My husband has been doing a really great job on cutting down expenses on our groceries. He’s a great cook and uses inexpensive items to make terrific meals. So, we’ve taken his frugal cooking ideas and expanded them to include our entire house; finding areas we can save money, but won’t really notice the difference. For instance, we are usually really good about turning off the lights when we’re not in a particular room. We’ve expanded that to not turning on the lights in the first place if there’s daylight that will suffice. We call it hypermiling the house, sort of like hypermiling the car and getting the most bang for your buck.
Some of our hypermiling tips for the house include:
- Changing out the regular light bulbs to CFL bulbs. CFL’s now come in so many sizes, it’s easy to find just what you need, especially if you shop online.
- Reducing our water usage. We stopped watering the back lawn a while ago, we just got tired of weeds poking through and we don’t own this house, so we really don’t care. We’ve also been reducing the watering of our front lawn as well, a little brown is fine for now. I’d also like to add that we are doing the whole, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” in one of our bathrooms.
- Reusing our towels. I used to have a bad habit of using a clean towel everyday and throwing the once-used towel in the laundry. Now, I just dry our towels for a few minutes in the dryer and reuse them for up to 3 days. It’s not like we’re covered in mud at the end of the day, so we can safely assume these towels aren’t filthy.
- Turning off the fans when we’re out of the room. My husband is the fan-man and we own about 12 fans. We usually have at least 2-4 fans going at once, but we are now turning them off as we leave a room. We still have an exhaust fan in one room that runs 24-hours a day, but it’s only used to remove our pets’ smell from their ‘room’.
- Closing curtains and reducing the amount of heat that seeps into the house. Since our temperature has been topping 100-degrees every day this past week, we have been making sure to close up the house and curtains to keep the heat out. We’re lucky that the evenings cool down to a comfortable 66-degrees, we just need to make sure we get everything closed before it gets too warm.
These are just some things I can think of off the top of my head. However, if you’re interested in what hypermiling is, here is a quick and dirty definition:
- Hypermiling: Utitlizing something to it’s optimum capacity by modifying the users habits. In a car, for example, the goal is to optimize the amount of fuel by driving in a continuous manner, rather than stopping and starting as frequently, you coast more often. Coast to a red light in the hopes it turns green, then slowly accelerate to the speed limit. Driving the speed limit saves gas.
As we continue to see small savings, we’ll be closer to owning our little house in the valley!