$56 electric bill!

I have just got to tell you about our electric bill.  We got a bill for March of $56!  We started working on cost cutting measures back in January hard core.  A few years ago we changed all the light bulbs out one by one in my whole house from basic electric bulbs to compact fluorescent.  We looked at our basic bills (the ones without cooling or heating) and saw a small savings and were thrilled!

When we started we were doing all the normal things.  We made sure we had the correct amount of insulation, we shut lights out when not in a room, I hang my laundry out on the clothes line, and a host of other things that have saved us money, but we have never had an electric bill less than $120 until we moved to this house.  We live in Central Florida where heat is rarely needed, but cooling can be a necessity.  We lived in a newer house that was cement brick construction.  When it was cold outside the bricks held the cold, when hot, the bricks held the heat.  It was not easy to maintain a constant temperature.  We moved to this house back in 2010.  It is a wood constructed home and it really insulates against the heat and cold.  The lowest bill we had until March was around $99.  We thought that was amazing!  We wanted to do better.  Since I can’t seem to get a job and there is no guarantee of my husbands job (or anyone’s for that matter) we want to bring all of our expenses as low as we can.  Sadly, we did not make the small changes and measure our electric usage.  My parents were staying with us and we couldn’t compare as we did not know what we would use in normal situations.  The bills were running $80 – $95 for the time period they were here.

The first thing we did when we bought the house was fix it up.  The lighting needed replaced. But the lights and ceiling fan in the living room and dining room have no active switches to turn them on and off.  We had to purchase remote switches for them.  There went the compact fluorescent light bulbs. You can’t use CFL bulbs with remotes.  Bummer!   We had to go with normal light bulbs.

We recently found LED light bulbs have become less expensive.  We bought one every week to replace the chandelier bulbs in the dining room.  I use that light all the time. You can use the LED with the remote.  Now all four bulbs are LED and our out door lights are LED.  I leave those on all night long for safety concerns.  We started purchasing LED bulbs for $10 a piece. A huge cost to replace four light bulbs at one time.  It would cost $40 if purchasing all four at one time.  We bought 1 at Home Depot and 1 at Lowes for $10 a piece. While grocery shopping at Wal Mart for the things I can’t get at my produce place or Aldis I went to the lighting center and looked at the cost of their LEDs.  We found them for $7 each.  Needless to say we bought the last 2 for $7 a piece.  Now we have not changed the bulbs in any other light fixtures than the dining room and outside.   We are waiting until they burn out.  We rarely use the lights in the ceiling fan light and the rest of the lights are CFL’s. Not very cost efficient to replace unless needed.

The next step we did, was purchase a screen door for our sliding glass door in the dining room.  Unless it is May through September, my windows are open for a few hours every day that we are here.  I wake up each morning, feed the dogs and cat, then I take the bird outside. Then I open all the windows. The ability to leave this door open is wonderful!  The breeze flowing through my house in so nice and the ac doesn’t need to be on until the house temperature is up to 80 degrees.  This really cut out a lot of time using the A/C.

We are learning to cut our electric while Creatively Living!

Next post will continue the saving of our electricity!

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