Kristie and I have been laser-focused on saving money the past few months (we have a big trip to save up for!). We've been taking on more side work, like babysitting and event coordinating, and utilizing a lot of the tips from this list. As it's getting colder, the ways in which we conserve energey (and therefore big bucks) are changing. I'm excited to partner with PG&E today to share some of our favorite ways to save energy and money, especially in wintertime.
I'm constantly unplugging appliances in our house that aren't in use, from microwaves to the toaster oven to (once, accidentally) the slow cooker while it was still cooking. Oops! It drives Kristie crazy, but it's cut about $30 off our monthy bill!
2. Keep the heat low
This is a tough one. Kristie's Southern upbringing means she likes it warm, but I grew up in a house where turning up the thermostat even one degree was a yelling offense. We compromise by keeping the temperature around 65 during the day or when we're home and layering with sweatshirts, vests, and real wool blankets (and lots of Samson cuddles of course) when it's chilly. At night, we turn the temp down even lower since we'll be asleep anyway under piles of comforters. (A new study even says people who sleep in cold rooms are healthier!)
3. Use the slow cooker
There are lots of reasons to love cooking with a slow cooker -- the recipes are almost always amazing, and you can spend a whole day "cooking" without actually doing anything. It's so nice to have a hot, hearty meal ready to serve when you get home at the end of a long day. Slow cookers are also a more energy-efficient option than cooking on the stove.
4. Insulate the windows
The duplex where we live is over 100 years old, and the windows can be drafty -- in particular, the window in the bathroom and the one looking out to our front porch. Last year we Kristie used an indoor window insulation kit to seal up those two troublemakers, and we were so happy to replicate that again this year. (Especially in the bathroom. There's nothing like waking up on a dark winter morning to a freezing cold bathroom!) The kits are usually around $10, but since they come with enough plastic for five windows and we cover only two, we didn't have to buy a new kit this year. We used the indoor kit for both windows, since our porch is enclosed and not exposed to the elements. Because insulating the windows keeps the cold air out, we're less tempted to boost the thermostat, and we save a little extra energy (and money) that way.
Of course, there are reasons to try and save energy other than to keep a few more dollars in the bank. Conserving energy puts less strain on the grid, helping to prevent blackouts; reduces emissions that can be harmful to the environment; and puts less strain on other natural resources, like water. Read more energy-saving tips.
Oh, and PG&E is hosting an Instagram contest that will be open until Nov. 23! Check it out here, and enter to win one of seven $100 Home Depot gift cards.
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.