Tuesday, July 28, 2009

saving some money

We could all stand to save a bit here & there, especially in today's economy, right?!

Obviously, our utilities are more here than they were when we lived in town (a small duplex). We knew this coming in. Yet it's still hard to actually SEE the numbers and feel the increase.

So today, when I sent my babies outside to get some exercise (okay, I bribed 'em with a popcicle, what?!?!), I stepped out on the back "deck" (ha, I'll show you a pic someday - it's not so much a "deck" as it is a "death-trap", but whatever..). Immediately, I felt this great breeze. Yes, it was a WARM breeze, but it was nice nonetheless.

I decided then and there that we could turn off the a/c and enjoy some of this warm breeze.

Actually, it's kinda nice. I feel much more like we are a "part" of the outside, of the country, with the windows open. I can hear the cars going by, the neighbor-lady mowing her lawn, the animals next door. And the breeze really *does* feel good!!

Of course, maybe I'm just trying to make the best of it. Maybe it's really MUCH NICER with the cool air of the a/c on.....but hey! At least I'm being positive, right?! And at least I'm trying to think of ways to save us a bit of money, even just a lil' bit here & there.

What other ways can I save on our utility bills in the middle of summer?? It's basically the electric bill that can get bad. Our water heater is electric, as well as our dryer (okay, I'm NOT hanging our clothes out to dry, sorry....I just can't add that to my day!). Any bright ideas I'm just forgetting?!?!

I'll check in later ~ right now I'm off to snap a few pics of some awesome storm clouds forming to our south (whew!) and get some more work done around the house before my hubby comes home. God bless~


DannielleSB said...

A few tips:
In Summer/early fall, turn a/c up a few degrees during the day. In winter, turn down the heat at night. Use extra blankets, blanket sleepers for the kiddies. get down comforters.. and you'll be toasty!
Run dishwasher, washer, dryer after 7 pm. (saves on energy)
Turn you hot water heater down 5-10 degrees as well.
Turn lights, electronics (toasters, hair dryers, COMPUTERS etc) things off when not in use.

Tina said...

How humid is Michigan? Swamp coolers are much cheaper to run than a/c...but only work in dry climates. I'm thinking that's probably NOT an option, but I thought I'd mention it. What DanielleSB said about the thermostat makes a huge difference. Do you have a wood stove? We heat our entire house with wood all winter, and never have the heater on. There's always the "don't run the dishwasher unless it's full" thing, but with your family, I'm thinking that doesn't happen often. Another option entirely is to save on another part of your budget so that the higher utilities are less of a cruncher. I so remember this though from when we moved here from our 760 sq.foot Old Town cottage. I about fainted with the first gas bill...Oh and by the way, glad you made it through the surgery still alive...was praying. Still miss you.

*Michigan Momma* said...

Ya, livin' by Lake Huron and all...it's pretty humid around here. We had never even *heard* of swamp coolers until we went to CO.

We have been thinking about a wood stove. It actually keeps your bedrooms warm in the winter?? We would have to close all our vents EXCEPT the boys rm (it's so far away, it would never get heated - it's also above the garage) and the girls room upstairs. But a wood stove *may* heat the rest....
Do you have one of those, um, I'm not sure what they're called - but they're sealed really well so no smoke gets into your home, giving you smoke damage on your walls over the years??? Or do you simply paint more often??

I'm curious...will keep perusing our options....

*Michigan Momma* said...

if nothing else, a wood stove would heat *some* of the house, and we could get away with possibly turning on the heat LESS OFTEN. And right now, we have lots of wood in our own 5-acre backyard, but it would take a bit of work to cut & stack it....

Tina, where do you guys get your wood from??

Virginia (Jenny) said...

It's been 114 degrees here. I'm not going outside! haha.

Anneatheart said...

Well, the only things I can think of is not run appliances a lot, turning off lights etc. when not in use, using a clothesline (which, isn't that big of a deal really, and it's nice to get out a few times a day and the clothes smell so good) however, with 5 children trailing you, that might be hard. But have such a beautiful place to have a clothesline!
Um, yes turn the water heater down a bit, wash some things in cold water. I know some people think that's awful, but like my husband's work clothes hardly get dirty(office slacks and dress shirts) and are dark, so cold water works fine, plus if they get line dried the sun kills any yuckies :) Maybe you could concentrate cooking on one or two days and either freeze or refrigerate the food for later. (like whatever baking needs to be done, do it all in one day)

Tina said...

We get our wood from the tree limb recycling place in town, and from Jamin. Neal gets most of his exercise chopping, stacking, collecting, moving, etc. the wood. The boys help a lot. It does heat our whole house because Neal hacked into the heating ducts and installed fans that pull the warm air from the basement through the already existing vents to the rooms. Except we don't open the duct in our bedroom because I like to sleep cold. The boys' rooms are usually about 60-62 at night. They like it, use flannel pj's and lots of blankies. The basement is about 75-80. I wear shorts down there. What we bought is a phase 3 wood burning insert to the regular fireplace. (The phase 3 means we can burn on even burn-free days because of the extra combustion cycle that leaves absolutely NO smoke, inside or out.) You can ONLY tell we have a fire going when we burn russian olive. Rest of the time, no one knows. We have had a few times of backdraft problems when the chimney wasn't sucking the fire UP, but blowing it DOWN and that wasn't much fun. At all. Had to send asthma boy to the neighbors until it cleared. But that's only on STARTING a fire in a very cold stove. We've learned how to get it drafting BEFORE the fire now. Anyway, probably more than you wanted to know, but there you go.