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Friday, November 13, 2009

Ideas and tips for saving on your Hydro Bill!

A few days ago HUP over at the Wisconsin Preppers Network did a post about water usage and the fact that her family were becoming very cognisant of the amount of water that they were using (you can find the original post here). After reading the post a few ideas that I had learned immediately came to my mind and I left some of the tips and tricks that we had learned over the years in the comment section of the post.

And then I got to thinking. Prior to moving into our current home a little over 3 years ago, we hadn't much thought about water usage. Or tire gardening. Or canning the food we grow. Or a bunch of other stuff like prepping.

But at that time we did some research and learned of a bunch of different ways to reduce our water bill and the results have been nothing short of astounding! Considering that we have no gas-line coming into the house and have a solar-powered hot water heater - reducing our hydro bill has really cut out some monthly expenditures! And saving $5, $10 or $20 dollars a month in utilities is money that can be put towards more preps!

Do some research on the internet and you will find a million and one ways to reduce your Hydro bill - the ones that I will share below are the ones that we found useful and that have helped us reduce our bill.

1.) Install gutters on your roof, get a rainbarrel or two and get a Berkey Water Filtration System!!! The people over at Berkey should really start paying me as I find a way to talk about our Berkey no matter what the topic of conversation!!! I really can't say enough about drinking filtered rainwater - it is sooo delicious - and I really can't say enough about our Travel Berkey!!!
We use it year-round and during the winter we melt snow to run through the Berkey!!! The initial investment (gutters, rainbarrel and Berkey) is costly - but really - start saving now! It is one of the best investments we have ever made and we are no longer spending money on bottled water, nor on costly Britta filters, nor drinking fluorinated tap water - bleck! And the money you will save on your water bill (or bottled water bill) is seen immediately!
(You can check the first post I ever did on our rainbarrels and Berkey System here).

2.) Follow the "mellow" method of toilet flushing. For those of you unfamiliar with the catchy little limerick, it goes like this:
"If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down."
For those of you who still don't know what the mellow method is - it's this: if it's a #1, let a few build up before flushing...and flush all #2's immediately. This method is especially good if you have already starting using cloth wipes instead of toilet paper...but that's a whole 'nuther story (Jennifer of the New Mexico Preppers Network shared info about cloth wipes at the PEI Preppers Network here - thanks Jennifer!).
We have been following the mellow method for some time now and again - you see the results on your Hydro Bill right away!!!

3.) Keep a large bucket full of water near your dishwasher and/or sink. Instead of using running tapwater to rinse your dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, use the bucket instead. Once the water in the bucket becomes too dirty, dump and refill. The water in the bucket only needs to be replaced 2-3 times a day instead of running the tap.

4.) Save all water that you use for cooking food to water your houseplants and/or your garden. I keep a big bucket under the sink for this purpose. Any time that you boil or steam vegetables, eggs or pasta - dump the water that you used into the bucket. When it's time to water your houseplants - use this nutrient-infused water instead of running the tap - you'll save money on houseplant fertilizer too.

5.) Check all faucets AND hoses for drips. This is a real biggee! We had a dripping hose that we weren't aware of when we first moved in here and could not understand why our Hydro bill was so high. We have since fixed that problem and needless to say - it was immediately reflected on our bill. A slow-dripping faucet and/or hose can accumulate up to 2 gallons per hour!!! I some research on the internet and you will find a million more tips to save on your Hydro Bill. The ones I have shared have been tried and tested by us and have definitely helped us save money on your bill. I hope that some of you will find some of the methods listed above helpful, and I hope that you will try some of them.

And lastly, thanks to HUP for being the inspiration behind this post! These Prepper Networks are not only good for learning and sharing information - they're good for thinking up new posts too!

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