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Friday, March 06, 2009

Frugality (Part IX): Turn it Off

I have a longer post that I've been working on for some time, but since it has been taking me so long to finish, I will offer some short, basic advice here: Turn it off and unplug it.

I'm not someone who unplugs all the appliances, and things like our VCR and DVD player still stay plugged in, but I try to keep it to a minimum. These things suck energy from your outlets, even when you aren't using them, and that means you are paying for them. We are big on turning lights off here, turning off radios if people aren't really listening and I'm even trying to turn off the computer each night. We usually have the classical radio station playing when Yasmina is in her crib, as it seems to help her sleep. My obvious hint is that we turn it off when we get her out of bed. Doing this has cut our electric bill by a decent amount, which we can definitely use what with the laundry running all the time and such.

We don't pay for water here (we have a well, but we pay to heat it), if we did, the same principle would apply, don't keep the water running all the time, turn it off when you can. Turn it off completely (this is more because of children who don't get the faucet all the way turned off). It is a waste of electricity and water to use them when nobody is really using them and it is certainly a waste of your money to do so.

Just a quickie post this time, but I will have more later.

Previous Posts:
Make it at Home
Grocery Shopping
Waste Not, Want Not
The Celery Stalks at Midnight
Use What You Have
Combining Trips
Storing Bulk Purchases

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These are great ideas. We are big on keeping the lights off here too. The kids are good at not leaving the water running when brushing their teeth and such. The little one might even be trying harder by not flushing, but I think he just forgets:) Thanks for the ideas.
What we found is that the desk top computer and the dryer are the two biggest price culprits in our house. So we do our best to hang the laundry out to dry. In the winter I am not as good because of the rain, but in summer the dryer is turned on maybe once a week tops and even that is over doing it. It saves us about $100 dollars per bill. The desk top computer was the other big one. It is now dead, but before it died we were turning it off every night. We are also trying to implement a plan where dinner, etc. is done by the time it is dark so that we are not really using our front lights such as, dining room, kitchen etc, and just have our bedroom light running which is a compact flourescent and saves money. We have not achieved this one yet, but we are working towards the goal..... I also know someone who used candles at night instead of lights, but with little ones around that may not be the best idea.
The computer is the hardest thing for me to remember, since I have it on, pretty much all day. If I have a break or am nursing the baby, I will get on the internet, or if the children are doing stuff for school we research things. Our banking, credit card stuff, taxes, library, everything is pretty much here.

I also have trained myself to make sure all the cell phone chargers aren't plugged into the wall when we're not using them and that we unplug the baby monitors when we aren't using them. Those things suck a lot out of our outlets.
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