Tag: how-to

How to reduce energy use in your home

Are you looking to reduce energy use in your home? Has your home’s electricity bill spiked of late? Would you want to save some money from the bill or are you an environmental enthusiast who wants to live more sustainably? Whatever your reasons for trying to cut your homes energy consumption, there are different methods that you can use to meet your home’s desired energy consumption.

How to reduce energy consumption at home

Replacing the bulbs

Most of the ordinary bulbs tend to consume more electricity. One major way of minimizing the consumption of energy in your home, therefore, is by changing all the incandescent bulbs in all the rooms. Replace them with bulbs that use less electricity such as halogen bulbs, light emitting diode bulbs, and compact florescent lights, all which last around 25 times longer than traditional bulbs do and can help you save up to 80% of electricity.

Traditional bulbs may be cheaper when compared to the energy-efficient bulbs but the bulbs that help you save energy are definitely cheaper in the long run. This is because they are durable and will consume less electricity.

Use appliances that are energy efficient

Do you know that the electric appliances in your home make up about 13% of the total energy use? This means that when buying appliances, you should check their annual cost of operation in addition to their cost.

It is worth noting, however, that many stores price appliances that save energy higher than the normal electric appliances that guzzle energy. This means that you will need to consider which cost is worthy. Either you incur the initial cost when purchasing the energy saving item, which allows you to enjoy its durability as well as low utility bills, or you save money by buying cheaper electric appliances, which will end up using too much electricity and result into higher utility bills.

Look for appliances that have an energy star because the star is a federal guarantee that the appliance will not consume too much energy.

Minimize expenses like water heating

One major factor that leads to high energy consumption in your home is water heating. There are various methods that you can use to reduce the expenses that result from heating water in your home. One of them is using less heated water. If you have been using heated water when showering, you can reduce your expenses by showering with cold water occasionally.

Another effective way of reducing the energy consumed from heating water is by turning down the thermostat feature in your water heater. You can also use insulation as a way of consuming less energy. For instance, you can insulate the water heater for best results.

You could also purchase a more energy efficient water heater if the one you use is consuming too much power.

Use windows that conserve energy

The windows in your house contribute to about 15% of the energy bills in your home. This is because a lot of heat escapes from your home through the windows. You can prevent this heat loss by installing new double pane windows to replace the single pane windows. If you live in regions where the weather is mostly cold, you can use windows filled with gas and have low-e coatings in order to preserve the energy within your home better.

Exterior or interior storm windows can also be of great use in reducing the amount of heat lost from the house by about 20%. Storm windows are the best option for people who live in areas that encounter extreme weather conditions regularly.

Seal the air leaks in your house

Loss of heat from your home could also result from air leaking from your house. The main common sources of air leakages from most homes are the roof, vents, doors, and windows. As such, be sure to seal all the leaks in your home by covering all the cracks and openings between the vents and the walls, doorframes, and even windows.

How will you seal the gaps between solid objects like the window frame and the wall? The best way to seal air between such stationary objects is by use of use of caulk. If the cracks are between mobile objects, such as doors and windows, however, you can use weather stripping to solve the problem.

Openings made in the floors and ceiling to aid in electrical wiring, plumbing, or ducting could lead to heat loss. As such, you will need to cover them too.

How To Set up and Stock a Kitchen Pantry

Stocking your pantry is a skill. Maybe you’ve never had space for a pantry, or perhaps you find yourself always running out of what you need. Either way, it’s time for you to stock up.

Purpose

Why do you want to stock your pantry? Having the food you need is the obvious answer, but there’s always a more specific motivation. If you don’t want to go shopping as often, you’ll buy different things than if you’re going to stock up for the zombie apocalypse.

If prepping for emergency food scarcity is one of your goals, include the following considerations when you buy:

  • Calorie density
  • Nutrient density
  • Adequate water supply

What Do You Eat>

The first step to stocking a pantry is knowing what you eat. It’s worth putting a little effort into making sure you know what your family actually consumes.

Spend a week or two documenting the following:

  • What the people in your household eat each day
  • Everything you purchase at the grocery store

What Don’t You Eat?

Food waste is common. One reason is that people buy aspirational food items (ingredients they want to use someday) instead of ingredients they know they’ll use.

Take a look at everything you already have. Has that cardamom been unopened in your cupboard for years? Do you have cans of green beans that expired in 2017?

Write down all the things you bought but never used. That’s your “Do Not Buy” list.

Purchase Over Time

You probably won’t be able to think of everything you need in one go. Stocking a pantry is a learning process. Also, things go on sale at different times. Pantries are, above all, about practicality. Overspending isn’t very practical.

Less Expensive Versions

Get more cost-effective versions of the things you already eat.

Dried foods are outstanding pantry staples. For instance, though canned beans are inexpensive, dried beans are even cheaper. When your pantry is fully stocked, you’ll have more time to plan for and complete tasks like soaking dried beans before cooking them.

Store brands are another pantry hack. Often, the store brand comes from the same manufacturer as more expensive brands. The store just slaps on its own label.

Shopping sales is a classic method for saving money—as long as you don’t let sale prices trick you into buying things you won’t actually eat.

Bulk Buying

Not everything should be bought in bulk. Things you don’t use often? Get small amounts.

But many things are a great choice for bulk buying. Spices, peanut butter, and rice are just three examples of shelf-stable foods with excellent bulk prices.

Conclusion

Setting up a pantry takes thought and thriftiness. Once you’ve done it, though, you’ll be happy you did. Assess your habits, budget, and motivations to curate the perfect pantry for your lifestyle.

How to make your produce last longer

Up to 30% of all food in America is wasted. Much of this waste comes as a result of a failure to properly store the food. Thankfully, there are solutions to this, and particularly for produce, which tends to go very bad, very quickly. Here’s an overview of some of the best ways to make your produce last for longer.

First: Do your homework. Every food needs to be stored in different ways, and particularly at different temperatures. You may think that throwing food in the refrigerator is a good idea for all food, but this simply isn’t true, as making food colder than it should be can actually contribute to it going bad. Every food is different, and if you want to make sure that your food lasts longer, research best practices on how to store it. This can involve something as simple as a quick Google search or asking someone at the grocery store.

Second, buy less! One of the biggest reasons for food waste is that far too many people buy far more food than they will use before that food goes bad. Buying less food means that you will actually use everything you have before buying more, and this cuts down on the chances of you actually wasting the food. Yes, this may mean more frequent trips to the grocery store, but it also means more saved money and less food waste.

Make sure you purchase high-quality containers. Leaving your food exposed, in the open air, may be contributing to its waste, as oxygen and light will lead to produce going bad, quicker. Purchasing a good container or bag can help seal your produce from these harmful components and ensure that your food lasts for longer. 

Make sure to time your purchase right. If you know that you won’t eat the produce for a few days, don’t buy food that is already ripe or overripe. Instead, buy under ripe food. This will ensure that the food has an extra few days in its life cycle, giving you time to eat and prepare it. Sometimes, it may be obvious if a food is ripe – other times, you may need to do a bit of homework in order to make this determination. Make sure you do your research before purchasing the food, not after.

Speaking of research, remember, some foods have odd tricks that can make them last longer. For example, asparagus should be trimmed and kept in water. Look into what weird tricks can help make food last longer. 

As you can see, making your produce last longer can involve a bit of homework or the expense of buying higher quality storage products. However, this expense can be well worth it, as it can help you save a ton of money on the cost of food.