Things to think about:
- Keep the freezer full! The freezer doesn't have to work as hard to chill, if it is full. If you do not have enough food to fill it, add partially filled jugs of water. They freeze, which keeps the freezer cold, you will always have cooler chest ice available, and you will always have water available
- Keep the freezer and frig closed. How many times have we all opened the door, leaned there a bit, trying to figure out what we want? Leaving it open for too long, just requires more energy to keep things cool.
- Let things cool before placing in the frig or freezer. NEVER put hot foods in there. It has to work so much harder to stay cool.
- Check the seals on the frig. To test them, close the door on a piece of paper. If you can pull it out easily, then you need new seals. (You can do this yourself)
- Use your oven light when checking on foods in the oven. It enables things to cook more evenly, and then there is the obvious - you aren't letting out that precious cooking heat.
- Set your timer, and turn the oven off a couple minutes early. Leave it closed and the heat will finish baking your item. Unless I am baking cookies or cakes, I put the food (casseroles & such) in while it is pre-heating. All heat cooks!
- Re-use plastic bags - wash and re-use. (I do all except those containing meat). Better yet, DO AWAY with plastic! Keep containers on hand that can be used over and over. Use bees wax sheets to protect food, make re-usable bowl covers, etc.
- Quit using paper towels! Not only does this save money - but it helps the environment. Make rags from old clothing or use older dish cloths or towels. I use black face cloths for my kitchen. They don't show stains at all, and they are washable. I know the black ones are strictly for kitchen use - not the body!
Think of new ways to use what you have
- After turning off the oven, prop it open for a while. (Keep kids and pets away from it). You might as well use that heat, instead of wasting it. It can help your heating.
- Use a ceiling fan, winter and summer. In the summer, a fan keeps the air circulating (helping to cool). In the winter (reverse fan) it helps push warm air down into the room. Remember science class - warms air rises!!!
- Leave curtains or blinds open on sunny days (in winter) to help heat the room with solar energy. Close them at night to keep the warmth in.
- Don't just let the water run down the drain. When waiting for water to get hot - catch it to use for pets, plants, flushing, drinking, etc.
- Flush responsibly! Generally you don't need all the water stored in a average toilet tank to flush. Place a brick in the tank (wrap in plastic bag to keep it from flaking) or add a 2 liter bottle of water to the tank. That displaces some water, so it doesn't take as much to refill the tank or to flush.
- Try catching rain water in nicer weather. You can use on houseplants, garden plants, hair (softens), or even for flushing. It's FREE!
- Try switching light bulbs. LED lights or CFL (compact fluorescent lamps) can reduce energy consumption.
- Turn off lights when leaving rooms. I do not use lights except when it is dark. In the summer, I very seldom turn on a light, as it is light early and stays light late.
- Hang laundry outside if you can. If you must - just toss in the dryer for a few minutes to soften.
- Skip the dry cycle on your dish washer - better yet, wash dishes by hand.
We can all save money by being a bit more cautious of our household ways. Little things can make a difference. REMEMBER: pennies make dollars.
Are you going to save a fortune over the year? Probably not. BUT, you will save and you are also helping the environment.
Try thinking of new ways of doing things. Try thinking of new uses for normal stuff, that is being tossed away.
We need to be observant of the waste in our world and in our daily lives.
Be green and save green! $$$$$$$$$$$