Easy ways to spend less of your money on utility bills!



Annual savings & Further Reading

(assume family of four, average use)

Refrigerator & Freezer

Clean condenser coils, 2-3x per year

15% electricity fridge uses

Article: Save money, save the earth

Keeping fridge/freezer ~2/3 full

5-10% electricity

Article: 10 ways to save energy in the kitchen

Keep frost from getting >1/4″ thick


Food storage: let frozen foods thaw in fridge before using, and let hot food cool off before sticking it in the fridge.

Article: 10 Ways to save energy in the kitchen

Dry food storage: make sure you’re not restricting air flow around/under fridge with cereal boxes, tea, cookies, chips, etc.

Spoilage reduction: store potatoes with an apple (no kidding), lemons, only cut off the part you need, and tomatoes? Leave at room temp with stem facing down.

Article: Food spoilage reduction
Article: Ideal temperatures and humidities for fridge/freezer

Appliances and electronics

Unplug anything that sucks vampire power when not in use


Article: The Kill-a-watt meter: vampire slayer!


Match burner size to pot/pan size


Article: Your energy efficient kitchen

Only use oven for large amounts of food–try to use toaster oven or microwave for smaller items


Use oven light, don’t open door when baking and let heat out

Self-cleaning: best to do this right after baking something, to capture residual heat


Full of scraped, not pre-cleaned dishes, facing inward


Do not use heated dry setting–just let dishes air dry. Expedite by cracking the dishwasher door open when done.


 Reusable bags

Store cloth shopping bags in obvious place to make it hard to forget to bring them to store. Reuse plastic produce bags and bulk jars by placing them in those shopping bags when empty…ready to go to the store for a refill!


 A/C and cooling

Use ceiling fan over bed rather than A/C at night

8-12% of total A/C costs

Turn off fans when not in the room. Remember fans only cool you, not the room! Their motors actually generate heat, so turn ’em off when you’re not there!


Clean (and replace, if necessary) A/C filters every 1-3 months, depending on use, #people, pets, etc.


Turn off faucet when brushing


Alternatives to Draino on clogs


Article: Non-toxic drain unclogging secrets
Article: Natural drain cleaner

Pool & Hot tub

Most pool pumps only need to run a few hours a day, so if yours is on 24 hrs, put that baby on a timer!

Hot tub ideal temp: 102 degrees. Any hotter and you’re wasting energy and money

Hot tub pump running ~2-3 hrs per day is sufficient

Laundry Room–Dryer

Use your foldable drying rack!


Article: Savings from drying rack vs. clothes dryer

Clean lint from dryer before every use.


Article: Eco-friendly laundry tips

Use auto-dry setting to prevent dryer working beyond when clothes are dry. If don’t have an auto-dry, set timer for less than you’d expect…people tend to overdry.

 Laundry Room–Washer

Full loads, not partial


Wash in cold water unless there is oil/grease on your clothes. ALWAYS cold rinse


Article: Eco-friendly laundry tips


Bike? If you can, do it. This author’s a professor in an MBA program, and calculates he’s saved well over $50,000 in 20 years bike commuting. And that’s post-tax income! 🙂


Public transit. Check Google’s directions pages…you can see how much regular trips cost in driving costs vs. public transit, and how long each will take in expected traffic.

Keep car tires properly inflated by checking them with gauge, and filling them regularly to the recommended max listed on the tire itself.

Slow down…drive the speed limit instead of 5-10 MPH over, and accelerate and decelerate slowly rather than rapidly.

10-15% of your fuel costs!