks in the bedroom. No problems with allergies. And, in this dry weather with fans and AC always running, everything dries really fast, even jeans.

mom of five
mom of five
9 years ago

I just wanted to mention a few words about appliances. We recently replaced our dozen year old Kenmore dishwasher with an Energy Star WHirlpool Gold. The Kenmore was actually still working fine but the racks had rusted and replacing them would cost more than we paid for the whole dishwasher, we figured since the DW was older there was no point sinking $400 into it. Anyway, the $800 Whirlpool Gold we replaced it with was a peice of junk and its Energy Star rating was a joke. We had to basically wash the dishes before they went in and then… Read more »

Christine, Random Hangers Blog
Christine, Random Hangers Blog
9 years ago
Reply to  mom of five

We had trouble with food sticking to plates with a new dishwasher too. Turns out, we just needed to change dishwasher detergent. We were using liquid but switched to the hard little capsules and/or gels and that cleared the problem right up!

Shara
Shara
9 years ago
Reply to  mom of five

It sounds like many of the issues you are having are due to the new environmental regulations with regard to the detergent. They use fewer phosphates [what help remove the food]. You would be having the same issues with your old dishwasher had you repaired it.

Mom of five
Mom of five
9 years ago
Reply to  Shara

No, it wasn’t the detergent. We tried everything. Phosphate free. Phosphate full (which we had to buy on the internet). More detergent. Less detergent. Vinegar. Lemon juice. Eye of newt. Toe of frog. It wasn’t the detergent, it was the crappy (but highly rated) Energy Star Whirlpool Gold dishwasher.

sora
sora
9 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

I second the Whirlpool dishwasher being useless – we changed out our very old GE dw with a Whirlpool Gold – washes so bad, I keep having to handwash after I take the dishes out. Or we are eating leftover detergent film.

S. J.
S. J.
9 years ago
Reply to  Mom of five

Have you tried Lemme Shine?

You can buy it at Target or Walmart. It was recommended to us by the gentleman that serviced our dishwasher. We were having all sorts of problems with our brand new dishwasher leaving a film on glasses and the inside just looked dirty. This has improved it so much, I swear by it now!!!!

Mom of five
Mom of five
9 years ago
Reply to  Shara

This reply’s actually to Sora –

And the real kick in the teeth comes when you read the troubleshooting section in the manual and it tells you if your dishes aren’t coming out clean that you need to turn on the faucet and let the water run until it’s hot.

Jane
Jane
9 years ago

Yes, the big changes cost a lot upfront but they can pay off big in the long run. I don’t know if this is true for appliances but it certainly is for heating and cooling. We had a 20 yr old furnace and AC when we replaced it with a 95% efficient unit this past December. We paid $5,000 after the federal credit. So far we have already saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and that is even after we kept the house at a more comfortable temperature in both seasons. If we had stuck with our previous 65 degrees… Read more »

Sonja
Sonja
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Amen Jane! There was a great NPR interview with an energy conservationist in KS who talked about how much energy and money we could save in the summer if we all turned up the air a few notches — especially businesses. He advised we use as much energy in the U.S. just on A/C as the entire continent of Africa uses in a year for all energy needs. Shocking. We kept it at 78 degrees in the summer growing up. In our house with high ceilings and huge windows we’ve done 77 this summer (sometimes 75 at night when we… Read more »

Jaime B
Jaime B
9 years ago
Reply to  Sonja

LOL … I like to keep my house at 71 (most especially at night, even with a fan running) but on the hottest days this summer I bumped it up to 75. At 75, I am sweating the second I move to do anything and generally uncomfortable all day. While I’m gone at work, I let it go up to 75 or 76 but I don’t want it to stress trying to get back down when I come home so I don’t go above that. Pretty shocking huh? I should just move to anarctica and be done with it. 😉… Read more »

mark
mark
9 years ago
Reply to  Jaime B

From above: “While I’m gone at work, I let it go up to 75 or 76 but I don’t want it to stress trying to get back down when I come home so I don’t go above that.” This is a myth — your A/C is not stressed. It is a machine. You are throwing money away keeping your home cool while you are gone. Get a programmable thermostat and set it to turn on the A/C an hour before you get home and to leave it totally off during the day while you are gone unless you are leaving… Read more »

imelda
imelda
9 years ago
Reply to  Jane

Here in Japan, the recommended/standard indoor temperature is 82 degrees in summer. I find that perfectly comfortable, although to be fair, back in the States I’m That Person in the office who always turns up the thermostat.

