Category: Green Living

The Energy Saving Solutions That Save You Money

energy saving solutionsWant to cut a few bucks off your utility bills?

Who doesn’t?

In 2012, over $3,000 was spent per person on energy in the US alone. So there’s obviously some room for improvement.

But how exactly do you cut back on your energy spending?

The good news is, it’s not as hard as you think. There are a few simple steps you can take right now to save you and your family some serious dough each month.

Read on to find out!

Heat and Cool Your Home the Smart Way

When most people think about saving money on energy costs, heating and cooling are probably the first things that come to mind. After all, these costs are a big chunk of your bill.

But you don’t need to move into a geothermal home to save money on heating and cooling. You can save money today by doing things like:

  • Using ceiling or floor fans to help out your AC in the summer
  • Getting a programmable thermostat and turning the temperature up or down (depending on the season) when you’re sleeping or away from the house
  • Replacing air filters for your heating or cooling system more often, so they’re running more efficiently.

Replace Those Old Light Bulbs

Did you know that CFL or LED light bulbs use anywhere from 25-80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs?

They also last a whopping 3-25 times longer than traditional light bulbs.

While the initial cost is a little higher, switching to energy efficient bulbs could save your family a healthy chunk on electricity every month.

Keep Your Home Sealed Up Tight

If you’ve ever stood near a single pane window in an older home on a cold day, you know how much energy windows can cost you every month.

While replacing all your windows is probably not an expense you want to take on lightly, you can do your monthly budget a lot of good by ensuring your windows are properly sealed.

Over time the caulking around the exterior of windows tends to dry and crack, allowing heat or cold to flow into your home. This can be prevented by checking and caulking around the exterior of your windows annually.

Be Smart With Your Electronics and Appliances

After heating and cooling, your large appliances and electronics account for the biggest chunk of your family’s energy bills. While one solution is to use them less, sometimes you’ve got to do that extra load of laundry.

Using modern, energy efficient appliances is a big help here, along with being smart and waiting to do that load of laundry or dishes until you’ve got a full load.

Some other ways to save on electricity with your electronics are:

  • Turning off electronics — like TVs or computers — that are not in use
  • Unplug phone or other chargers that are not in use. These can still draw electricity even if they aren’t charging anything

For help with more energy saving solutions, click here.

What Energy Saving Solutions Are You Using?

These energy saving tips are just the beginning. The truth is, there are tons of little thing you could be doing every day to save your family money on energy.

What are your favorite energy saving solutions? Leave them in the comments below!

5 Green Tips to Save Money on Home Heating

home heatingReady for cooler temps, but not quite ready for your power bill to increase? As your systems kick into full gear to heat your home, you may be dreading that inevitable spike in your monthly expenses.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that home heating and cooling accounts for almost half (48%) of your household’s total energy use. Yet, reducing that amount and lowering your bill might not be as difficult as you think — and you won’t have to forego your beloved heat for mounds of heavy blankets to do so.

In fact, there are many environmentally friendly ways you can save money on heating.

Ready to learn more? Keep reading!

1. Check Your Weather Stripping

When air leaks through your windows and doors, you can easily lose heat. In fact, experts estimate that 10% of a home’s heat loss is attributed to poorly sealed windows, and 11% from leaky doors.

If you’re constantly dialing up the thermostat to stay comfortable, consider checking the weather stripping around your entryways and windows. If it’s worn down or torn, replace it and fortify the seal with indoor caulk.

This simple step can help reduce drafts and conserve energy, saving you money on home heating and keeping you warmer.

2. Replace Old Windows

Though repairing your weather stripping will help conserve heat, the reality is that if your windows are outdated, they may not be optimized to prevent heat loss.

If your budget allows, consider making the switch to energy-efficient windows.

These are often multi-pane, with an insulating layer of air between the two panes. This design offers valuable heat and energy savings over traditional single-paned options.

Not ready to invest in new windows? Try covering your doors and windows with clear, transparent film. Available at home supply stores, this film allows you to better retain heat in your home and can easily be peeled off as required.

3. Better Insulate Your Attic

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates homeowners can save around 15% on their home heating and cooling costs just by sealing leaks and upgrading the insulation in their attic.

Evaluate if there are any areas in your attic that may require extra insulation. Often, though the space itself may be well-insulated, there may be heat loss around the access door.

If yours needs attention, fiberglass batt insulation affixed to the attic side of the door can make a huge difference.

4. Fine-Tune Your Home Heating Systems

What’s one of the easiest and most effective ways to maximize your home’s heat retention? Ensure your heating and air conditioning systems are clean and routinely maintained.

It takes more energy (and costs more money) to push air through a dirty system filled with debris. Sticking to a regular cleaning and upkeep schedule can keep yours working at an ideal setting.

Not sure where to start? A professional company skilled at boiler and heating system installation and repair, such as Diamond Gas & Heating, can provide the care your systems need.

5. Invest in a Smart Thermostat

You already know that keeping the temperature cooler in your home can save you money on your power bills. Yet, chances are you don’t want to be uncomfortable in your own home, buried under layers, all winter long.

As an alternative, consider investing in a smart, programmable thermostat. You can set these systems to automatically lower your home’s temperature by 10 to 15 degrees for around eight hours, ideally while you sleep or are away during the day.

This way, you’re not paying to heat your home to full capacity when there’s no one there, or when you’re not awake to enjoy it. Talk about smart savings!

