We’ve recently made the decision to become debt free and have been looking for ways to save money, lower our bills or just simply spend less! We are trying to do all of this while making some improvements to our home and especially our backyard. Needless to say, we’ve swayed from our budget quite drastically; but more on that later.
Over the last 3-4 months we paid an average of $160 for electricity. Mind you, we also have Propane that we use for our stove and dryer! So this number doesn’t even include cooking (except Slow Cooker meals and Popcorn; Elijah loves popcorn 🙂 ) and the countless clothes drying and touch-up drying sessions I tend to have on weekends. It could be argued that $160 over the course of the last 4 months is due to the season. However, we moved into the house in the midst of summer and spent about $150 during the months of August, September and October; about $160 in November, roughly $180 in December, back down to about $160 in January and then $150 in February and March. So we have a quite predictable monthly payment on our electricity bill, and for the fact that I am a Christmas fanatic and go all out with lights and Christmas tree and what-not; $180 for the month of December is REALLY good!
- Anyway, our bill for March was $153.89.
- Our bill for April was 103.67.
That’s $48.22 lower within ONE month.
Currently we have used approximately $62.00 worth of electricity and are projected to have a bill of $72-$99 with 9 days left in the cycle.
That means, on the high end we could potentially lower our bill by roughly another $30 and on the low end another $4.00! And that is WITH us using power tools on almost a daily basis and running the AC at an average of 70 degrees in our house; since for some odd reason, Summer decided to get here really early and in spurts. We’ve literally had a week of rain followed by a week of 80+ degree weather, followed by rain, followed by 80+ degree for the last 2 months.
Anyway, back to the topic: How did we lower our bill?
Backstory: When we first saw this house, I was absolutely ecstatic about the kitchen. I mean, never would I have imagined to potentially have such a nice and beautiful kitchen in the first house we’d own. Plus the living room, dining room and kitchen area is based on an open floor concept; which brought all the light from the 5 windows we have in that area directly into the house. I instantly fell in love with the house! The first couple of months were spent trying to decorate the house and make it our home. We opted to buy these really beautiful curtains, which also happen to be room darkening.
This fulfills a few purposes:
- The whole PTSD-thing and open windows…
- It saves us on electricity, particularly during the summer.
- They are some gorgeous looking curtains! 🙂
Well after a while, we felt as though the house was a little dark; and since I haven’t had time to sew up some sheer curtains to hang behind the darkening curtains it was just kind of gloomy. Since we were looking for ways to save money and improve our spending habits to get on track with our journey to become debt free; my husband did some research. He found that by switching to LED lights people had saved a lot of money on their electricity bill over the course of a couple of months. So, we decided to try it ourselves; since we were going to change the light bulbs anyway to make it a little brighter in our home.
We went to our local Home Improvement store where they had a display of the different spectrum of LEDs. We saw one called Daylight and really liked it. It is really bright, but we have beige colored walls and dark wood floors so we chose to go with that one to brighten it up a bit. The store didn’t have them in stock though; to which the customer service rep basically told me that I don’t want the Daylight anyway, because it’s “too bright.” He mentioned that people who bought them at their store had come back to exchange them for the Soft White. Y’all should be REALLY proud of me for not telling him to go somewhere else with his comment! 🙂 I wanted to, but I didn’t. All I wanted was those darn light bulbs, not an advice column from Mr. I-can-Psychoanalyze-you-in-less-than-5-seconds-and-tell-you-exactly-what-you-want-because-you-don’t-know-any-better!
Anyway, I went and got the bulbs at another store. The first bulb we changed was in the lamp on my husband’s desk and we were absolutely amazed at how bright it was and how little heat came off the light bulb! That one bulb brought more light into our room than the three bulbs we had in our light fixture on ceiling!
We were hooked!
We changed the master bedroom and master bathroom lights with GE Lighting 89943 Energy-Smart LED 11-watt, 850-Lumen A19 Bulb with Medium Base, Daylight, 1-Pack. However, at anywhere between $7.99 and $9 a pop, it was starting to get really expensive. Especially considering that we had a total of 54 light bulbs that needed changing including all outside lights and the ones in the garage. We had spent about $120 on light bulbs for 3 rooms.
However, this is what we call an investment; as LEDs have a lot advantages over the Florescent bulbs.
- These light bulbs last longer than florescent bulbs.
- They emit far less heat.
- They use approximately half the kilo-watts of Electricity the Florescent bulbs use.
- They are very durable.
- They have no toxins.
And the list goes on!
We didn’t want to stop now, because the rooms had a totally different feeling. They felt…bright. It wasn’t so gloomy in our house anymore; so we couldn’t stop now. Plus, what if we could REALLY save money on our electricity bill?
So, we set out to find LED light bulbs; which seemed to be quite the task! Since we wanted the Daylight spectrum and not the standard Soft White, we found that while Walmart had the GE 60W Equivalent (Uses 11W) Daylight A19 2X Life LED Bulb, 2-Pack, their Great Value LED Light Bulb 8W A19, Daylight, 2-Pack equivalent was far cheaper. We tried the Great Value, hoping that the two brands wouldn’t clash too much. We decided to put all the GE brands in the rooms and the Great Value everywhere else in the house. This seemed to work quite well and I think it looks amazing!
I swear, sometimes I think my entire life is based on a mixture of craziness and trial-and-error! Can you believe we went through ALL THAT for some light bulbs??? I was about ready to rip my hair out by the time we were done getting them all.
Anyway, we spent about $350 total (over the course of 1 1/2 months) to replace ALL light bulbs in our home. This includes the garage and all outside light fixtures. If we would’ve bought the Great Value brand from the get go, we probably would’ve saved quite a bit. And so far, I must say, the Great Value brand is just as bright as the GE and we haven’t had any issues with them at all.
Just to recap:
- We invested $350 into LED light bulbs
- Lowered our bill by approximately $50 within the first month of installation
- Are set to lower our bill by another $4-$30 this month
- If we can keep our bill between $70 and $90 each month, I’d be super ecstatic!
These light bulbs will have practically paid for themselves in the span of just about 4 months! Plus, our home is so much more brighter! This also seems to have helped with some of the anxiety of the PTSD and Asperger’s!
Now, I’m not telling y’all to go out and buy $350 worth of LED light bulbs! I am merely providing my opinion on how this simple change has impacted not only our electricity bill, but also our personal lives.
Even though, I was a bit hesitant in getting the brightest spectrum; I must say that I really like how this relatively simple action has transformed our home and our monthly bill.
Disclosure: Everything I share is solely based on my personal experience and is for informational purposes only. Some posts may contain affiliate links. For more details please view my disclosure policy.
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