Also, like in many (most?) countries, we don’t have clothes driers here, so we hang all laundry out to dry. Even though the humidity is astronomically high, the summer sun dries everything very quickly and thoroughly.

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  imelda

I think the cold cold air in offices makes it harder to adjust when you leave – working from home (with no AC, though when it was 100 degrees out I did find an air-conditioned place to work), I adjust to hot temperatures really fast and my summer nights are very tolerable. When I used to spend 8-9 hours a day in freezing cold offices, it was a lot harder to adjust to the real temperature.

JB
JB
8 years ago
Reply to  Jane

I had an energy management computer installed on my house in Arizona. Company who installed it is called Advanced Home Systems (www.cheaperutilitybill.com). Some friends told my wife and I about this and it has literally changed our life. Conventional thought process on lowering your utility bills is to use electricity. An energy management computer lets you use the same or more energy but at a lower cost. I know, sounds too good to be true or a gimmick. Former CEO of APS (largest electric co. in AZ) has it on his home. My summer bills used to be around $450… Read more »

Brian Carr
Brian Carr
9 years ago

In addition to the crock pot, my wife and I use our toaster oven quite frequently, which has helped to reduce our energy costs since it is much more efficient than our oven.

Amy
Amy
9 years ago

I’d like to make a plug for thermal/blackout curtains. My rental home lacks alot of the insulating features most houses have, and is built in such a way it’d be costly to implement I found a decent pair for $15 at Burlington Coat Factory and pinned them over a sliding door that lets lots of light into my house. (I’ll hang them properly…..eventually. )Granted they made the house darker, but as my house sits empty when I’m at work or out, that doesn’t bother me. And the difference they make to keeping the house cool is significant. Short story: Consider… Read more »

Jenna
Jenna
9 years ago
Reply to  Amy

Great minds think alike! (Although we don’t even have thermal curtins–our regular cotton ones seem to do the trick.)

Claire
Claire
9 years ago
Reply to  Amy

We ordered blackout blinds from a home improvement store and they seem to have helped. We needed them for a third “bedroom” (what a joke) that is 6 feet wide and maybe 10 feet long; this room currently houses 2 laptops and my heat-generating desktop computer. We tried to install a very small ceiling fan in that room, but quickly discovered that the ceiling supports were not designed to hold the weight of a fan. So, the blackout blinds (and keeping my computer off when not in use) seem to help. That room has gotten to 83 degrees in the… Read more »

Sara
Sara
9 years ago
Reply to  Claire

I read on this blog last year about making some makeshift curtains from emergency blankets and tension curtain rods. Because I live in a short-term rental, I didn’t want to shell out alot of money for blackout curtains, so I bought the tension curtain rods at a yard sale and some of the space blankets and set them up in the windows where the hottest sun comes in. Even on 90 degree plus days, I haven’t used my air conditioning once. I have used it one day when the outside air temp hit over 100, but even then I could… Read more »

jeffeb3
jeffeb3
9 years ago
Reply to  Claire

We took one of those kill-a-watt wattage meters around the house, and almost half our energy was consumed by the two desktop computers we left on all the time. Putting them in standby, or shutting them off completely will save more energy then unplugging all the other electronics in our house (except for major ones like the fridge). We left one on at the TV, but with most things streamed to our video games, we don’t need it, and the other was used as an Internet portal, and stored some common files. We turned it off, and I set up… Read more »

Jenna
Jenna
9 years ago

The biggest money-saver for us has been curtains–especially when it’s really sunny out. When we’re home, we just make sure to close them whenever the sun starts streaming in (mostly in the late afternoons in our West-facing windows). They also help in the winter to keep the cold out.

Becka
Becka
9 years ago

These are all good (if not novel) tips, but I was disappointed the article immediately dismisses setting the thermostat at 80ºF as unreasonable. If you’re especially active, it might be a bit warm, but a big part of why a/c makes it more comfortable is simply that it’s drying out the air – which it’s doing if you have it set at 80 or 68. We keep ours at 80 all summer long, and with a ceiling fan on, it’s perfectly comfortable. We only dip down to a luxurious 76 when we’re doing a lot of heavy duty work in… Read more »

Jaime B
Jaime B
9 years ago
Reply to  Becka

I think she dismissed it because she’s coming from her own perspective and she is not comfortable at 80 degrees. I am not either. To each their own.

