Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Switch it off! Even better, don't switch it on.

Hello, I've spent most of the day indoors today, the weather has been horrible. I did pop out briefly to run to the doctors surgery, yes run, only two minutes away, I got distracted and nearly missed the appointment. As soon as I went in I was called straight away for my flu jab, other people were sat around waiting. I don't want to be in there longer than is necessary, all those nasty germs floating around. I was in and out in two minutes.

It seems one of my readers is most impressed with my gas and electricity charges, and asks how I keep my usage so low. Thank you for your email, I'll try and give you a few pointers. For a start there is only me here, so no one to fight with over switching things on and off. I only switch lights on in the room where I am sitting. I have my desk light on and the small Christmas lights on in this room at the moment.

I don't have anything on standby except the fridge freezer. My gas cooker can be plugged into the electrics but I don't bother, I don't need a clock in the kitchen. I switch the microwave on when I use it. In fact I don't have any clocks at all plugged in. I have a wrist watch and a wind up clock in the bedroom, that's all I need. I have a music centre/stereo/radio which I only plug in if I want to listen to something. I like quiet in my house, don't need constant noise, don't need a tele or radio for company.

I use the dyson when the floor looks a bit mucky, and have a blitz every so often on the cat hairs. I have a hair dryer but very rarely use it, always let my hair dry by itself. I use the washing machine when I have a full load, and only wash things when they are dirty or smelly. All the washing gets dried outside on the line, so I only do a wash if it's windy or sunny. I have plenty of clothes, bedding and towels so could last several weeks without doing a wash load. If it's a nice drying day I might do two loads. I use the thirty minute setting at 30 degrees for everything.

For cooking I never use the oven, I don't bake or make pies or roast anything. I use the top gas rings, usually just one as I steam all my vegetables in one pan. I sometimes use the grill. I don't fry food because it makes a mess of the cooker, and I don't like washing greasy pans. In fact I have a new system for washing up now. As soon as I have finished with a pan, a plate, a mug, cutlery etc, I rinse under the cold tap with a brush. Saves on wash up liquid, water, and heating the water. I might do a proper washup in the bowl if I have used several pans for different things. For that I heat the water on the hob in one of the pans that needs washing. Then have a blitz and wipe down all the worktops and top of cooker, and scrub the sink. I might do this once a week.

I have only one mug of coffee a day, first thing in the morning. The rest of the time I drink diluted juice or water. I have a kettle but hardly use it. I put a mug of cold water in the microwave, take it out after a couple of minutes, add coffee, sugar, and dried milk, taste it, then put it back in the microwave for another minute so that it's hot. I must save loads of money by not drinking endless cuppas during the day.

I heat a tank full of water when I have a bath. I have a good soak and scrub every bit of me. Every morning I wash in cold water, it's not too bad if you do it quickly. If I want to wash my hair in between baths I use the sink in the kitchen, for that I boil the kettle, can't wash hair in cold water, that's a step too far.

I have the computer on a lot, but have switched to using the small netbook, it probably uses less electricity than the big one. Other gadgets, sewing machine, lawn mower, strimmer, slow cooker, stick blender, food processor, battery chargers, all used occasionally.

So that's about it really, keep things simple. At the back of my mind I always think that when I switch something on it's costing me money. I am used to living this way, for me it's normal, it's no big deal.
Hope that helps, thanks for asking. And now for the question. Is there any way you can cut down on your use of gas and electricity? Winter is approaching and bills will be creeping up, now is the time to start thinking about how you can monitor the situation, be more aware of what it is costing you to run your home. The next quarterly bill for me will be in January, I will be ready for it.  

And now for tonight's simple dinner. One portion of home made veg curry frozen in a margarine tub, and a portion of frozen rice.

A few minutes in the microwave, and Bob's your uncle, instant dinner, and I know exactly what's in it, well more or less. Can't quite remember but I know it hasn't any nasties in it.

Thank you for popping in. Toodle pip

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