Energy economy

I have been reading on Down to Earth about a mini project of Rhonda's, where readers record gas and electric power readings for two normals days and then two days of being careful. Its very worthy but and I think it would be useful but I don't think I can honestly cut down anymore, except for my famous Achilles heel.

It is mid November and so far the central heating has been on for two hours this year. This was when we came back from holiday and the house was so cold where it had been empty for a week. I kept the heating on full for a couple of hours just to allow it to come up to 'room temperature' again. We also had a cold snap a while back which resulted in a few evenings of gas fire usage.

For cooking I mostly use the top of the cooker. If I have enough to fill the big oven then I use it but otherwise I have got the kids using the combination microwave (which we hate but are getting used too).

I could economise a bit more I guess if I gave up my laptop, or told the kids not to use theirs but I am contents that they switch everything off as it is not required.

We have an electric shower which is mostly used by me and our youngest son. Beloved and the oldest usually shower at work. Beloved is a swimming teacher so he has way too many hot showers in a day to want another when he gets home (yes, I do let him use the facilities at half term). My eldest son builds fibre glass catamarans so he is too yucky to get in the car home without a shower. I could shower at work but it seems a bit odd as I don't run or cycle to get to work.

What else can I do? I don't need to ask really, I know exactly where I waste. I work really long, hard hours and ,my weakness, I hate wet washing hanging about the house making the place cold and damp. I wash from Friday so that I am home here to get everything dried on my line but if it rains constantly or is so cold that it just doesn't dry then it goes in the drier. In my defence it is a very efficient dryer.

My other serious indulgence is bathing. I love my bath. I have a shower every day but once or twice a week I have a bath before bed. I have really cut down as I could easily have one a day in an ideal world. I am hoping to get the grey water run out in to the garden so that at least the plants benefit from my indulgence.

I have made one big improvement to my shopping habits which I am hoping will balance of some of my areas of indulgence a bit. We drink gallons of water but everyone likes bottled water. I was spending about £10 a week on water at one time. The £10 bothered me but all of the bottles bothered me more. We tried a jug for a year but it wasn't nice and it took too long for how much we all get though. Finally I bit the bullet and bought a new fridge (A efficiency - yay)which filter and chills water. So now, we are drinking gallons with minimal fuss and expense.

I know water is a limited resource etc but i am pretty sure it is still better to drink gallons of water than gallons of pretty much anything else. about my bath? Has it really got to go?

I am also working on an indoor drying area to deal with my drying issues. But what about my lovely baths? Do they really have to go??


  1. I think you should figure out how much your baths actually cost before you get rid of them. Perhaps it is not as expensive as you think or you could cut back something else that costs the same. Or you can take a bath every time you sell something on ebay :) Do you have a fireplace or is that a picture from somewhere else? I was thinking that your laundry could sit in front of the fire if you had one. There are a lot more wasteful ways to spend your time than bathing. Seems like a pretty frugal activity to me especially if you get the greywater hooked up.

  2. Hi Lizzie - I firmly believe that if you want to have a bath a couple of times a week, then you should do. Having followed your blog for some time, I know that you have made lots of changes for the better in terms of frugality, money saving, energy efficiency, call it what you will, and if you really enjoy your baths, then you should definitely keep them. Caroline x

  3. Give up my bath? NEVER! When the childer were small it was my only time when I wasn't on call, except "helpful" ex would dump them in the bath with me so he didn't have to deal with them. As the eldest grew up & had their SJA meetings 1 evening a week, I'd get the youngest to bed & enjoy my bath. After s went, they found that mumma in the bath was a captive audience, but I did get a bit of time with a book & chocolate (if the girly Lurcher hadn't found & stolen it).

    In this house the water is heated by the range, but I do use the immersion to make sure that the water is hot enough for my bath (I have 1 a week as relaxation & so I can wash my hair easily). The range is solid fuel. A hot bath is very often the ONLY warm place in the house & as such is jealously guarded. The bathroom radiator has stopped working for no good reason (not blocked, not switched off, been bled), so it & most of the other rooms in the house are COLD.
    The only problem with my bath is that a couple of the dogs insist on joining me in the bathroom to protect me from the great bath monster & they don't shut the door behind them! Bathroom door is opposite the front door & if a dog has opened the front door, then the bathroom door I have to call Annon to shut them. (Often I have to text her to get her attention!) But I LOVE my bath.

    Just think of the other destructive indulgences you could have

  4. Hello Lizzie
    I also love my bath but we have terrible water problems here at the moment and I have guilt feelings when I want a bath.
    I do make up for it by bucketing the water on to plants or to wash the car - only allowed to use a bucket for them and they do come clean with cold water.
    Cold 'cose I usually have the bath in the evening and the water sits there all night
    lol Now I hope this comes out right and I'm not left with my foot in my mouth but as Caroline said, 'you have economised in so many other areas' and as my Dh says to me 'don't get your knickers in a knot over something so small an issue'
    Take care

  5. You lot a great. I feel much better about it now. I may even have a bath tonight to celebrate. I could have far worse indulgences I guess. I am definitely going to get sorted out though so that I can ditch the dryer.
    Ps cant do my drying in front of the fire Daizy as we dont have it on. Thats what wooly socks and fluffy blankets are for!


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