Could I set it at 80 and save way more money? Yes. But not enough money to make it worth my while to sweat constantly all summer, especially since I’d be sweating before leaving for work.

Frankly, I’m envious of those people who are comfy at 80 degrees in the summer AND 62 degrees in the winter – those people save so much money. 🙂

Becka
Becka
9 years ago
Reply to  Jaime B

My point is, I feel like most people who say that haven’t actually spent time in a room that’s air conditioned to 80ºF. With so much moisture removed from the air, it’s not uncomfortable at all. It’s not the same as going outside on a humid 80 degree day. I sweat easily, but I have to be pretty active to break a sweat when the a/c’s on at 80.

Our house stays at 60ºF in the winter. I don’t love it, but it’s tolerable with a few extra layers.

Jane
Jane
9 years ago
Reply to  Jaime B

I can’t speak for anyone else, since I haven’t been in the body of anyone else. But I personally am more bothered by humidity than I am by heat. That means that when it is 100 degrees outside (and it has reached that many days this summer), I can be comfortable at 80 degrees in the house, because the AC is constantly running and therefore getting rid of the humidity. But, for instance, today was a high of 80 in my area. Because of this, I was sweating profusely even when the indoor temperature was 76 degrees, mainly because the… Read more »

Deborah+M
Deborah+M
9 years ago

In addition to the crock pot and toaster oven ideas, what about taking it outside with a BBQ? What else do we do? Draw our white curtains shut on the sunward side of the house. In the am, that’s the East side. In the pm, that’s the West. Makes a difference that’s been a surprise to us. Along similar lines, you could plant (or not cut down) large trees on the South and West sides of your home, for shade in summer. If winter-time heat gain is something you cherish as we do, then make ’em deciduous trees that’ll lose… Read more »

fetu
fetu
9 years ago
Reply to  Deborah+M

Something I notice in the US is that only hotels here seem to use insulation backed curtains while in some other countries they are used much more in the family home. You can buy material with it as well to make your own curtains. Then what about the old fashioned use of shutters….they really make a room feel a lot cooler.

bkwrm
bkwrm
9 years ago
Reply to  Deborah+M

Our house does not have central air. We use two window units in the summer and in the evenings, it still gets pretty warm in some parts of the house.

For our sunny office window, I made curtains from the gray/silvery fabric that is used to make covers for ironing boards. It has made the area much more comfortable.

Mary
Mary
9 years ago

One thing about drying clothes in the house – if the house is sealed enough to be energy efficient – you are releasing a lot of moisture into the house. When I lived in Europe, the clothes drying setup tended to be in the attic in older houses (beyond the insulation) or in a basement where casement windows could be opened to vent the moisture. Also, houses without clothes dryers usually have a “pressing closet,” with a bit of heat and moisture to ease any stiffness out of the line-dried clothes. Ours was built around the water heater – probably… Read more »

Annelise
Annelise
9 years ago
Reply to  Mary

Why on earth would anyone “loathe AC”? I really don’t get this anti-modern, it’s-too-good-to-be-true mentality that leads to this self-imposed discomfort. Put that AC on and crank it up high, I say. It’s one of man’s great achievements. And use some of these tips to save on electricity in other ways.

Let’s also not forget that the only reason electricity is so expensive is thanks to the global warming fantasy, and all the extra taxes and false scarcity it brings with it. I’m not party political, but when it affects me financially, I do take an interest in these issues.

imelda
imelda
9 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

While I won’t deny anyone their right to hate A/C, I DO want to second your ode!! The A/C is absolutely an important innovation that made, for example, the expansion of the Southwest possible, and allowed more people to settle down South.

My grandfather is convinced that adding A/C to his home (back in the 60s) extended his life by 5 years.

Here’s a fascinating article/tribute to the A/C: http://www.independentmail.com/news/2007/jun/24/air-conditioning-its-made-south-what-it/

Emily
Emily
9 years ago
Reply to  Annelise

You don’t have to be a Luddite to hate A/C. It can make the air too dry; it can make a godawful racket; and sitting in a cold draft is no fun. On the hottest days, yes, I appreciate having the house cooled and dehumidified, but when it’s actively blowing, my eyes get dry and red, my throat is scratchy, and I just want the din to stop. And that’s assuming it’s set at a decent temperature – and at work, it almost never is.

