This post is an advertisement feature in collaboration with EDF Energy. As always though, all thoughts and opinions are my own!
You might remember from one of my recent weekly ‘five frugal things I’ve done this week’ posts that one thing we’re really trying to focus on at the moment is saving some money on our energy bills. As a family of four with two teenagers, I’ve found over the last year that our energy usage has crept up which means that our bills are on the up too.
It’s not just about saving money though (although that’s definitely a huge part of it), it’s also about trying to love a more sustainable life and lowering the amount of energy we use as a family is just one of the things we can do to achieve that.
It’s not easy with teenagers but we’re really trying to help them learn and I feel like we’re really making progress. Here are a few of the things we’ve decided as a family that we’re going to be doing to make sure that we’re doing what we can to use less energy and save some money:
Making sure we’re on the best energy deal for us
Checking that you’re on a great deal and on a tariff that’s right for you and your family is the first, and easiest thing you can do to save yourself some money. The EDF Energy Blue+Price Protection tariff might be one that you want to consider because not only could it save you money over what you’re currently paying, it’s also going to help reduce your carbon footprint as the energy supplied is all low-carbon. Add to that the fact that it’s a fixed rate tariff which means you won’t get any nasty price increases while you’re on it and there are no exit fees so you can still shop around if you want to and you’ll be laughing!
Try and only use one gadget at a time
I walked into Miss Frugal’s bedroom the other day and found her doing homework on her laptop with Pretty Little Liars streaming from Netflix on her iPad AND a Facetime conversation with her friend on her phone as they were allegedly doing homework together.
That’s three devices running at the same time! After a few words about concentrating on her homework and about wasting energy, she switched Pretty Little Liars off and said goodbye to her friend. She then completed her homework to a higher standard that she would have done when her focus was split and used two fewer gadgets for an hour while she did it!
This isn’t an isolated incident either – Master Frugal can quite happily have his Xbox on and be playing Fifa while he’s on Facetime with a friend on his phone and sometimes even watching a Youtube video of someone else playing Fifa on his iPad!
So the new rule is to use one gadget at a time and hopefully, that will cut down on our energy consumption massively.
Often on a night, we’ll all be off doing our own thing in separate rooms which means we’ll have four lights on, four gadgets (minimum) being used and everyone doing things like making a cuppa in their own time. We’re going to make sure that at least two nights a week we’re all together in one room and watch a film or play board games so not only do we get to spend time together, we also get to save some money!
Something isn’t dirty if you’ve only worn it for an hour
Sometimes I feel like the kids use the wash basket as an alternative to putting clothes away as they often add things in there that they’ve literally worn once for about an hour. It’s not dirty, still smells fresh and could easily be hung up and put away but the easy option is to put it in the wash basket so that’s what they do.
To try and reduce the washing that we were doing because of the extra additions to our washing pile, I’ve made a rule that if there’s something in there that should be then it will be taken out and left in the middle of their floor where they will have to tidy it away anyway so they might as well do it when they take it off to avoid my angry slamming of doors as I walk out of their room after dumping the offending article in the middle of the floor with a sigh and a glare.
We’re not trying to compete with Blackpool Illuminations
Not turning lights off when we leave the room is something we’ve got really bad at so we’re trying to be much more conscious about turning a light off when we leave a room. It helps that we’re trying to gradually turn our house into a smart home so we can control the lights from our phones so if we go out and forget to turn the light out then we can use our phone to switch it off!
Even if we’re in the house, we can control some of our lights using our Amazon Alexa so if the kids come downstairs, I can tell Alexa to turn their bedroom lights off as I’m about 90% sure that they wouldn’t have! I also love that I can turn the lights on from the car so if I’m the first one home and it’s dark then I don’t have to run the risk of breaking my neck over randomly discarded shoes, bags and dog toys!
If you want to live in a smart home, you definitely should check out the newly launched EDF Energy Smart Home Store which makes all this new smart tech so simple to understand that even I get it! 😉
It’s a great place to start if you want to turn your home into a smart home. And as an extra bonus, EDF Energy has given me an Amazon Echo Dot for you to win to celebrate the opening of the new Smart Home Store. All the details are on the widget about how you can enter and the Terms and Conditions are detailed below.
Terms and Conditions:
This competition starts on 9th November 2018 at 00:01 and ends on 1st December 2018 at 23:59. The sponsor of this competition is EDF Energy. Open to legal residents of the UK who are 18 years old +. The prize is an Amazon Echo Dot, retail value approx £39.99. No purchase necessary and no cash alternative. The Winner will be selected at random by the Rafflecopter from all eligible entries received throughout the promotion period. The winner will be contacted by the email provided and sent the prize in the post directly from EDF Energy. The winner will also be viewable on the below Rafflecopter. Any personal information supplied by you during the competition entry will only be used for contacting you if you are the winner. Good luck!
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