Trying to Make a Dollar out of Fifteen Cents

My Dad likes to fondly say of my spending habits, that I can pinch a penny until it screams. Call me cheap or thrifty – I just smile and say – Yes, siree, Bob – you betcha I can stretch that dollar bill. I’m often found roaming around the house rapping “Tryin’ to make a dolla out of 15 cents”. No seriously, I love that song. It’s like my leitmotif. At least when I’m pawning all my extra’s on craigslist it is.

But, in addition to being one thrifty little lady, we are also pretty serious about sustainability around here. To me, making our home as energy efficient as possible is like killing two birds with one stone – it saves mother earth, and my money. Win.

We do all the low hanging fruit that we can. The thermostat is set to 64 when we are home, and 59 when we sleep. Yep – you bet that’s cold. We walk around the house with blankets in the winter (I fondly refer to them as our capes), and my heart is always a bit warmer when I get my monthly utility bill and it’s under $100 in the dead of winter. Holla.

Although I’m not crazy about them from a style standpoint (they are pretty neutral, so I can’t complain too much), we also have blinds on all the windows that have insulating qualities, and we try to keep them closed throughout much of the winter. We do open the front one a wee bit so that orange tabby can conduct his daily neighborhood watch routine, he he. 🙂

Bedroom Side: Progress
Bedroom Side: Progress

It also helps that we inherited cellulose blown in insulation which we DEFINITELY did not have in the last house. You could keep your meat fresh just by putting it next to the living room wall in that house. Sheesh. Jay did some other energy efficiency upgrades to the house for winter, including adding weather stripping to the windows, sealing off the attic windows with plastic, and putting door sweeps at drafty doors.

Efficiency Measures
Efficiency Measures

So when we had a recent opportunity to have a comprehensive energy audit done on our home for only $100, I jumped at the chance. PLUS, there are some sa-weet rebates offered through the program, which can make the purchase of an energy efficient furnace much more attainable. Our furnace is as old as us (almost 30 years!), so it is not the most efficient thing, and it’s probably about to jump ship on us and enter the scrap metal grave yard. Or recycle yard. Our audit is on the 5th, so we are both pretty excited to see what the results are, and what we can do to further reduce those monthly utility billz. Had to keep my rappin’ going till the end there.

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