I know most bloggers say the easiest place they cut expenses is in their grocery budgets. Well I find it easiest to cut our vehicle fuel bills down.
As you can see from this graphic a great deal of the price of a liter of fuel here in Canada is taxes, both provincial and federal.
Now that Harvey and I are not working saving money at the pump has taken on importance. Especially so if we want to take any longer trips to stock up or for a holiday. I combine trips when I use the car and so far, for the most part am only driving twice a week. This means a full tank of gas usually lasts me a month. Harvey's truck uses a bit more fuel than the Terraine, but he is managing to get by on one tank a month as well. Quite a change from when I had to fill up every second week while working. We still use a bit more during football season and when we do a stock up trip, but by keeping to driving as little as possible we have cut our bill by $600.00 a year.
Electricity cost is perhaps our biggest expenditure. Hopefully once the basement and back bedrooms are vented this will go down even more. Right now I turn off the baseboard heaters in rooms not in use and turn them down in those rooms being used until about an hour before bed. I also use draft dodgers (rolled up towels) in front of the doors during the evenings and the front door always has a draft dodger in front of it.
We have started switching to LED lights rather than CFL or regular bulbs. They last longer and use less power. I actually like the light they give off better as well.
Lights are turned off in rooms not in use and I try and remember to turn off those phantom power users. Harvey thinks I am a bit OCD over this but I would much rather the pennies stay in my pocket rather than the electric company's.
We have bought energy efficient electrical appliances and try to use them to advantage. My dryer is only used for a couple of loads every two weeks, the rest of the laundry is hung to dry on lines downstairs.
If I use the oven I try to cook as much as possible in it at one time.
Natural gas is a bit harder to regulate. Considering how cold we can get here on the prairies it is a constant struggle to keep this budget line under control. Still this is a less expensive way to heat our home than electric. During those lovely sunny days I keep all blinds and drapes open to take advantage of the effects of the sun. Since we face south the solar heating power coming through our big picture window is wonderful. Some days the furnace never cuts in at all. Then as soon as the sun starts to go down, I pull the blinds and insulating drapes closed to keep as much heat as possible inside. The house usually stays warm for a few hours after the sun disappears.
Everybody have a wonderful evening.