Saturday, October 27, 2012

Using the dryer when you have to

Right now we are being pelted with rain from Frankenstorm Sandy - we have had rain since yesterday and will be having rain at least through Monday - and we have a finite amount of clothing.

As much as I don't like to use my dryer, I do have to make sure we have plenty of clothes to get the job done, so I do medium sized loads and set my dryer to low .  Then they are done in about 30 minutes, which is about half the time required as large loads (plus being as low burns less energy too).  I can get by with about 1 load a day this way, sometimes 1 every other day until the rain stops, then I can catch up on sheets, blankets and towels then.

Plan your laundry, do the necessities, don't wash things that aren't actually dirty and you will be able to be a little more conservative when the dryer is your best option.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Conserving Candles

I read the Tightwad Gazette from time to time when my frugal mind is not being creative.  Lately, I was reading the part about candles, and tried the recommendation.

I took a bunch of candles that were on their wits end and melted the little bit inside and poured the little bits into a mason jar to cool in colored layers.  It looks pretty awesome, plus, with a new wick added, I have a new long lasting candle.

FYI - if you buy candles at yard sales or the thrift stores, you can use the wick that's there in a new mason jar style candle for pennies on the dollar.

No more wasted candles, and from the looks of the new candles I made, I won't have to buy anymore anytime soon either.

Happy recycling!

Load Calculations = How much energy my stuff uses!!

I will gladly thank my husband for telling me the actual title of what I was doing :)

I have been watching my power meter for awhile now, just going out and checking the number every few days and recording it.  So, after a couple of weeks I decided to figure out which appliances in my home were using the most electricity. Here is what I did . . . . . . .

I went through the house and wrote down the amps and the volts for each appliance and calulated the watts, then I multiplied the watts by 1000 to get the kilowatts (which is how your outdoor meter measure electricity usage).  I then multiplied the kilowatts by what the power company charges me per kilowatt hour (the amount of electricity used per hour).  My particular figure for this season is 11.231 cent per kWh (kilowatt hour).  Example:

My dryer (a great example of the typical power-hog)

28 amps x 240 volts = 6720 watts (6.72kWh)
6.72kWh/load (because a typical load takes 1 hour to dry) x 11.231 cent/kWh = 75.5 cent/load

Okay, let's take it out a bit further

75.5/load x 7 loads/week = $5.29/week = $274.82/year

Hmmm, with $274.82/year I could:

1 -  add more/improve insulation around the house to decrease electric bill
2 -  fill my LP tank completely full and my gas tank completely full once each
3 -  buy an entire months worth of groceries
4 -  buy an entire months worth of gas for the car
5 -  pay for 3 months worth of auto insurance
6 -  pay for our home phone for 6 months +
7 -  buy a 7"tablet (if that were on my list)
8 -  buy a large chunk of Christmas gifts for the year
9 -  put tires on my car
10- take the entire family to the dentist for cleanings

What could you do with that much money, and, more importantly, if you know how much energy your appliances use, how much more could you save by making the ones that really drain it more efficient?

I do believe that even just being aware of how much energy your appliances use helps you save money, because awareness increases likelihood of being consiously conservative of the resource. 

More on this topic later . . . . .