Justin
Justin
9 years ago

Good stuff, although I disagree re: not buying the programmable thermostat. I consider it insurance against (my) human nature to forget to change the setting on my old non-programmable one, especially when stumbling off to work while my 1st cup of coffee is still working its way into my system. Programmables take less than half an hour to install and a good one costs less than $70 on Amazon. FWIW, it should be noted that CFL prices aren’t quite as offputting as they used to be. The $3.20 per bulb April cites here is really high compared to my experience;… Read more »

Claire
Claire
9 years ago
Reply to  Justin

Programmable thermostats are great, but are useless if someone is home all day. The main point is to set the temperature at an energy-saving setting when noone is home; however, the author is home all day so I can see her point. Also, we installed a programmable thermostat. I do love it and all the settings, but it is currently useless to us since one of us is home all day long; there’s no reason to program it right now.

Eric
Eric
9 years ago
Reply to  Claire

At the very least, the programmable thermostat could be set to ease back the throttle at night when no one is awake. That’s what we do at our house, since my wife is home with the kids all day. The thermostat is set to kick up to 80 or so overnight in the summer, then drop back down to a more normal temperature shortly before everyone is up for the day. Gives 6-8 hours a day at the more energy-saving temperature, without much of a sacrifice in comfort. And in the winter, everyone has more than enough blankets to keep… Read more »

Steve
Steve
9 years ago

I grill extra on the weekends, then reheat in the microwave during the week. Saves time and less heat in the house, but probably a toss up on electricity savings. Also, that extra basement or garage freezer will use less electricity the fuller you keep it. But use bags of ice to fill it so you don’t lose a fortune in food if the power is out for an extended period. Plus you won’t run out of ice when friends drop over. When you return from errands on really hot days, park your car in the drive for a couple… Read more »

Pete
Pete
9 years ago

Do have a look at a new refrigerator ! A couple of years ago I “snubbed” an aquaintance. She was moving away and left her freezer to us. I took a look at it’s power consumption and got a new one. She was a bit miffed until I explained it. But lets do the math: Price of old model 0$, power consumption 1.3 KWh/day, price/KWh .21$ over 5 years: ~500$ Price of new model 240$, power consumption 0.4 KWh/day, price/KWh .21$ over 5 years: ~400$ Of course this varies with your current model, the new model and the price of… Read more »

Stephanie
Stephanie
9 years ago
Reply to  Pete

O agree on the refrigerator calculations, and my newer fridge keeps my veggies fresh, longer, with less power so I save on food and wastage as well as power consumption.

Frugal+Texas+Gal
Frugal+Texas+Gal
9 years ago

Welcome to my world, april. Dallas has had a month of triple digits, two days of lower than one hundred (and a couple hours of rain) and back up we go. I dont consider a programmable thermostat to be a luxury though. This would be my absolute first expenditure if I were you. my big expentiture in the next year will be a whole house fan. I believe that invest ment will more than pay for itself. Other than that I do much of what you do (except that I dont bake in the summer, evening or not). i also… Read more »

Holly
Holly
9 years ago

You forgot a big one – using solar power to your advantage. When it is hot, shut windows & close blinds & curtains to keep out the heat during the mid-day. Open windows & turn on fans as soon as it cools down. (You can get a whole house fan to pull air through the entire house.) When it is cold, shut windows & close curtains (especially insulated curtains) to keep the cold out. Regarding the laundry line, try drying in the basement in cooler months. The heating system dries out air, so you can safely line-dry in the basement… Read more »

Claire
Claire
9 years ago
Reply to  Holly

In one townhouse that I rented, I had an attic with permanent walk-up stairs, and the attic was pretty big. I hammered some nails into the cross-beams and got a clothesline from a hardware store. It was the PERFECT place to dry clothes in warmer months, especially since I didn’t have a washer or dryer anyway so this method saved me lots of quarters at the laundromat!

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago
Reply to  Holly

This only works if your summers are moderate. When it’s 105+ there is no time during the day when you want outside air coming in. I live in Phoenix and our low today is 85 and that’s at 4am. It’s 95 degrees by 8am.

maggie
maggie
9 years ago

I’m always a little skeptical of these “big savings” numbers I always hear.
“…you can turn off lights you aren’t using to save $274 a year”
$274??? My entire electric bill (no airconditioning) is $25 per month. Am I seriously supposed to believe that if I become diligent about turning unused lights off, my total electric bill will be just over $2 per month??

