Yes, it’s boring, but it will save you hundreds of dollars (and it’s green too).

14 Mar
Cover of "Appliance Handbook For Women: S...

Cover via Amazon

Practicing conservation in the home is not an exciting subject until you realize that with little to no effort you can easily save hundreds of dollars.  You say that you have already cut the frills out of your budget?  Well there are actually ways to save money without cutting anything out of your lifestyle, all you have to do is change your habits in some small ways and PRESTO, you have more money to spend on the things you enjoy.

I don’t know about you but I remember my parents always reminding us to turn the lights out in rooms as we left them.  I guess they were ahead of their time because recent studies show that even when your cable box, DVD player, stereo, and TV are off their standby settings use the same energy as a 10-watt light bulb that is left on all the time (which costs about $10 a month). If you plug these items into a power strip and flip the off switch when they are not in use your annual savings would be about $120.

This of course was not a big surprise, but finding out that Vernon Schmidt, the author of Appliance Handbook for Women: Simple Enough Even Men Can Understand says that if we have a washing machine made after 1994, we should use about half the amount of laundry soap that is recommended on the detergent container.  He states that the newer machines are designed to use less water and detergent than older models but the changes have not been reflected in usage guidelines.  In fact, he says that the extra soap actually creates buildup that can cost about $100 in repairs!  Estimated annual savings, approximately $254.

And finally here is a real surprise, and this one will only take a minute or two to accomplish.  Setting your water heater too high (140°F) can result in heat loss into the surrounding area, estimated at $61 dollars annually, as well as more than $400 in hot water.  A scientist at the U.S Dept. of Energy suggests setting your water heater at 120° F or lower.  Annual estimated savings $461.

OK.  I will admit that this is not the most exciting thing to think about but if you make these little changes, you will have the opportunity to think about what you could do with the $835 in savings and that is pretty interesting.  Sounds like a week-end get away to me or maybe a monthly massage.

More surprisingly, all these ideas came from a magazine article in First for Women  Feb. 21, 2011.  That reminds me that we promised to look at good subscriptions that actually save you money.  I guess this magazine will make the list. 

What will you do with $835?


7 Responses to “Yes, it’s boring, but it will save you hundreds of dollars (and it’s green too).”

  1. boyonabudget March 14, 2011 at 2:01 AM #

    I love these ideas. Here is another. I saved some foam soap bottles a few years ago and now make my own foam soap with my favorite shower gel for the bathroom and with Dawn for my kitchen. I used to spend a couple of hundred dollars a year at Bath and Body Works. Now, I might spend $50 for Christmas gifts.

    • queenoffamilosity March 14, 2011 at 2:10 AM #

      Kathleen I am going to try that too. Thanks for the great idea!

  2. Lisa March 14, 2011 at 7:00 AM #

    Hey Kathleen,

    I also saved foam bath and body works bottles and have toyed with making my own foam, but I am not sure what the right combination is, so please share x-parts soap & y-parts water. That would really help me out. Thanks in advance.

  3. boyonabudget March 16, 2011 at 1:42 AM #

    I use about 1/8 cup or 1 oz. of liquid soap. Fill the bottle half way with hot water and shake. After suds go away, fill to top with more hot water and shake gently. Good luck!

  4. Tommy Bahama April 7, 2011 at 9:15 AM #

    Good post! i like it, please bookmark this page in digg or mixx so that everybody could find it easily. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this information. You guys have made a wondrous website

    • queenoffamilosity April 8, 2011 at 12:13 AM #

      Thank you Tommy. It looks like you have some energy efficient equipment that can help people save money.

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