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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One Frugal Thing

It occurred to me that changing your lifestyle is no easy undertaking. It is hard physically, mentally and emotionally. So I wanted to do something that would give me a little boost every day.

I decided to post one frugal thing I have done each day. In that way I can visually see that I am making a real effort to change my ways for the good of my life and family. When I am really struggling I can go back and look at the cumulative effect of all of those "one things" and realize I really am making a difference in my life.

Since I write this each day in the morning the "One Thing" will be from the day before. Here is mine from yesterday.

                                         One Frugal Thing 11/27/2012

In January of this year I moved my little family (18 yr old son, dogs, cat, reptiles and myself) from Southern California, a very warm climate, to Central Oregon, a four season climate. If you have spent any time in Central Oregon you realize very quickly that at least three of those four seasons can be cold (sometimes very cold). After several years in Cali we had become accustom to being comfortably warm all the time. Though I love all four seasons it is uncomfortable to change climates rapidly.

Heating costs are high everywhere. Both electricity and natural gas bills can eat rapidly into an already strained budget. I decided one area I could cut down on was the heating bill. I have generally kept my home at around 70 -71 degrees never really thinking about how it could fluctuate since my digital thermostat will automatically adjust accordingly. Last night I decided to drop my temp down to 66. This may not seem like a huge drop, but I figure baby steps, right? My son's room is naturally warm as he has reptiles with heat elements in their cages. I piled 2 extra blankets on my bed (I like the weight anyway) and brought the dogs all into my room so they were either snuggled on the bed with me (natural little heat boxes), curled up on the carpet (my house has hardwood floors and can be cold for them to lay on) or toasty on their doggie beds.

I slept like a log so I consider this a successful transition and will continue to keep my thermostat at 66 at night for a week. Next week I will try dropping it to 64. During the day when we are home I usually set it at 70, but the furnace does not kick on very often since I am cooking or running the dryer and the house stays warm on it's own. I am leaving at 66 today and see how it feels.

I know this sounds like a small thing, but I figure the pyramids were built one block at a time, right? I will let you know next month how it effects my electric and gas bills.

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