Get The Whole Family Involved In Saving On Your Electric Bill

Christy | 11:38 PM |

We would all like to save money or have extra money for family activities.  Saving money on electricity is one way to put aside extra cash.  While there are no coupons for $20 off electricity, there are several easy ways to help those bucks add up, fattening your wallet as well as keeping unnecessary energy use to a minimum.

  • Get The Kids Involved

Talk to the kids about your plans and involve them in coming up with electricity saving ideas.  Show them the electric meter and the electric bill and explain how often you have to pay it.  Set a goal for a lower bill before the next one arrives.  Tell them the money saved can go for something special at the end of six months. 
  • The Obvious

Turn out those lights!  Make sure you and every member of your household understands how a light-switch works.   The concept is simple.  Leave the room and if nobody else is in it, turn out the lights.  Even very young children catch on to this with ease if the example is set for them.
If you have an electric water heater, take shorter showers.  With both water and electricity costs rising, it's a good idea to learn how to quickly clean up and rinse, rather than waste valuable energy and water standing in a shower.  Use a shower timer that allows three minutes and see how long it takes your kids to adjust.  Unless they've literally rolled in the mud and let it dry, three minutes or less is all they really need.
  • Appliances

The refrigerator is a large energy zapping appliance and the warmer the weather, the harder it works to keep things cool.  Make sure the seals are in good shape and train yourself and your family to open and close it quickly.  The less time the door is open, the less energy it takes to maintain the temperature.  After all, standing there staring into an open refrigerator never got anyone fed.  The food won't suddenly jump out and form itself into a sandwich or a meal because you're looking at it.
The dryer also uses a tremendous amount of electricity.  Hang clothes to dry as much as possible and try to use your dryer early in the morning or late at night.  Using the air-fluff feature for as little as two minutes after clothes have air dried removes the stiffness and cuts energy use almost 100%.
For heating up that frozen pizza, use a toaster oven rather than the full sized one.  It may take a couple of minutes longer but will still save a good amount of electricity.  Or use your microwave for reheating.  Newer microwaves have multiple power levels and using a mid range power level reheats better without using maximum energy.
  • Entertainment Electronics

Most households have multiple entertainment centers including TV's, DVR/DVD combos, computers, game stations, etc.  Use a power strip with surge protector for all the cords.  These have a switch you can use to turn everything off at once.  Or call an electrician out to add a surge protection in your switchboard that alone can make a difference on your electricity bill.
Most homes also have cell phones, tablets or other devices needing a charge daily or almost daily. Set up one charging station for devices with the various cords needed and plug into a power strip with a surge protector.  Again, turn off when not in use.  
  • Windows Open / Windows Closed

If the air conditioner or heater is running, your windows should be closed.  Otherwise, open those windows and let in the fresh air.  Wear sweaters in cooler weather and keep the heat off as long as possible.  In summer, use fans instead of a/c unless its unbearably hot.
For west facing windows, consider room-darkening shades in the summertime.  It keeps things cooler when the afternoon sun blazes.  Or in a cold climate, use extra insulation on the north facing windows. 
Overall, there are many ways to save electricity.  The kids will eagerly help once they begin to see a difference in those bills and are able to enjoy a movie night or dinner out that they wouldn't have had otherwise.  

Carla C. Burton is a self-employed Mummy blogger with a BBA in Business Administration from Bond University.  Although a Gold Coast native, Carla moved to Melbourne in 2008 to further her writing career and raise her children.  Carla has become a top contributor to many blogs worldwide and thoroughly enjoys the freedom that self-employment has provided her.  To find out more about Carla or to follow her other posts, follow her on Twitter @CarlaCBurton.

About is a collection of frugal-living articles and resources for women trying to save money- while still being able to enjoy the luxuries of life.