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  • 15 Practical and Doable Tips on How to Save on Utility Bills

    by Paula Abiog .
  • IMAGE myseco.militaryonesource.mil

    Utility bills can take a huge chunk out of your family’s monthly budget, especially when you don’t take steps to consciously cut back on your consumption. Train your family to practice small changes that can lead to big savings. Smart moms share their cost-effective tips.

    Cut back on electric bills

    “We replaced our old refrigerator with a new one that has an inverter motor. We also got rid of our old CRT television and purchased a new LED TV. We consider these investments because they will surely benefit us in the long run.” —Dang Torres, analyst; mom to Andrei, 13, and Bianca, 8

    “Our electricity bill suddenly shot up last summer, so we decided to invest in an energy-monitoring device called Efergy. This helped us determine inefficient appliances, so we stopped using them. Because all plugged appliances—even the ones switched off—still consume electricity, we now unplug all appliances before leaving the house.” —Anica Mayo, senior brand specialist; mom to Alexa, 4 

    “We use power strips that we turn off when not in use. We also replaced all light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs. When shopping for new appliances, we always choose the energy-efficient ones. They may cost more but they use less energy.” —Loren Amansec, real-estate professional; mom to a two-year-old girl 

    What other parents are reading

    “My kids and I love to bake on weekends, but since the oven uses up a lot of electricity, we use an oven toaster instead to bake a small batch of treats.” —Cristina Reyes, admin manager; mom to Luis, 4, and Van, 2 

    Cooling solutions

    “Our aircon has a timer to ensure that we use it for only eight hours every night.” —Tin Lopez, brand manager; mom to six-month-old twin girls

    “Cold air escapes through holes and spaces in walls, so I make sure our room is free from cracks. Also, we installed an insulated mat (available at the hardware store) on our window to keep it cool.” —Liziel Macrohon, mom to Lara, 13, and Keon, 9 months

    “During hot weekends, our family stays in just one room. This eliminates the use of multiple AC units and electric fans and also makes for great bonding time.” —Mom Dang Torres

    “We started a family project last summer: We planted trees and plants around our house to provide more shade during hot days and to keep our aircon units out of direct sunlight.” —Ces Nieto, mom to three boys 

    Save on gas and water

    “In addition to carpooling with my officemates twice a week, my husband and I save on gas by driving at a steady pace. I avoid stepping on the brake or gas pedal too much, because I learned that cars use up more fuel when they suddenly accelerate or stop.” —Helen Chan, manager; mom to Niccolo, 5 

    What other parents are reading

    “I read that you can turn your water closet into a ‘low-flush’ toilet by putting a water bottle inside the tank. I filled up a medium-sized plastic bottle with sand, and then I placed it inside the water tank. The bottle displaces water, so now we use less water each time we flush the toilet.” —Mom Cristina Reyes 

    “I wear my jeans and pants at least twice a week, especially when I wear them only to the office. I tell my kids to do the same. Jeans don’t get dirty easily and using them more than once before washing helps us cut back on water used for laundry.” —Gelia Castillo, overseas worker; mom to two boys and one girl 

    “For clothes that need very minimal ironing, I hang them in the bathroom while I take a hot shower. The steam removes the creases!”—Mom Ces Nieto

    “I replaced all our lights with LEDs because they last longer, use up less electricity, and emit less heat. I always unplug appliances and gadgets that are not in use such as the toaster, coffee maker, etc. to prevent ‘ghost electricity,’ wherein anything that is plugged in still uses power.” —Helen Arabia, mom to Renee, 19, Gaby, 14, and Tiago, 5

    Take out unnecessary expenses

    “We don’t have a landline phone. We just take advantage of unlimited prepaid plans to get in touch with others. If we need to have food delivered, we check what’s available on the Internet so we can just order online.”—Princess Diane Eufemio, registered nurse; mom to Allen Prince, 5

    “Since we have data plans on our cell phones, we cut our landline and Internet connections at home to lessen costs. Also, when our old desktop computer conked out, we replaced it with a laptop because it consumes less electricity.” —Celine de Leon, human resource staffer; mom to Johann, 5 

    This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of Smart Parenting. Minor edits have been made by the Smartparenting.com.ph editors. 

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