Being frugal with rising fuel costs
How to live happily with the minimum spent on domestic energy.
We have heard that the cost of living is going to increase soon, and many folks could find it very difficult to adjust - or to manage - with more money being paid for the same services.
There are just two choices: use less or pay more. Simple. Except it's not.
Many of us are managing on what we feel is the bare minimum already.
So I'm going to share what we do to battle this - and then adjust to using less and paying less.
1. Look at the bills. What are you paying to whom? How much energy or water do you get for how much money?
2. Think about what you do with your week. Are you out at work for a few hours each day? Do you work from home? Do you have elderly people or kids living with you?
3. What do you have ticking over all day that would be affected in a power cut - maybe a fridge/freezer? A timer for something?
4. Write out an energy estimate for what each day uses: if you have an energy monitor/meter this is easier. I don't: what I do is next -
5. I write out the number of hours each day you use power and - roughly is fine - what it is used for. Think about washing machine, TV, chargers for phones, dishwasher, showers, heating, baths.
6. Now think about where you can shorten this time - even just for a little.
Can you wash fewer clothes: do you have kids that put things in the wash automatically each day rather than hang up what can be worn again? Can you wear those jeans again? Could you do a white wash once a week?
What about the tumble drier? Could you hang clothes to dry inside or outside? This is much easier in the summer months here. We do hang laundry to dry inside all year round - but there is only the two of us.
Can you make sure the dishwasher is full before you put it on? Could you wash dishes by hand? (Our family is divided on whether it takes less power to use the dishwasher than to handwash!)
Baths and showers. Try short showers through the week and one bath a week? Man Wonderful has a short shower each morning while I get wet then turn off the shower to soap my hair and then turn it back on to rinse.
We are in a new house this winter, and I have gone around each window and door searching for any draughts. Our front door lets in cold air so we have a homemade quilted door hanging inside blocking as much as we can.
It is cold today, so I am wearing thick tights under a long dress with a jumper on top and a pretty scarf. I have wrist warmers to wear if I need them. MW has three layers on top with thick jeans.
We cook things as cheaply as we can. Today we are having a Quorn stir-fry so all the veg is sliced as thinly as we can. This lowers the amount of cooking time. Our other main meal is salad with tinned beans. No cooking required. (Again, this works for us - these are just ideas that could help.)
When we put the heating on, we only heat the room we are using. In the evening we use the gas fire in our lounge, which does heat the upstairs rooms too. We turn it off half an hour before we go to bed as the room stays warm.
During the day we drink hot drinks. This is one area I want to try and improve on - the kettle uses a lot of energy.
How do you cut down domestic fuel usage to stop paying more money?