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“Cool” Savings

January 27, 2010

In November I challenged myself to cut my winter heating bill.  Seeing that the wall-mounted room heaters did little to warm the place, I turned to my winter camping clothes to stay warm.  Every night after work I’d don a camping outfit, topped off with a quilted vest for extra body warmth.   I wasn’t much to look at, but even when I could see my breath in the air, I was warm.

At first I only ran a little heat in the morning, so I could comfortably get dressed after my shower.   In December, however, when the outside temp dropped low enough to make even a polar bear cold, I ran the bedroom heat all night long.   A bathroom-safe portable heater made my frigid bathroom tolerable in the morning, thanks to a built in clock and timer feature.

Were the savings really worth this misery?  Yes!!  It’s better for the environment.  Plus, I don’t want to waste a single penny on excessive heat when I could be stashing it in my savings account for items such as my beloved Mitchell Gold sofa.  Once I have that sofa I won’t feel the chill of 2010’s cold apartment one bit.

So has all that sacrificing paid off?  Here’s the breakdown of what I’ve saved in the past two months:

  Winter2008-2009 Winter2009 – 2010  Savings
November $ 272.00 $ 42.00 $ 230.00
December $ 440.00 $ 92.00 $ 348.00

I’ve already saved over $550, and winter’s only half over!

I’ll admit some nights it was almost cold enough to make me give up.   I didn’t keep the kitchen as clean as I would have liked, because it was just so darn cold – I didn’t want to be in there.  No biggie, it was worth it.

These past two months have really showed me just how effective those small changes can be. I’ve gotten really good at monitoring my energy usage – keeping lights off in rooms I’m not using and  unplugging appliances when not in use.   Now I find myself with a new problem.  When I think about buying and using an appliance, my first thought is “gasp” – how will this affect my power bill?  Yeah, I’m a little obsessed.  But I’d rather be overzealous and thrifty than naive and wasteful!

Here’s a shot of my power bill for proof.  (Note:  When the usage history says “Dec” it really is referring to Nov, because it billed me from Nov. 6 – Dec. 5, etc.)

How have you changed your habits or made changes to save a few bucks on utilities?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 27, 2010 7:21 PM

    This is so fantastic Jane! Congrats!! You’re saving money and the environment! I don’t remember how much our heating bills were when we lived there but I remember them being higher than I would have liked. Spring is just around the corner! :)

  2. January 28, 2010 11:48 AM

    Oh you are def. my hero on this one! I need to try this…

    • Borrowed Abode permalink*
      January 28, 2010 12:31 PM

      Erin – It was tough at times, and occasionally miserable, but it was absolutely worth it. The way I see it, when you can’t easily make more money instantly, you have to “give yourself a raise” by changing your habits, even if only temporarily.

  3. January 29, 2010 2:03 PM

    I love this! I keep my condo really cold too – everyone who comes over cries about it but I save so much money. Way to go!

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