7 Ways to lower my utility bills

The cost of food, water, electricity and gas have increased this year, but guess what didn’t…my husbands income.

As the manager of our home, one of my responsibilities is to make sure that I am spending my husband’s money wisely. I do this by making menu’s to prevent eating out by default and I cook from scratch in order to get to most out of our grocery dollars.

But what is a Homemaker to do when to prices of utilities increase? I’m glad you’ve asked. Below is a list of things that I have done to offset the rise in utility prices.

Unpluged all unecessary appliances

If you’ve read my “House Meme” than you already know that I have more than one telephone. So I unplugged two of the that we hardly ever use. I also unplugged our 2 stereos, the guest room lamp, cell phone and gameboy chargers, my all in one fax machine, dvd player, my bedroom television and computer when not in use. I do the same with my washer and dryer as well.

Add more insulation

Our back door has a gap between the floor and the bottom of the door. This gap allows for heat to escape as well as for cold air to seep in. So I took and old heavy blanket and made it into a roll and tucked it in front of the gap. I’m pretty sure I could by some cute little door roll or something cutebut I am a true frugalist that, uses what she has if at all possible. This door is rarely used and is not visible to guest so the solution didn’t have to be pretty.

Heat only the rooms that you use

We accomplishe this by closing doors and air vents in rooms that we very rarely use. For us that’s our entire downstairs. All of the vents and doors downstairs remain closed. If we are downstairs on family night we have down comforters already downstairs waitng. I love this because it forces use to really cozy up as a family. If it gets to chilly we light up our wood burning fireplace.

Use natural light

This is especially easy to do in the summer but can still be accomplshed in the winter months as well. Each morning I open all of the blinds on the southside of our home. This allows the sun to shine in and brighten up our kitchen and schoolroom. The heat from the sun also keeps the rooms on the southside of the house signifigantly warmer than on the northside which works out well for us.

Dress in layers

We dress in long pants, socks, a tee-sirt and a sweater each day when we get up. Mornings are the coldest part of our day. By the afternoon the sweaters are off because the sun is now warming the house.

Set the thermostat below my comfort level

We keep our thermostat set at the maximum of 74 degrees in the day and the minimum of 72 degrees at night. This is high for the average home but we are used to having it set at 79 to 80 degrees and even up to 85 degrees in the winter. We have also added an additional blanket to everyones beds as well.

Reduce water waste

Even though a hot shower feels so good in the winter, we don’t spend longer than ten minutes in the shower per person. When doing hygiene we don’t allow the water to run while brushing our teeth. As far as the dishes are concerned, I haven’t used the dishwasher in three weeks. We wash by hand with one side of the sink filled with hot water for washing and one side with cold for rinsing.

Are you feeling the weight of higher food, utility and gas prices? What are you doing to reduce your cost? Please leave a comment?


  1. Pam says

    Well, for us right now, we are trying to pay back debt from being with out a job for 20 months. Where we live in Tennessee, it has been unusually warm so we have completely turned off our air/heating system. It literally has not been on for a whole month. We did have a very cold snap for about a week and a half but I was determined not to turn it on. It was very cold in the mornings but by the time the shower warmed up in the bathroom it was bearable. My husband, two older sons just worn jogging pants, socks and extra blankets for bedtime. I try not to use lamps or lighting in every room. I tell my children when not in use don’t abuse!! Trust me, they are learning. If I am not using my computer it is off. Try to use dishwasher only once per day or wash by hand. I want to get a clothes drying rack (several in fact) to dry my clothes instead of drying them in the dryer. We only are eating out once a week and then that is cheap, sometimes not even that. My husband takes his lunch to work instead of eating out. Trying to buy groceries with coupons and when on sale. Fix only meals that can feed a family of four and freeze leftovers. I stock up on food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper/paper towels, etc. and store them in our garage so if our funds are low I am not running to the store every time I need something plus you are saving on gas as well. I have a jar (I call it Feed the Pig) I guess you have heard those commercials and if I break a $5, $10, or $20, I put a portion of that into that jar and I had saved $100 in a month time. It is good to have around the house if our children need something for school or gas, etc! I even start saving up for school supplies, school clothes etc., this way. There is so much more that I do, trust me, when you have been out of work for so long and then you are determined to pay back debt from that you learn how to be frugal. I have never been materialistic but now I am so thankful to God even more for what he provides for myself and my family. I try to make a game of it and I thank God every day because without him none of this would be possible!


  2. Mikala says

    I am new to your blog and enjoy your idea for budgeting! We are going down to one income this year so I can stay home with our three month old. I noticed your comment about the temperature in your house. We had our furnace checked out this year before turning it on and something the heater man said was that if we wanted to see a difference in our bill there needed to be a 5 degree difference. For example we leave our house at 68 during the day and 63 at night. There is now a five degree difference during the day so we will see a price drop verses only going from 68 to 65 at night. Just another idea to save some money!


  3. Country Girl At Heart says

    Hello Chayil.

    I really enjoyed your comment. I also wash stains out of clothing by hand.

    One of my goals for next year is to begin using only homemade cleaning products. I had begun cleaning with vinegar but was turned off by the smell. My son has really bad allergies and perfumes bother him. I currently use one 1 part water, 1 part vinegar and 2 capfuls of lysol lemon scent. He has been able to use this to clean with and it doesn’t bother him too much.

    I am so glad that you visited. I am equally glad that I have been an inspiration.


  4. Chayil says

    I have to say that I simply love your blog 🙂

    Reading through your blog I noticed that we do simular things to save money like making menus and freezing veggies.

    Some other things I do:

    Wash stains out of clothes by hand this way they can go in the washing machine for a 30 min coldwash and still come out clean. I only wash sheets, towels and rags (for dusting and wiping counters) in a long boiling wash

    I don’t use any commercial cleaning supplies I use vinegar, bakingsoda, lemon, and green soap to clean the house wich is better for our health the enviroment and my wallet 😉

    I pack my son and dh their lunch to have in school and at work. I also buy healthy juices for them to take along

    We don’t own a car, we do everything by bike or by public transport ( I have to add that I live in a small dutch village that is why we are able to do so)

    Well I can go on and on and on lol I started a site ( in dutch) 2 yrs ago for budgetting with children and still having a fun life.

    Take care, I will definately come back and visit for some more inspiration. I am doing my utmost to be a vituous woman in all I do, say and think.

    Have a blessed weekend!



  5. Country Girl At Heart says

    I also map out my trips as well to make sure that I am not retracing my steps.

    Also, I try to combine my errands with my husband or children’s errands. For instance I go to the library on Monday nights before I go and pick up my husband from basketball practice since it’s on the way.

    Thank you Brenda for your comment.


  6. Anonymous says

    Things are certainly tighter recently, aren’t they? I haven’t done anything drastic as far as the food bill is concerned. We share flushes for…how shall I say…”gently used” trips to the bathroom. I love my suds-saver washing machine, because not only does it save water, but HOT water at that. Water that just washed white undershirts is perfectly acceptable to use for underwear & socks! I’d like to see our electricity bill come down, but except for small wattage bulbs in lamps in unused rooms during the evening (for passing through safely), I’m not sure what else I should be doing. A wood stove takes care of our furnace not kicking in so frequently, so that saves propane. The one thing I try to be most diligent about is driving needlessly. I will not make random trips to town. when I do go to town, I usually have quite a list of errands to run, & write them down in such a way that they make sense, travel-wise…no retracing steps if I can help it. I think it’s important for us all to be taking stock, continually, of our budget & use of resources.

    thanks, Hadias-


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