Saturday, October 05, 2013

Cutting Costs

I remember writing, long ago, about some plans we were going to try implementing to save some money.  The problem was that I didn't have the energy to keep up with the changes.  Well, since the magnesium has given me my life back (ok, so that is a little dramatic), I am happy to report that we are finally having success with cutting costs here on the home front.

We haven't implemented all of our ideas yet, as some will take longer to incorporate, while others are just waiting their turn for us to get to.  I didn't want to bite off more than I could chew.  Jeremiah was convinced that our efforts were going to be a waste of our time, since our starting efforts were going to be 'small' but manageable.  Well, we just got our energy bill in last week, and let's just say we were all impressed!!  So impressed that a couple of the girls who were slacking a bit in helping in our endeavors really jumped in all the way this week.

So far the only changes we have made were to shut off the AC, and hang out our clothing to dry.  That's it.  By doing those two things we saved 100 dollars on our energy bill last month!  That is no small change!  The money kind of change :-)

We still have a few tricks up our sleeves to incorporate.  We won't have too much time left to be free of our AC/heating unit, as the colder weather will be (eventually) making its way to us.  But our plan of action will be to keep the temperature in the house colder than normal.  NOT cold, just colder than we normally have it set to.  I always thought it wrong to be walking around in shorts and t-shirts in the middle of January.  It *is* winter after all, and keeping the house temperature set to such a high level as to be able to go around in t-shirt and shorts takes *money*.  I'm just not willing to shell out that kind of money for that kind of experience.  Though, for years, I have been in the minority :-)  But, the girls all want to see that money go to other uses, so we are gearing up to be wearing pants (imagine that!), sweaters and socks around the house.  The only exception is when I go into labor this January.  I will definitely turn up the heat for that event, and the week following.  But really, our babies are always being held, and I've never had a problem with keeping a baby warm.  So a week of an extra warm house will be all that is needed.

A few more of our ideas are to keep lights/fans/computers off when not in use.  I am hoping that we will be able to turn on the computers for a set amount of time each day, then shut them down.  We have been working on the lights issue, but it is taking some time for us all to remember shutting them off when we leave the room.  I am notorious for keeping our bedroom fan running all day, when all we use it for is at night for bedtime.

We are being more careful with our food, so as not to waste any. But, again, we have a ways to go.  But I tell the kids that whenever we have to throw out stuff that has gone yucky, it is like throwing away money.  Moira has noticed that she doesn't have the constant urge to eat all day since drinking the kefir and kombucha.  I think we will see the 'hunger' issue go down with the rest of the crew as well.  The "I'm hungries" are really getting out of hand over here.  I know that means it's because they are not absorbing their food properly, and not getting the nutrients they need, thus their constant hunger.  In the previous post I talked about making more of my ferments for everyone to have enough each day.  With ferments though, you need enough starter or in the case of kefir or kombucha, you need enough grains or scobies.  My new kefir grains should be arriving in a few days, and my kombucha has grown enough to make 2 gallons a week (though we need more like 4 gallons, we'll get there, slowly but surely).

We have a few other ideas as well, but I think that is enough for now.  The rest will come in time.  It has been encouraging to see that our efforts are really making a difference.

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