MJ
MJ
9 years ago

Many of us here in the Pacific Northwest, where the weather is often moderate all year round, don’t even have air conditioning. So tips like “Seal up the house” don’t work for us. If the weather is hot but not scorching, even those in other places may not need air conditioning. What works for that situation is to keep the windows closed during the daytime, then open them wide to get crossdrafts and the cooler air at night. My house is designed so that if we do that, it never gets above 80 degrees indoors even on the rare days… Read more »

Becka
Becka
9 years ago
Reply to  MJ

That really depends on a lot more factors than you’re acknowledging here, though. During the heat wave here in the midwest in July, when daily highs were 95-100, many nights it didn’t even get below 80, never mind the dew points in the mid 70s. With those kinds of conditions, a/c is kind of your only option. In places like Texas, shift pretty much everything up about 10º, and really, try to tell them to skip the a/c. Compare to our visit to Denver about a month ago, where high temps were similar, but nightly lows were a full 20… Read more »

Frugal+Texas+Gal
Frugal+Texas+Gal
9 years ago
Reply to  MJ

That assumes a lot of things, as another poster said. Here in dallas its never been lower than eighty at nite during our heat wave, and sometimes as high as nintely. There is no “opening up the house” So yes,. you certainly need air conditining in my part of the world. On the other hand, we live in the land of plentiful natural gas, so my heating bills are very minimal.

Des
Des
9 years ago

As MJ pointed out, his/her advice was specific to the Pacific Northwest (or similar climates). Certainly, it is not applicable to Texan readers! My experience is similar in the PNW- we get maybe a couple months of 80 degree weather, and usually one week of mid-upper nineties, that’s it. If I can get my family to deal with that one week a year, we make it through without even installing the window air conditioners for the year. 80 degrees is not be ideal, but it is doable. Its also nice, after sweating the whole afternoon, to enjoy a cold beer… Read more »

techsupported
techsupported
9 years ago
Reply to  MJ

As a Seattle native and now a NorCal resident, I’m amazed that more PNW folks don’t install whole house fans. Really, the climate is perfect for it. I put one in my house here in Sacramento, and it is fabulous. My dad saw it work, and went right back home to Tacoma and installed one.

Gretchen
Gretchen
9 years ago

I am a die-hard line clothes drier with one issue- lint and hair buildup.

We have three cats and you can really tell it. Other than just trying to shake off the hair, does anyone have any tips on this?

Angie
Angie
9 years ago
Reply to  Gretchen

@ #36 Gretchen: we have 2 dogs and I haven’t used my dryer for almost 5 years… and we have the same problem. Lint rollers are the only solution I have found :/

sarah
sarah
9 years ago
Reply to  Gretchen

If I notice this happening I’ll sometimes hang things to dry and then at the end when they’re barely damp, throw them in the dryer for 5 mins. That, or air dry them completely and then throw into the dryer with 1 or 2 wet towels for 5 minutes.

I don’t dry most of my clothes because it ruins them, but I’ll usually dry my socks & underwear because I don’t have space to hang them all so if I notice a linty shirt I’ll throw it in with the socks once it’s dry.

louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife
louisa @ TheReallyGoodLife
9 years ago
Reply to  sarah

Sarah, it sounds like your system works for you but if you do want to skip machine-drying of your socks, get a peg dryer thing (like this). In the UK, they’re no more than a couple of £GBP and they’re perfect for socks without taking up much space.

As for the lint/animal fluff issue, I used to use lint rollers but now have a clothes brush – bristles on one side and a staticky fabric on the back of the brush to catch loose fluff. A more reusable alternative than disposable lint roller papers.

Dee
Dee
9 years ago

I bought one of these in IKEA for under $10, and I love it!

Ron
Ron
9 years ago

Look, these numbers, while published by usually reputable sources, are fictional in the real world. Add them all up and we should all be getting rebates on our electricity bill each month. Here’s what I did: 1. add insulation to the attic (I live in Houston). Cost $300 after federal subsidy for a 2200 square foot house (I added R-30 for a total of R-50, really thick and fluffy in the attic!). 2. add ridge vent on the attic to increase air flow in the attic and lower the attic temperature. 3. add soffit vents (in my case I quadrupled… Read more »

Scott
Scott
9 years ago
Reply to  Ron

We live in N. Texas in a 2200 sf home. Average temperature from 6/11 to 7/11 was 90. I have kept my electric bill under 2000 kWh/month this summer by: 1. increasing attic insulation to R-33 (will probably bump to 50). 2. improve attic ventilation. I had to plug ridge vents because my ridge length of 16′ was not long enough for sole source of rooftop exhaust ventilation and I was getting “short-circuiting” between turtle vents and ridge vents. If your roof has a long ridge line, ridge vents are perfect. Also, if you have cathedral ceilings, chances are your… Read more »

