Sunday, January 25, 2009

Frugality Tips #1 & #2

I'm going to start with the "free" tips that I have. The ones that don't cost you any money at all. So here are two free frugality tips for you!

Frugal Tip #1:

Lower your thermostat.

I know, it's winter, it's cold, it's hard to put on a sweater, socks and/or sweats, but do you really want to save money or not? You will not get hypothermia if you drop your thermostat down a few degrees.

For example, I have kept my house at 62 degrees consistently this winter. I have a small child, a husband and myself and none of us has frozen to death. Additionally, our home was built in 1916 and is not adequately insulated, so it's probably colder than your house would be if you set your thermostat at 62. I'm living proof that it will work just fine. And no, that's not a picture of my real thermostat. Mine's one of those ancient dial ones. Much less sophisticated.

Along these same lines, if you are gone for part of the day and you don't have living animals that rely on heat in your home while you're gone, drop your thermostat down to 50 before you leave, or program it to drop down to 50 on its own and then to come back up just before you get home. That way you don't have to waste heat on an empty house. Same thing if you go out of town. We go visit my parents every once in a while, and we just drop the thermostat for the hours we're gone so we're not wasting energy.

This -will- save you quite a bit of money, especially if your gas/electric bill has been high lately because of the rising energy costs. I promise you'll get used to it too. Eventually.

Anyway, on to -

Frugal Tip #2:

Drop your water heater temperature.

Go over to your water heater. If you have an older one, it probably has a dial on it indicating the temperature. If it's on the 'highest' mark, drop it down one or two notches. You will not notice the difference and your poor water heater doesn't have to waste lots of gas or electricity trying to keep your water warmer. Even if you have a well insulated water heater, this will still help drop your gas/electricity bill a little. Enough that it's worth it to do. And as a bonus, you are much less likely to scald yourself or your children now! Isn't that exciting? I am not sure how the newer water heaters work, but if they're digital, I'm sure you can figure out how to drop the water temperature yourself. It will make a small dent in your energy costs and is something you won't even notice!

Well, there's your unsolicited free frugal advice for the day. Come by tomorrow for some more!

- Hot Frugal Momma

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