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Blogging for Change Blogging For Change
by sitecore\cvelek on August 12, 2009

This summer has brought record breaking temperatures to much of the country. That’s no exception for Texas where, in Houston alone, we have topped 100 degrees more than a few times this summer – a record that hasn’t been broken since 1980. Although we’re quite used to the heat, these higher than average temperatures have brought higher than average energy bills along with them. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and high electricity bills coupled with a down economy has many resorting to clever ways to save money.

That’s exactly what my mother-in-law did when she received an electric bill for more than $500 last month. First anger set in, and then came the ingenuity and resourcefulness her mother had used in the 1940’s when clothes dryers, television and dishwashers weren’t commonplace appliances. My mother-in-law challenged herself to discontinue the use of the clothes dryer and the dishwasher and unplug any unused appliances for the month of August, just to see how much it would reduce her bill.

She strung up a clothesline in the back yard and hand washed dishes every night. She unplugged other appliances immediately after using it. We’ll see if her efforts pay off at the end of the month when she receives the electric bill.
 Record Temperatures Call for Resourcefulness
Times are tough, and most can’t afford to upgrade appliances to newer, energy efficient models. My mother-in-law’s efforts aren’t new fangled ideas, by any means. However, her actions speak to a timeless question – is it time to revert back to the ideas of generations past where people were thrifty, where you didn’t spend more than you made and you made do with what you had?

Makes you think twice about putting that load of laundry in the dryer, doesn’t it?

Update as of August 25:
As a follow-up, my MIL’s experiment worked. Her electric bill went from a whopping $550 to a more reasonable $350. What actions have you taken to reduce your bills? Did it work?


Tags:  Frugality
Posted in:  Frugality


Caitlin says:
August 27, 2009

My husband and I also started drying our clothes on the clothesline, turnig down the temperature on the water heater and using fans vs the air conditioner.

Diane Morgan Jimenez says:
September 20, 2009

In response to the question "how did this change our electricity bill". My bill was $250.00 less than the previous one. I find that washing dishes immediately keep you from piling dishes in a dishwasher and sometimes being washed twice if your spouse doesn't know that you've already washed them. Sometimes because they don't want to put a full load away. My sheets smell wonderful and come out crispy and easy to fold. Cotton shirts have natural sizing. The only thing I do different is throw the towels in the dryer with a wet cloth and a sheet of bounce to soften the. San Antonio water is very hard. I appreciate my "daughter in law's appreciation enough of my idea to use it in this article. Diane Morgan Jimenez

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