RC
RC
9 years ago

We love our laundry drying rack. It’s large and solidly constructed. We have a few other flimsy laundry drying racks from other places and this one is so much better than anything else we’ve ever had:

http://www.amazon.com/Leifheit-Pegasus-Standing-Laundry-Clothes/dp/B002BFRW76/ref=sr_1_18?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1313420745&sr=1-18

We have our drying racks in a non-AC outdoor laundry/storage room but added a dehumidifier to the space to allow the clothes to dry better and protect our items in storage from mold during the steamy Florida summers. So the dehumidifier / drying rack combo could work great for a garage or something… Or you could just use this rack indoors.

Christine, Random Hangers Blog
Christine, Random Hangers Blog
9 years ago

I just read recently that bathroom and kitchen fans are big energy hogs. I didn’t realize how much until we went on vacation for a week and our cat sitter left the bathroom fan running THE ENTIRE TIME (I guess to reduce the littery smell?). Our electric bill shot up, even though our thermostat was left at 81 for the entire time we were gone.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago

yes, you were basically cooling off the earth’s atmosphere by feeding it refrigerated air (and no, grs friends, that’s not a cure for global warming). but ouch!

Jaime B
Jaime B
9 years ago

I read or heard somewhere that a good exhaust fan can empty an entire house worth of heated/cooled air in an hour. I don’t know how accurate that is, but since I’ve also heard that basement bathrooms should be vented for half an hour after a shower it always makes me wonder.

Shara
Shara
9 years ago

WRT sealing: We used a temperature gun last winter to determine where we were losing the most heat. Our windows and doors are mostly surprisingly well sealed, and the ones that aren’t have issues in the wall which silicone is not going to fix. However our WORST locations were simply protrusions in the ceiling, specifically around lighting and vents. Mike Holmes (for you DIY junkies) also frequently finds gaps in insulation and so forth. Some of these changes you can make yourself, others you’d want a pro, but there are ways to evaluate the situation so you can be sure… Read more »

Fran
Fran
9 years ago

About clothes drying:

I don’t know if this is a British thing, but I’m always really surprised to find out that line drying isn’t the norm for people (except in urban areas,of course!) We only bought a tumble dryer a few years ago and pretty much only use it in the winter or the day before we go on holiday.

krantcents
krantcents
9 years ago

I do all ten of those recommendations and it works! I live in southern California where temperatures can and does hit triple digits.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago

I live in the desert, where swamp coolers, window screens and ceiling fans are the cheapest cures for an overheated house. In this case, rain is the enemy– humidity turns swamps coolers into warm air blowers.

Sandy
Sandy
9 years ago

Great tips but I hate doing laundry with cold water. In the long run, it turns all the whites grey.

And no matter what detergent I use, some stains just don’t come out so easily (prompting me to wash these items twice, defeating the whole frugality-thing in the first place).

Claire
Claire
9 years ago
Reply to  Sandy

I have NEVER had that experience & have been using cold water for years. Maybe it’s the water quality of the area where you live? Also, wouldn’t bleach fix the whites?

Des
Des
9 years ago
Reply to  Sandy

Hot water will actually set some stains. I would pre-treat and use cold, then use hot only if it still needed it. It may use more water, but really how often are you washing out particularly difficult stains? YMMV, but for us it is hardly ever.

Beth
Beth
9 years ago
Reply to  Sandy

I often pre-treat with dish soap for food stains. The grease can be hard to deal with otherwise.

Anna
Anna
9 years ago

I buy my CFL lightblubs are nowhere near that price. More like $1.25 a pop (I buy them at Sam’s club in 8 packs for $10). I did recently replace an older model (1970s) fridge with a 2010 standalone fridge unit and a chest freezer. My power bills drops substantially in the first two months. In another two months, the appliances (which I bought at auction for less than $400, total) will pay for themselves. My housemates are gone for the summer (college students). I have a window cooler in my bedroom, set to energy save mode, to cool the… Read more »

Midwest Saver
Midwest Saver
9 years ago

I have a question on programable thermostats. We have one and have it set to be 6-10 degrees warmer when we are gone during the work days than when we are there. At what point do you lose your savings from not running the AC as much while you are out versus running it like crazy to resume the cooler temp when you are there? It seems like the AC works extra hard to get it cooled off- do we have the temp set too high while we are gone(maybe should only have 4-5 degrees warmer while we are at… Read more »

Karen M
Karen M
9 years ago

To lower my electric bills I’ve done the following:
-I use a pressure cooker to reduce the amount of time spent cooking using my stove.
-I’ll use my crock-pot on the porch to keep the house even cooler. I just make sure the crock-pot and power cord are in a secure, safe place.
-I made full-length curtains lined with “black-out” fabric liner for the windows that get the most sun. It keeps the house a lot cooler.

