There are many expenses we can avoid, but paying our bills monthly is not one of them. Month in and month out, we get those annoying things in the mail (or email). And to top it off, they have a due date.
Yep, that’s right. Every single bill we get has a due date, which means that, if you don’t pay on time, you could get a late fee. Or worse, your service gets cut off. One such bill is the electricity bill.
While we can’t get rid of our monthly electricity bill, we certainly can, at least, try to keep it as low as possible. In the spirit of saving our hard earned money, there are a few things you can do to lower your monthly consumption.
How to save money on your electricity bill
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Use LED energy efficient bulbs
This is probably one of the simplest ways to save on your electricity bill. It’s simple, and easy. Fair warning though: if you want to make a real impact, you must replace all the light bulbs in your home, which will mean a small investment. These bulbs are not necessarily cheap.
Oh, and beware of the cheap ones, if you find them. As much as I love Dollar Tree, this is one thing I do not buy there. Their LED bulbs tend to have a short life span and if you want to save money, having to replace them sooner rather than later will not help.
Windows are often the primary source of wind drafts in a home. They can also be a bit of a pain to take care of, especially for 2+ stories homes. However, there are a few things you could do with your windows to help you save on your electricity bill
Clean windows definitely make your home look nicer. But you know what else? A clean window is a window where the sun can shine thru. And if you are getting good sunlight streaming thru your windows, you won’t need to turn on your lights as often.
During the warmer months, make sure you open your windows at night, to let the cooler breeze come in. It might be enough to cool off the house, without turning on the AC. If at all possible, do this with every single window, every single night. Also, putting up box fans on the windows will make it even nicer and cooler inside the house. And box fans do not suck up as much electricity as an AC unit.
As good as a nice, cool breeze feels with open windows at night, closing them during the day is a must. I know the temptation is big to allow a bit of a breeze in. However, the nasty heat of a warm (or hot) summer day will feel more like steam. And once your home feels super warm, you will want to crank up the AC.
Instead, close your windows as soon as you wake up in the morning. That will help keep the night cold inside. We do this all the time, and even in the summer, our house feels at least 10 degrees cooler than the outside. Without AC!
4. Covered with plastic during the winter months
This might only help those whose heating is electric. During the winter months, cover your windows with clear plastic. It serves as insulation, which means your house will stay warmer, without cranking up the heater. And they even sell these handy kits to make it easier!
Unplug what not in use
This is a little tip I got many years ago from a friend’s husband, who is an electrician. And it makes sense. Think about it. You keep your refrigerator plugged in, and it constantly pulls electricity from the socket, right? Well, other things like your toaster, electric can opener, etc. do the same. Even if the appliance is not being used at the moment.
While an appliance is not in use, unplug it. That way you are not wasting electricity. Besides, if you happen to have a power outage, the unplugged appliances will be totally safe. Sounds like a win win to me.
Shut off power strips
Along the same lines as above, keeping your power strips off while not in use will help save you money on your electricity bill. Even better, if possible, keep all smaller appliances on a power strip, instead of plugging directly to the outlet. That will make the task much easier, since all you have to do is press a button.
Hang laundry to dry
Probably not very time-saving oriented, but hanging your laundry to dry will help you save money on your electricity bill. It’s no secret that the dryer is an electricity sucker. So, during the warmer/sunnier months, hang as much of your laundry to dry outside.
I didn’t even own a dryer until I moved to the U.S., so most of my life I just used the sun to dry clothes, which is free. And once you get into the habit, you will see it’s really not that difficult.
Sort laundry properly
It goes without saying that the washing machine can stay pretty busy when you have a family. Doing laundry the right way will ensure that you are not wasting electricity. Therefore, make sure you sort your laundry properly before you start your loads. Nothing is a bigger electricity waster than running the washer all over again for a couple forgotten items.
Take advantage of outside light
I know most of us like our privacy, and like to have curtains in all our windows. However, when we do that we are also leaving the best resource we have: sunlight.
Make it a habit of opening all of your curtains during the day. By letting the sunlight inside, you can then keep your lights off, saving you valuable money.
Turn fans in/out
If you prefer to keep your windows open during the day, then turning your fans in and out can be a life changer. Use this little trick to help all the warm air out of the house, by facing the fan out during the warmest part of the day. Likewise, turn the fan facing in at night, to take full advantage of the cooler temperature.
Although a little bit more expensive, these really cool window fans with reversible air flow blades are energy efficient, using up to 60% less energy.
If the kids are sleeping, and all is quiet in the house, having nightlights thru out could help you save money on your electricity bill. When all you need is a clear path to the bathroom, a well-positioned nightlight can totally do the trick.
This is also a great idea for kids who are afraid of sleeping in the dark. Using nightlights gives them enough light to feel safe, while keeping the room dark enough to help them sleep better.
Accountability, responsibility & cooperation
It goes without saying, but having all family members understand how important it is to save money on your electricity bill is a must. If everyone else in the family leaves lights on left and right, then all your efforts will be wasted.
It will help to have a talk about it and explain that, the more money you spend on bills, the less there will be for other things like groceries or fun.
When I got fed up by the lack of cooperation here, I made a jar, which I labeled Lumos (Yes, I am a Harry Potter nerd). Every time someone left a room and left the light on, I would charge them a quarter. Yep, I became the Electricity Police.
Not gonna lie. It took a while for them to automatically turn lights off when leaving a room. Around $65 worth of quarters is how long it took. But it worked. It became second nature to just turn lights off. Heck, even I had to pay up, when I fell sleep with my lamp on because I was reading. Instead of a me job, it became a family matter, just the way it should be.
Now, tell me, what do you do to save on your electricity bill? Did this give you new ideas? I’d love to hear from you so please, share in the comment section below!