Save Big and Live Bigger: Easy Ways to Start

Are you looking to cut costs without cutting corners? Are you interested in learning more household tips that can preserve your sanity while protecting your bank account?

If so, you’ve come to the right place!

From deals and freebies to tips on frugal living, I provide it all — helping you live easier and save smarter every day.

Feel free to contact me for more information and let’s talk thrifty!

DIY Flower Pot Shelves!

memorial craft copy

Wanting a fun and festive Memorial Day DIY? Look no further! This super affordable craft can be painted with different colors to match your decor or holidays! Below you will find the simple and easy to follow directions:

Materials:
*4 cinder blocks
*Red Spray Paint (i would find one with a primer in it)
*2 pieces of wood (cut to the correct width of cinder blocks and how over long you want)
*Blue latex paint

Directions:
-thoroughly spray pain the cinder blocks. You might need a few coats as the cinder blocks do absorb some paint. Make sure you lay card board or a cloth down if you want to protect ANYTHING from the spray pain! Let dry completely! While the cinder blocks are drying go ahead and paint both pieces of the wood! You might want to do 2 coats on them! Once everything is dry, it is time to assemble! Place 2 cinder blocks where you want them, add a shelf, and repeat until finished! Add some colorful flower pots and decorations and you are DONE!

If you loved this DIY, check out our others! Remember to give it a personal touch and most importantly, have fun!

DIY Twine Hanging Flower Pot Cans!

flowers copy

Hanging plants are all the rage these days, right? I love the simplistic look these adorable natural hanging pots! Another great thing about these is that if you don’t have a green thumb (like me), you can put succulents in these pots, either live or fake! Only you would really know! Follow these super simple DIY instructions below to liven up your place!

What you need:
* 2 or more soup cans (cleaned and dry)
* a spool or 2 or twine (any shade is fine, make it personal)
* hot glue works great for this
* a hammer
* a nail

How to make them:
First off you are going to completely clean and dry out your cans. Then you are going to hammer holes into the side of your can near the top opposite from each other, so you can put some string to hang them. Then take your hot glue, twine, and your can. Start at the bottom and dab some glue and place the end of your twine there. You might want to hold it for a second or 2 to make sure it stays. Next you are going to keep doing that while wrapping your twine around the can over and over glue about every other row or every few inches to make sure it won’t come off. You will get the idea as you start working on the 1st one! Once done, go ahead and run some twine through the holes you made earlier with the hammer and nail. Tie twine together to hang. Add dirt and a flower if you are going to live route or some paper, foam, dirt, or whatever if you are going to fake route! If you don’t want to hang them, they are also super cute placed in groups together around the house; in the bathroom, entry table, kitchen table, dresser, or where ever else you would like!

Did you love this fun quick and easy DIY? We would love to see your personal touches on these beauties! Let us know what you thought of these!Check out our other DIY ideas!

Fun Crafts Repurposing Cottonelle Toilet Paper Roll Tubes


I participated in a campaign for Mom Central Consulting, on behalf of Cottonelle, and received product samples and a promotional item to facilitate my party. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was thrilled to receive this wonderful package of  Johnathan Adler Cottonelle Tissue Roll Covers. I hosted a fun party where I invited several friends and their children yesterday. We made easy and fun crafts repurposing Cottonelle bath tissue paper tubes for both the kids and the adults. The kids mostly wanted to make binoculars out of the toilet paper roll tubes. It’s a very inexpensive craft for the kids to do, and adults make sure to punch the holes so the kids can tie the yarn. These are great projects to teach the kids about recycling just in time for Earth Day.

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I also wanted something for the ladies to be able to do instead of just children centered crafts. We made pencil holders out of the toilet paper tubes. I bought a couple of packs of scrapbook paper which was very inexpensive at 99 cents a pack! I also purchased card stock to use for the bottom. I did not want to use acrylic paint as it would take too long to dry. At first we used a marker to color the inside top portion, but then one of my friends suggested we use a piece of card stock to reinforce the inside of the tubes. It worked perfectly.
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Next we cut out the strips in half to roll the tube with and used craft glue. Slowly roll the tube and make sure to keep it smoothed while rolling so it doesn’t create bubbles.
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At the end of the rolling, you will need to reinforce the ends. I used some more craft glue and wiped off the excess. There isn’t any glue after it dried. It was much cheaper than using mod podge.

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Next we cut out a circle of blue cardstock. You want the circle to slightly larger than the tube. My friend is gluing on the bottom to the tube. We also used purple card stock and rolled it up in the inside of the tube.

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You can see the inside and it was very strong after we let them dry.

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Here is the finished product. Each lady made a different one. It was a lot of fun.

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PhotobucketEach lady left with a Johnathan Adler Cottonelle Tissue Roll Cover. One of the ladies is using hers to store her daughter’s hairbows and ribbons. Another one is using hers to store her cotton balls. The uses for these great and colorful roll covers are endless.

What will you make by repurposing toilet paper roll tubes?

 

TMR Frugal Living Tip #96

Print Both Sides of PaperToday’s frugal living tip is to use both sides of the paper when printing. I cannot follow this tip for school reports, but I use this often when printing coupons, and other items where it doesn’t matter. It is cost effective and cuts down on the amount of paper used.

My son comes home with an obscene amount of paper from school, and mostly it will just get thrown away. I let him draw and color on the backs of those pages so he isn’t wasting my good print paper. That paper is not cheap. I do recycle all the paper in our house.

Do you print on both sides of the pages or do you also let your kids draw on the backs before discarding?