Save on Your Electric Bill: 5 Tips

Electric bills have always been a mystery to me. I mean, you’re paying for something they say you are using, but you cannot see it. But over the years I have discovered ways to use less of this invisible commodity and thought I could pass on the ideas to you.

Save Money on the Electric Bill: Here’s How

1. Keep multiple small freezers

As a homesteader that tries to provide most of the family’s food, I need a large amount of freezer space to store all that summer produce. When butchering and hunting season comes, another large deposit is made into the freezer as well. Fall brings a great sense of pride and security when the freezer is too full to add ice cream to the grocery list. After several years however, I realized that as we eat out of the freezer I am paying to cool empty space. And once spring hits, I am staring at a freezer so empty I question the wisdom in using it. To solve this problem, we replaced our super large deep freeze with three small ones. Now, when they start to look spacious, I simply do some re-arranging so that I can turn one off. By summertime, I have two empty freezers, turned off and wedged open to prevent odors.

2. Update your appliances

Since we bought our home 10 years ago, we have replaced the refrigerator, hot water heater, washer and drier. However, our bill still hovered around $170 per month. After a couple sons moved out I saw the bill drop a smidge; so I decided that the high power bill was due to all the laundry I did when they lived at home. Then this past winter the bill dropped down to around $130. I wasn’t sure why; but I was happy. Come to find out, it was the dishwasher. I quit using it this past winter. It was so old it no longer did a good job; and I thought it time my younger children learn to wash dishes by hand. Then this canning season I found myself overwhelmed with trying to keep up with the dishes and washing/sterilizing all the canning jars. So we started using it again. Immediately my bill went back up to $170. Now we are going to stop using it again and start putting that $40 a month difference into a jar to save for a new dishwasher.

3. Unplug things

Your small appliances (large and small), computers, TV and movie players, and cell phone and laptop chargers all draw electricity whether you are using them or not. When not in use, unplug them. If you cannot reach behind the entertainment center, plug everything into a power strip that you can turn off. If you have several people in the home using chargers of different types, set up one docking station with the chargers plugged into a strip. In the morning, when everyone leaves for work or school, simply turn off the strip. Also remember to turn off the lights, radios, and ceiling fans in empty rooms.

4. Do without

Honestly, how many televisions does a family need? Computers? And what about all the gadgets? We have taken the action out of so many of our basic needs that we now have electric toothbrushes, razors, water flossers, heating pads, hair dryers, and the list goes on. In the kitchen we have not only an electric range, but coffee pots, tea makers, waffle irons, griddles, toasters, bun warmers, tortilla makers, and microwaves, all to do what that electric range does. No wonder we go into a panic whenever the hint of bad weather threatens the power grid. But do we need all these gadgets? Here’s a challenge. Pick one thing and go without it for a month. At the end of the month, decide if you can go longer. Once you eliminate one gadget, go without another for a month. See how many of these extra things you can do without. Sell them at your next garage sale and make a little extra to add to your Christmas jar.

5. Purchase a power usage meter

My son, trying his hand at making traditional long bows, built a small wood dryer to use in the shop. My husband was convinced that it was going to raise the electric bill too much to use. Ever wonder how much power something is using? A power usage meter is designed to connect to an appliance and measure its efficiency. Plug the item into the device and it will display the kilowatt per hour for that item. One of these devices can help you make the decision about which of those gadgets to do without.

What are some ways you save money on your electric bill? Meet us in the comments!

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  1. KathyM

    I like the genious idea of smaller freezers! I never thought of that! Unfortunately we gave away our small freezer when someone gave us a huge one. 😐 Well, I’ll just be thankful our daughter can enjoy the benefits and savings of a smaller freezer. 🙂 Thanks, Carol, for the reminder!

  2. Adam


    These are great tips and I’m so glad you are going to be a regular writer on this site! I particulary liked your thought about the power usage meter since I’ve often wondered what some of the things we run on a daily basis actually end up costing us at the end of the month. Also, who would have guessed that it was the dishwasher?! Nice catch!

  3. 20's Finances

    It is a great tip to unplug chargers or plug them into strip and turn it off when you go to work. Making it convenient really goes a lot ways to ensure that you do it. I have learned that if I fail to do this, it remains plugged in because it is too much of a hassle (even though I know I will save money and energy).

  4. cornelius

    Could you kindly explain what is a strip?
    Is it the multiple plug points?

  5. Don

    I plug the majority of my devices into a power strip. When I’m not home or in the room, I flip the switch on the power strip and it cuts power to 5 devices. To many it may seem like a waste of time. However, I have found it to be a savings vehicle. I have cut my monthly electric bill down between $5-$10 per month.

    Great post!