Friday, February 11, 2011

Frugal Friday: Saving energy and money in every room

In my quest to save money in 2011, I thought I’d turn my focus on some ways to save energy. I thought I’d organize the tips according to room, although many of these energy saving tips can of course be used in more than one room.
  • Consider using LED energy saving nightlights to avoid turning on room lights when moving around in the night.
  • Use ceiling fans, blankets and warm night clothes to keep the thermostat lower while sleeping, thus saving heating fuel.
  • Switch any lightbulbs to CFLs.
  • Unplug cell phone chargers when not in use.
  • Keep any TVs and such on a power strip that can be shut off when not in use to prevent energy vampires.
  • Take shorter showers to save on water heating energy.
  • Reduce or eliminate blow drying.
  • Switch from electric to manual toothbrushes and razors, or at least unplug them when they are done charging (most only need to charge every few days).
  • Keep the refrigerator closed as much as possible. Try to plan to get everything you need for dinner out at once, and organize the fridge so you can find things quickly.
  • Check fridge and freezer temperatures. You might be able to set them a bit higher and still maintain safe conditions.
  • Use smaller appliances when possible. Microwaves and toaster ovens use much less energy than stoves and ovens.
  • Use appropriately sized pans and burners. Don’t waste energy and money boiling more water or heat more surface than you need.
  • Bake more than one thing at a time, or back to back if the temperatures are slightly different. The oven uses most of its energy preheating.
  • Don’t preheat the oven to roast or heat something, only if you are doing fussy baking.
  • Run only full loads in your dishwasher.
  • Set the dishwasher to air dry, not heat dry.
Living room
  • Turn off the TV when it is not actively being watched (and in our house, actively watch it less).
  • Turn off computers from the power strips when not being used, and unplug laptop chargers when not charging.
  • Use appropriate window treatments to keep rooms light in the day and dark at night, and warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Laundry room
  • Run only full loads of laundry.
  • Wash everything in cold water, unless there’s an allergy issue forcing you to use hot for sheets and towels.
  • Experiment with dryer times to hit the minimum that does the job.
  • Sort clothes by weight so dryer times are similar for everything in a load.
  • Hang at least a few of your heavier things to dry. You can throw them in the dryer briefly to soften them.
Do you have any great tips to add? For more great frugal advice, check out Frugal Friday at Life as Mom.


Sofia Britts said...

Using the computer less is an effective way. Do all the tasks you need to do before you turn it off or use the "sleep mode" feature, allowing it to use less power during periods of inactivity. I apply for payday loan (Utah area) every three months to buy supplies ahead of time. This way, I don't have to worry about the groceries every month. Buy items in package instead of singles - like cereals, canned food, and the likes.

story girl said...

Sofia - great tip about the computer, I should definitely use mine less, lol

Buying in bulk is also great but stay away from payday loans, which are AWFUL and will not save you money in the long run!

Victor Wetherbee said...

Agreed, do not put your appliances on standby when you're not using them, since they are most likely use up energy when you least expected it, which is why unplugging them is an ideal choice. With that in mind, also check your wiring every now and then for exposed wires, to decrease the chances of accidents in the house.

Roselyn Withem said...

I used to wash my clothes every other day because I don't want the laundry to pile up. Now I realized that it doesn't help in saving energy and money on utility bills. Hmm, I'll try do my laundry during the weekends, since that is the perfect time to attend to personal matters.