Originally this was going to be one post, but as I started writing it, I realized it was a lot of information to squeeze into just one post so it turned into a series naturally! As of today, this post has 9 parts, so stay tuned each week for a new release. And I may just keep adding to it as we continually find new ways to save.
If you’ve ever had times that you needed to cut expenses to the bare minimum, then this series is for you. There are many situations in life that necessitate aggressive cost cutting, such as a job loss, an illness, having a baby and deciding to stay home, etc. There are also times when your family decides to set a financial goal and cutting the household costs is just one of the tools used to reach that goal.
Whatever the reason, sometimes it’s hard to find additional ways to save money, especially if you already live a simple lifestyle or have been frugal by necessity for a long time, such as during times of low income.
Something I learned from Brandy at The Prudent Homemaker is that there is always something left to cut, although we do have to try harder to find these additional savings. Her post on this very topic inspired me to start digging deeper and this series is a compilation of the additional ways our family has found to be even more frugal as we focus on paying off debt.
One of the first tips I focused on from Brandy’s post is don’t turn on lights unless absolutely needed. It’s such a habit to flip the light switch when you walk into a room, but rethink if you really need the light on. Here are some extra ways we have found to cut the use of lights.
I decided to go room-by-room in our house to see how we could make this applicable.
Bathroom/Laundry Room: We have a window in our bathroom, and I realized even on cloudy days, it’s plenty bright enough in there so I don’t need to turn on the light at all during the day. We can shower and use the bathroom all without electricity use, and even do laundry since our washer and dryer are in the bathroom.
Kitchen: During the long daylight hours of spring and summer months, I can cook dinner without turning on the overhead kitchen lights or just by using the light over the stove. It usually gets turned on when my husband gets home, but after we eat and I have the kitchen cleaned up, I shut it off again so it’s not all evening when no one is working in there.
Living Room: In the evening, we keep just the lamp on next to where we are sitting instead of the overhead light that has multiple bulbs.
Bedroom: I can’t speak for our daughter who probably has the overhead light on in her bedroom all evening, but the light in our bedroom is rarely turned on. We have a window that provides sufficient light during the day. The computer is in a corner of this room, and there is still plenty of light to work on it if needed. I have a lamp on my bedside table, and when I’m ready to get in bed and read or watch the mysteries I have recorded, then I will turn the lamp on.
To make this work for you, just visit all of the rooms or areas in your home and note what lights are used and what time of day the area is used. (You might even grab a pen and paper to take notes!) Then ask yourself these questions:
- Which lights can we stop using on a regular basis?
- Can we use lamps part of the time?
- Do we need to use these lights at all during daytime hours?
- What times of day is this area not in use and lights can be off?
If you need to rearrange some items such as bringing lamps into a space, then go hunting around your home. The goal is to really analyze what electricity is being used in your home for lighting and to develop a basis for when the lights really need to be used. As you make a plan and start implementing these small changes, you will begin to see the savings on your future electric bills.
Please tell us below in the comments what your family does to save on electricity costs!