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Do you feel stressed when your electric bill comes in each month? Do you wonder how it could possibly cost so much? Try using these 3 tips to cut your electric bill in half! They worked for me and I’m sure they can work for you too.
When my now-husband and I first moved in together, I remember thinking he was nuts for unplugging everything. I was used to leaving everything plugged in all the time. Trying to save money on bills was a completely foreign concept to me. I just wanted convenience! I didn’t want to wait 2 minutes for my cable box to boot up when I wanted to watch TV. It was easier press a button and have it turn on. I didn’t want to go looking for my phone charger when I wanted to charge my phone. It was easier for it to be right in the outlet, where I had left it. Maybe that’s not a good idea even if you’re not trying to save money…
We would argue about this all the time. He’d unplug things and I’d plug them back in. Sometimes I would plug things back in even if I didn’t need to use them, just for them to be plugged in. I was so sure that it was all in his head. I was convinced no way you could actually save money by unplugging things! And if we did save anything, it would probably only be a few dollars. A few dollars was not worth it!
So my husband and I conducted an experiment to see how much we could really save on our electric bill. We spent one month leaving everything plugged in. We would turn things off, but we didn’t unplug anything. So, our Keurig would stay plugged in, but we would turn it off if we weren’t making coffee (or going to be making coffee soon).
Then, the following month we unplugged everything. Everything that we weren’t using got unplugged.
Well, almost everything.
We didn’t start unplugging our large appliances or anything too crazy. But all our small appliances (toaster, Keurig, blender) got unplugged.
We also unplugged our TVs, Blu-ray players, and speakers when we weren’t using them. This was actually super easy because they were all plugged into a surge protector. So, to turn them off we just needed to turn the surge protector off. That literally requires pressing a button.
We walked around and anything we could unplug we did.
This didn’t mean that we would use anything less than we normally would. We just plugged them back in when we needed them and unplugged them again when we were done.
And the result…
I WAS WRONG!
We saved so much money!
Our electric bill was almost half of what is was the month before! I could not believe it!
The other part about this that (in my opinion) is important:
After a month of unplugging everything… I got used to it. It became a habit and a part of my routine. I began unplugging things without thinking about it.
Also, I was no longer annoyed when I had to plug things back in because I knew exactly how much money it was saving us. That made a few seconds of inconvenience worth it to me.
We have been doing this for years now, and I never even give it a second thought. It’s just part of my routine.
I encourage you to do this experiment on your own if you don’t believe me! See how much money you could save. It may vary by your electric provider but I’d bet you’ll save a significant amount.
- Related: How to Analyze and Cut Expenses
On to the next tip….
2. Charge in the car
To save more on your electric bill, you want to use less electricity. One easy way to do this is to charge your devices in the car instead of in the house. Car chargers are inexpensive and it’ll make up its cost in savings.
I pretty much only charge my phone in the car. I just automatically plug it in whenever I get in the car.
If your car allows you to plug in USB cords, you can charge other devices in the car too. I’ve charged my iPad and kindle in the car. Most devices come with a USB charger and can be charged in the car. If you’re unsure about it, I recommend doing a quick Google search “device name, charge in the car”.
3. Find better sources of light
If you’re still using incandescent (read: old) light bulbs, switch them out for LED. LED bulbs use up to 85% less energy. They cost more to purchase, but you’ll come out on top in the long run. Aside from the benefit that you’ll see when your electric bill comes in, LED light bulbs last much longer. They last up to 22 years! It depends on how much you use them. I assume they won’t last quite as long if you leave the light on all day every day. But they’ll definitely last longer than a regular bulb!
A Note about LED bulbs: We’ve tried out several brands of LED bulbs. Phillips by far the best brand we’ve come across. We’ve tried Cree brand and had to return them. We also tried TCP brand bulbs, which broke shortly after putting them in. We contacted the company through their website twice and they never responded to us. So I’d stay away from TCP for sure. You can purchase LED bulbs at Home Depot or Lowe’s but we’ve found their more affordable on Amazon. Here is a great deal on a 6-pack of Phillips LED bulbs on Amazon.
And of course, if the sun is out, open your blinds and let in the natural (and free)
Bonus Tip: For the past few weeks we’ve been using a Kill A Watt power monitor. This little gadget is super helpful because it tells you how much power your appliances are using and how much it costs you to use each appliance. All you have to do is plug the appliance into it and then plug the Kill A Watt meter into the wall. Continue to use your appliance as usual and the Kill A Watt meter will actually project the cost of that appliance by day, week, month, or year. This is how you can figure out which appliances are costing you the most. Then, it can be super helpful if you’re trying to unplug selectively. You can figure out which appliances will save you the most if you unplug them.
This is the exact one I’m using (I bought it on Amazon): Kill A Watt power monitor
Try these 3 tips to cut your electric bill in half today and see if they work as well for you as they did for us!
How are you saving money on electricity? Leave a comment below.