Carrie Smith
Carrie Smith
9 years ago

Being from Texas, I completely understand the need to find ways to stay cool while saving money and energy. The Texas weather has been especially brutal this summer, and I like your friends quote , “Welcome to Earth”. I agree like you, that I prefer not to keep sweating endlessly just to save a buck or two on the electricity bill. I learned your tip #2 the hard way, when I made my house 95 degrees inside by using the oven to slow cook lasagna for several hours. Definitely best to use heat generating appliances when the sun goes down.… Read more »

Jenne
Jenne
9 years ago

We save money — we’re in the mid-Atlantic– by only airconditioning one or two rooms and using fans in the rest. A side effect is that when you’ve spent most of your time outside air conditioning, you can tolerate higher AC-less temps (assuming you’re reasonably healthy). The more AC you give yourself, the more you need. That also encourages us to use outdoor line drying and run heat-producing appliances at night. 🙂 P.S. one thing we do with line drying might work to reduce regular allergen accumulation and some lint buildup: sometimes we’ll line dry heavy clothes, such as jeans… Read more »

Beth
Beth
9 years ago
Reply to  Jenne

@ Jenne — sounds like a good tip, but be careful 🙁 Clothes with elastic or stretch in them (like jeans) get the most harm in the last few minutes of drying because of the heat (there’s less moisture to work on). The heat will break down the elastic in the fibers.

Rachael
Rachael
9 years ago

A few other people mentioned that 80 degrees is not an unreasonable thermostat setting. We keep ours set at 80 during the day, and as long as we have a few fans to circulate the air and we wear shorts, it’s perfectly fine. What I don’t like is going to someone’s house where they keep it so cool that you can’t even wear summer clothing like t-shirts and shorts without freezing. At night, we turn it down to 74. That’s about as warm as we can keep it and still sleep comfortably. We also turn it to 76 or 77… Read more »

fetu
fetu
9 years ago

We are told here in Hawaii that one of the biggest power wasters here is an outside/garage fridge. They tend to be the old one so are bigger users of power plus they may be in the sun or in a hot garage…both ways needing a lot more energy to keep them cold. Another problem is outdoor a/c units that are sitting in the sun….they need to be in the shade so the air they are sucking in is cooler already. We paid a few hundred dollars for a roll of insolated foil that we covered the attic ceiling with.… Read more »

SB @ One Cent At A Time
SB @ One Cent At A Time
9 years ago

We created an unique way of reducing energy cost at our home. We turn off main switch every day for one hour in the evenning. At that tiome we go out for a walk outside. This one change alone reduced my bills by $20 per month.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago

$20 x 1 hour x 24 hours for a day = $480 for your monthly electric bill? how’s life in the chateau? i live in an apartment and get a $40 bill in the summer with 2-3 computers running at all waking times and 24-hour evaporative cooler & ceiling fans, plus entry lights that stay on 24 hours, fridge, etc. shutting everything down for an hour would save me maybe $2 a month?? in the winter i pay about $25 so even less. i get your point about going for an evening walk, but are you running a clandestine factory… Read more »

SB @ One Cent At A Time
SB @ One Cent At A Time
9 years ago
Reply to  El Nerdo

El, its $20 per month!! I get bills of $60 per month even after this cost save. My factory (err home) is in South Florida, its gets hot like oven here, so cant leave without AC.

El Nerdo
El Nerdo
9 years ago

Right, 1 hour a day is (roughly) 1/24th of your daily consumption. So extrapolating the $20 savings, that would add up to $480 a month, -20 for the hour, $460 net. Of course consumption varies with the time of day, so I was just looking at a rough figure to get started. Now with the new figures: if you get a bill of $60, are you saying that you’re saving 25% of your electric bill (from $80 to $60) by just turning off the main switch one hour a day?? I’m not questioning your integrity or your energy consumption, it’s… Read more »

Ian
Ian
9 years ago

For someone running AC likely 24 hours a day in Texas, most of these sound like a waste of time.

