Keeping the lights on can be expensive. Luckily, there are ways to lower this essential line item in your monthly budget. Check out 9 ways to save money on your electric bill today!
1. Off peak hours
You don’t always need lights on! This seems like common sense, but we get into a habit of always turning on the light when we walk into a room. If it’s during the middle of the day, chances are you don’t need a light on. This morning when I was taking a shower I went to turn on the light out of habit. I realized that it was plenty bright because we have a large frosted window in the bathroom. Any little bit of electricity you can save will add up big!
2. Save on Laundry
First, make sure you only wash full loads of laundry and run the washer on cold water. The only exception to this is towels and sheets.
Second, add a dry towel to your dryer with your wet clothes. The towel will absorb the moisture and reduce drying time.
Third, ditch your dryer sheets for dryer balls. Dryer balls reduce drying time, are reusable and they don’t add harsh chemicals to your clothing. For each load of laundry I use a combination of plastic and wool dryer balls. You can even add a couple drops of essential oils to the wool balls to add scent to your laundry.
Fourth, try to hang dry clothes when you can. This will cut down on energy costs and make your clothes last longer.
3. Upgrade (If You Can)
You don’t need to go out and purchase each and every brand new appliance right now. As your current appliances ‘die out,’ replace them with the below upgrades to save money in the long term:
Invest in a programmable thermostat
There have been many times that I have wondered how much money I cost myself by leaving the AC on all day. A Nest or Ecobee thermostat is a game changer because it learns your household’s patterns so that you are as efficient as possible. You can even control your thermostat from your smartphone!
On average the Nest thermostat saved US customers 10-12% on their heating bills and 15% on their cooling bills. We’ve estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year, which means the Nest Thermostat pays for itself in under two years.
LED light bulbs
The standard 60W incandescent lightbulb can be replaced with a 9W LED bulb. By doing this you are saving 4-6 times the energy!
Energy Star appliances
There are appliances that comply with new environmental and energy standards. They also have the potential to save you a boatload of money. Make sure that whenever you need to replace your existing appliances, you purchase ‘Energy Star’ approved appliances. There is even a tax break for homeowners that purchase these efficient appliances.
4. Beware Phantom Power
Phantom power is the energy used by electronics or appliances when they are turned off but still plugged into the power outlet. So, to combat that, unplug unused electronics. This can lower electric bills up to 10%! You can:
Use a Power Strip
When not in use, unplug the whole power strip. Right now I’m using a desktop computer for work at home. I make sure to fully shut it down each night. If you have a laptop, that will draw much less power.
5. Change Your Filter
Improve efficiency of the machine and lower the running costs as well!
6. Adjust Water Heater Temperature
Change the water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter can be scalding and is just wasting power.
7. Check the Temp on your Refrigerator.
Keeping your fridge and freezer at the ideal temperature is a great way to save money. According to the FDA, to ensure that your refrigerator is doing its job, it’s important to keep its temperature at 40 °F or below; the freezer should be at 0 °F.
Keep your food from spoiling faster and your energy bill low by following the FDA guidelines.
8. Use Smaller appliances.
My two favorite appliances in our house are the air fryer and Instant Pot. Not only do they pull less electricity than the oven, but they also don’t heat up the house as much. Living in South Florida, it is important that we keep our house as cool as possible without having to blast the air conditioner 24/7/365.
9. Block Outside Air
Put outlet covers on all outlets on exterior walls, use weather striping and put up thick curtains to keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter!
Ways I save money:
Here at Freedom In A Budget, I am all about saving money! Here are some of the EASY ways that I save money:
• Fetch Rewards is a free grocery savings app that rewards you just for snapping pictures of your receipts. That’s really it. Free gift cards on groceries on thousands of products every day, no matter where you get your groceries. Just scan your receipts and get gift cards from places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Ulta, Applebees. Use code QHKBH to earn 2,000 points ($2)!
• Rakuten/Ebates: Rakuten is my to go way to earn Cash Back from over 2,500 stores like Macy’s, Amazon, Sephora, Walmart and much more. Join Rakuten today for free, and you’ll get a $10 Cash Bonus to get you started! Every three months, you’ll get a Big Fat Check in the mail or a PayPal payment just for shopping.
• CIT Bank offers high-yield savings accounts that provide a safe, secure way to grow your savings.
• M1 Finance is an easy to use brokerage platform that allows you to invest in Fractional Shares and auto reinvest!
• Honey: Stop wasting money- Honey finds you the Internet’s best discount codes.
• Budget Templates: Excel budget templates with pre-populated categories and formulas to keep you on track with hitting your financial goals.
Have you used any of these tactics to improve your efficiency, environmental footprint or lower your electric bill? Let me know!