Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thrift Talk

The other day I sat down to make a list of all the things we do that save money. I was hoping it would help me think of other ways, but then I thought to post them here and ask for your ideas to help me out.

The list grew too long for one post, so I am going to focus on one category at a time. Here is the first one.

Electricity:

1: Use cfl's: Also, central light fixtures often have many sockets. Use only 1 or 2.)

2: Dry clothes outdoors. Nothing smells better than fresh air dried clothing. I also hang out my cloth diapers until they are almost dry, then put them in the dryer for 10-15 min. to soften them up. Otherwise, they can get stiff as a board.

3: Bake and cook larger quantities. Four loaves of bread bake as long as two, a pound of dried beans cooks as long as a cup, you get the idea. I use the toaster oven for smaller items and reheating food, since it uses less electricity.

4: Bake bread rolls instead of loaves. If you don't have room to store four loaves, which I don't until my neighbor gets his stuff out of my freezer.....1 dozen sandwich rolls take 1/4 of the time to cook as loaves.

5: Lower temperature on water heater. This is also a safety issue to prevent scalding accidents.

6: Keep heat set low and air conditioner high. Don't be a wuss, put on a sweater if you're cold, wet your head and dress down if you're hot. I find the kids are far more oblivious to temperature extremes than I am, though they sure find a lot of other things to be picky about. :)

7: Make use of cooler nights and fans in front of open windows to cool the house, then close it up before it gets hot. Luke also put up white shutters on our bedroom windows, which is the hottest room in the house. These can be closed to block the summer sun.

8: Wash clothes with cold water. All except diapers, which I wash on a warm/cold cycle.

9: Cool leftovers completely before refrigerating. It keeps the refrigerator from having to work so hard. I also try hard to prevent people from standing in front of it with the door open while deciding what to get. The kids have been pretty good about it once I explained why it was important.

10: And here is one more way I am trying to implement. Cooking with wood! It's free for us. All I have to do is go out in the woods and gather it, then saw it up. Hard work, but fun! Last night I cooked one pot spaghetti for dinner and several days' worth of sourdough flatbread. Then we all enjoyed a blazing fire until after dark, when I began to hear a familiar call. The whippoorwill is back! Virginia took the picture below.
Can you help me think of more ways to save electricity?

2 comments:

Grace said...

Another way to save a little is to unplug everything when you aren't using it, like the toaster, kitchen aid, coffee pot, ect. Even if they are off they are still pulling some electricity if plugged in.

Melanie said...

Use more rags and cloth napkins instead of buying paper, paper and more paper. Now I do not have a good substitute for toilet paper...sorry.