The holidays are expensive, no matter how you slice that fruitcake. We try dutifully to keep to a budget, we don’t travel to Hawaii just because we have the time off, and we don’t over-indulge people with gifts. But still, at the end of the day, we can keep to a budget, but little things always pop up. And while we don’t run off to Hawaii, a weekend in the snow (or away from the snow) is sometimes welcomed. And we may not over-indulge in the gift department, but even making homemade cookies, jams, and other treats does add up.
And then there’s the electricity thing. Why is it that the most expensive times of the year are also the coldest? Well, we can’t change the weather, but we can give you a few good tips on how to keep your electrical bill down during the holiday season…
LED Lights. We’ve mentioned this before, and just to prove how serious we are, we’re going to bring it up again. LED lights use considerably less energy versus conventional light bulbs (80-90% less). If you’re putting light up on the house, the tree, hanging those little light icicles from the eves of your roof – LED will make a big difference in your energy bill. And psst…it’s not written in stone that you have to put lights on the outside of the house. There’s something understated and lovely about one simply lit tree in the window. One string of lights might be just fine.
If you are a light person, though, there are plenty to go around during the holidays. Not just the house and tree lights, there are also angels and stars lit at the top of the tree, displays of winter scenes with individually lit up houses decorating the top of the mantle, all sorts of accessories that need to be plugged in. Consider power strips. A one stop show to turn off everything at once, if you then unplug the one power strip, you prevent standby power being drained as a result of all those accessories being plugged in.
As we mentioned, the holidays coincide with colder weather, which means more expensive heating bills. If you’ve noticed a draft by any of your windows or doors, consider a weatherstripping project. Cheap, easy, with a nice payoff (cozier house, smaller bill).
Some holiday decorations can even help with limiting the electricity bill, take candles for instance. Candles are a mainstay of the holiday season. Making a habit of turning down the lights and lighting up the candles at a certain time each evening would be a relaxing way to shut down from a long day of shopping, sitting in traffic and fighting the lines at the post office.