I've been implementing some money-saving ideas this summer since the summer (actually, it was still spring) kicked off with some horrendous heat. Since it's going to be hot for a while and I'd like to be able to keep the house reasonably cool without running up the electric bill, I've gotten a little more serious with the penny-pinching ideas.
One thing I've done for over a month now is to use a clothesline. During that time, I've avoided using the dryer with two exceptions. (Oh, and I've unplugged the dryer since I'm rarely using it.) Even though it's a really short line (I think it's 17 feet long, and the space in between the two lines is really small), I can hang an entire load of laundry on it, with the exception of a load of whites since there are so many small items.
I've already mentioned here on my blog that I covered cardboard and posterboard with aluminum foil to reflect the sun and heat. Now you get to see a picture of it:
Very classy, I know. But, seriously, it works, and works very well! All summer long (and well into October), our bedroom tends to be stifling hot--but not after I put the aluminum foil up in the window. Even with only about half of the window covered, we have enjoyed noticeably cooler temperatures inside. This window faces our backyard so really y'all are the only ones to see it. Since it's on the other side of our blinds and hidden behind our room-darkening drapes, we don't see it unless we're in the backyard.
When I told my father about this idea, he said that if you use cardboard to make sure the pleats run horizontally so they don't trap any heat.
Something I've been doing for a few years now is to put a piece of tape along the side of the thermostat to prevent little fingers from setting the temperature lower than what Jason and I have set. This year, I also put a piece of tape above the "upper limit" of what is tolerable in the house. This makes it easier to raise the temperature on the thermostat without, shall we say, going too far. I like to prevent mutiny when possible.
I move the tape when we are going to be out of town for several days or when the seasons change--adjusting the temperature boundaries is very easy.
Have these changes saved us money? This is a highly mathematical analysis, but going from one month with slightly-above average temperatures to the next month with horrible, way above average temperatures, our electric bill increased by only $25. Everyone I've talked to about electric bills reported a significantly higher increase in their bill.
See? Highly mathematical.
What tips can you share about how to save money?