Your A/C probably costs over $100 a month to run right? Maybe $200?

A $50 programmable thermostat would likely pay for itself in under a year.

More attic insulation and a good attic fan would also likely go a long way.

But basically, you have to know where you’re spending the money first before looking for places to save.

Energy Guy
Energy Guy
9 years ago

RE tip #1 sealing up the house… This is a great tip but for those with natural gas or propane appliances, water heaters, etc, please INSTALL A LOW LEVEL CO DETECTOR! Sorry for the shouting but this really is a big deal. Sealing up the home is a very cost effective way to lower your heating and cooling costs. It can also cause your furnace, water heater, fireplace, to backdraft more easily. Getting a real low level co detector (10-15 ppm) is cheap insurance. PS: don’t forget to check your batteries regularly. Saved my life 😉 If you are really… Read more »

Ackislander
Ackislander
9 years ago

We lived in Jackson, Mississippi, hot and humid, without air conditioning in the 70’s, and I remember Florida in the 1950’s when no one had air conditioning. The secret was to keep the heat out. Keep blinds and curtains closed from early morning to dusk so the sun never gets in. Close windows when the temperature begins to rise in the morning and open them in the evening. Use fans to circulate air. Attic fans are great, but box fans also work well, much better than swivel fans. Put the box fan in the window, blowing out to exhaust hot… Read more »

Jason
Jason
9 years ago

I agree with the other posters who suggest grilling and/or using the barbeque.

You could also develop a repertoire of no-cook meals, too.

Diane
Diane
9 years ago

My husband has three chargers plugged into a power board which he often leaves switched on even when the phones are not connected to the chargers. One day I decided to do a little research on the energy usage and found conflicting information. Energy companies say switch them off to save power. People who have tested it with a meter have found that they (and TVs on standby) use very little power and thus make very little difference to your power bill and the only significance would be global if a million people switched off. I’ve read that it takes… Read more »

Luke
Luke
9 years ago
Reply to  Diane

Diane Granted, the effect of items that draw a small current when they’re left plugged in between uses might be a small effect on your wallet, but it’s not simply about cost. You might be willing to pay the small extra cost that means you don’t need to bother remembering to unplug the devices/turn the switch on the extension strip, but that power has to come from somewhere and that puts more carbon into the atmosphere. Also, while it might take millions of people making small changes to reduce global emissions – who would you rather be? One of the… Read more »

Diane
Diane
9 years ago
Reply to  Luke

I agree. I like to be the one in a million for the global effect but the point of this post was to save money on your electricity bill and switching off your chargers will not make a noticeable difference.

Pat
Pat
9 years ago

I turn off my heat/air when I leave the house (as long as it isn’t below freezing) and turn it back on when I get home. I usually have the air on 72 and use the ceiling fans when it is over 90 and humid outside. My house is usually 10 degrees cooler due to all the trees (I have several 100+ year old trees outside and about 100 in the backyard) around the house. All my neighbors taught me since they have done this for years even when bills weren’t as high as now. Don’t forget to reduce, reuse… Read more »

Rosa
Rosa
9 years ago

Does anybody live in a place where the utility company gives a discount if you’re willing to have your power cut off at midday when power demand is highest? My mom had this when I was a kid, it switched off the power for a few hours, a few times a summer, but I don’t remember it being a big deal – if it was summer and we were home, we just went to the pool for the afternoon. A few times it cut off the washer/dryer and they had to be restarted in the evening. And the discount was… Read more »

Dan
Dan
9 years ago

Sounds like your friend has read Kurt Vonnegut! He says it best:

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies – God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”
– Mr. Rosewater from *God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater*

Sue
Sue
9 years ago

For clothes drying indoors, we have an extra tension rod tucked in a corner of our bathroom. I hang all our shirts and pants on hangers, and give them a brisk shake before hanging them over the bathtub on the tension rod. Saves space, and means that when they’re dry, they simply go directly into the closet.

Bryan at Pinch that Penny!
Bryan at Pinch that Penny!
9 years ago

That is interesting to know about Crock Pots. I suppose I would have realized that they used less electricity if I would have thought about it. I’ve got a couple of delicious recipes that use the crock pot, and if using it helps me save extra money on electricity, count me in!

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