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?