Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Simple Money Saving Tricks for Home!

Who wants to save $ and conserve energy??? I am sure many of you do and here are a few easy things we can all do at home to conserve energy:

Lower Your Water Heater-Lowering the temperature on your water heater from 140 to 120 degrees will reduce your water heating costs by 6 to 10%. Try it, its not as bad as one would think!

Learn about Heating and Cooling-
With high prices for heating fuels and electricity stalking the nation, it's good to know that there are some easy ways to save money in the area of climate control. According to the Department of Energy most households shell out 50 to 70% of their energy budgets on heating and cooling, What to do? Simply installing a programmable thermostat will save you approximately $150 a year, according to the EPA -- that means it will pay for itself in just a few months. In warm temperatures, resist the temptation to set the air conditioning too low, and be vigilant with heating when it's chilly.
Fact: Aiming for 78 degrees or higher when you're at home while reduce your cooling loads 10-20%. When you're away, make it 85 degrees and save an additional 5-12%. In colder weather, for every degree you lower the thermostat, you'll save between 1 and 3% of your heating bill.

Change out old appliances to Energy Star Appliances-
Energy Star was designed by the EPA to take the guesswork out of appliance buying. Look for the blue-and-white label, which means the item is at least 10-50% more efficient than standard models (depending on the class of product). That means lower energy bills and less pollution.
Fact: More than 18,000 products in 35 different categories are covered in the Energy Star program, and most major manufacturers participate.

Unplug Unused Chargers-
Even when they aren't charging anything, plugged-in cell phone, laptop and other chargers continue to draw electricity. Fact: Americans throw away about 8% of our annual electric bills this way, wasting billions of dollars.
The solution is simple: just unplug them, or plug them into a surge protector and flip that switch when your device is charges.

Install Low-Flow Water Fixtures-
Toilets used to use 5 gallons per flush, but these days more efficient models are readily available. So-called low-flow models use less than a gallon, and work great.
Fact: American Standard, Toto and Kohler are leaders in the field.
Also save water and money, and still have ample water pressure, with a low-flow showerhead, which can slash bathing-water consumption 50 to 70 percent. The devices are simple to install and start at around $8.
Low-flow faucets are also available.

Plant Low-Water Plantings-
Lawns take a huge amount of water in dry climates, which leads to both high water bills and a lot of hassle and worry. Plus, the possibility of mandatory water restrictions means the yard may end up looking unkept.
Instead, plant drought-tolerant native shrubs, trees and grasses. They won't require nearly as much water and will serve as habitat for local wildlife.
Fact: Low-water plantings are called xeriscaping.

Challenge yourself to at least do 2 things in the next month and let us know what you've done~


Sandi said...

Great tips. I will have to look at my hot water heater.


Sarah said...

Some excellent advice here on energy saving. I am trying to get into the habit of unplugging rather than just switching off.With four kids leaving everthing they use plugged in I am sure we are wasting a lot of energy.

Easy Chicken Pasta

Easy Chicken Pasta

What's For Supper Ya'll?

White Beans, Pasta and Chicken
8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)
1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.
4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Posted by Stacy Nelson, Easy Dinner Recipes.blogspot.com

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