Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Preserving Eggs: Part 2 Freezing eggs

Freezing eggs is very easy and if you have the extra space in your freezer.
This works very well the only thing I worry about is having not only the freezer space but if you lose power for an extended time you lose everything tin the freezer

Freezing Eggs Blend your eggs very well use a blender or mixer to blend well
Then you can pour into ice trays and freeze after froze put in to a baggie and store in the freezer on cube equals one egg, Use as you would in any recipe that calls for eggs.
Or you can put in containers depending on the size and how much you want to use at one time great for scrambled eggs or omelets.

To use just let sit out until softened the cubes ( One cube equals one egg ) do not take very long to thaw at room temperature.

Tomorrow I will tell you how to store eggs for 9 to 12 months with out refrigeration.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Preserving eggs: Part One Dehydrating

My chickens are laying an overabundance of eggs so I am going to share what I am doing to keep some so I have some on hand when they are not laying as well today I will talk about drying them then tomorrow about freezing them and last about how to keep them on the shelf for up to a year depending on where you store them

I have found two ways of drying eggs I prefer the raw egg I think the eggs turn out better when recooked and don’t taste like powdered eggs like the cooked egg dehydration

Cooked egg dehydration Take your eggs and whip them real good then cook them in a non stick skillet do not use any oil when they are done put them in the dehydrator at 120 degrees until completely dry take out and crumble then run through a blender or food processor to make a powder the finer the better.

Raw egg dehydration is to put into a bowl and beat the more you beat them the better. Put into jars, freeze them, then thaw them (they will be thicker now, better for drying), you will need to put plastic wrap or foil on your trays unless you have roll-up trays I have a larger square dehydrator so I put mine on cookie sheets to dry dehydrate 120 degrees for . approx 18 to 24 hours Handle em a little while drying to speed and improve drying.
When COMPLETELY dry, run through blender, Powder them as fine as you can, the finer the better I just read on another board: 145 degrees for 4 hours then 120 degrees until dry. this was for raw egg dehydration.

To use 1 part powder to 2 parts water (1 Tablespoon of powder and 2 Tablespoons water equal one egg)

To Store I put mine in a quart jars and freeze. You can put into a pint jar (1 pint jar equals 22 powdered eggs.). Fill jar almost full, put in a little dry ice put lid on loosely. When dry ice is gone, seal jar tight. Freeze until needed or will store nicely at room temperature. I have not tried the dried ice but as soon as I get more dried I am going to try it, I have always froze mine but if there is no power you won’t be able to keep them in a freezer.
I have been told you can dip the eggs (in the shell) in boiling water for 10 seconds before breaking the shell. This kills the Salmonella. Then you can dry them raw or cooked

Don’t forget to keep your shells Dry them, grind into powder and use for calcium. Can be given back to the chickens or taken yourself.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Freezing and Drying Onions

As I have said before I buy onions once a year, about now I have to do something with the ones I have not used yet. So I freeze and dry them. The frozen ones are nice in dishes that call for chopped onions or sliced onions. The dried ones I use for onion salt and onion powder or for dried chopped onions.

Freezing Onions: Soo easy

Chopped onions
I peel and then cut into quarters and run them thru the food processor to chop them (or you could just chop them with a knife) then I just put them in quart jars and put them in the freezer. To use I take a jar out and put in the fridge until thawed then use as much as I need and keep the rest in the fridge until I need more.
Sliced onions you just peel then slice into the sizes you want I put in to fold top sandwich bags then put in to gallon freezer bags then put in the freezer that way I can take out a small bag as needed for stir-fry or fajitas or where ever I need sliced onions

Dehydrating Onions:

You can chop them or slice them I prefer slicing them they are easier to put on the tray sliced dry at 120 for about 12 to 24 hours stirring the chopped onions once ( you do not need to do that if they are sliced ) and rotate the trays once or as needed

To make onion powder put the dried onions in a blender until they trun to powder.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Canning Pinto beans

I can a lot of pinto beans in the winter then when we are so busy come spring and fall and are not getting in until late I can open a couple jars of beans ands have supper there are two ways that I do them one with bacon and one with out bacon the ones with out bacon I can use for refried beans and in chili the ones with the bacon I just warm them up to eat they already have the seasonings in them and are ready to go.
I like this recipe because there is no need to pre-soak the beans.

Canning Pinto Beans with Bacon
In a quart Jar put
1/2 slice of bacon
¼ cup chopped onion
1 ½ tsp Salt
¼ tea Onion Salt
½ tsp. Garlic powder
½ tsp chili powder
1 1/3 cup dry pinto beans

Fill Jars with boiling water to 1 inch of top seal and pressure for 90 min at 15 pounds of pressure. ( this is for altitudes above 6000 to 8000 feet)
For pints use ¾ beans and process for 75 minutes

Canning Pinto beans with out bacon
In a quart Jar put
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp. onion salt
½ tsp. garlic
½ tsp Chili powder ( optional)
1 1/3 cups dry pinto beans

Fill Jars with boiling water to 1 inch of top seal and pressure for 75 min at 15 pounds of pressure. ( this is for altitudes above 6000 to 8000 feet)
For pints use ¾ cup beans and process for 50 minutes
This can be used in any recipe calling for canned beans.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Homemade cream soup

I don’t know about you but I use a lot of cream soup by making your own you have it on hand it is cheaper and no added stuff it doesn’t take that much longer to make your own if you have the mix already made up.

Homemade cream soup

2 cups instant non fat dry milk powder
1 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup instant low sodium chicken bouillon granules
2 Tbsp. dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container.
To substitute for one can of soup, combine 1/3 cup of the mix and 1-1/4 cups cold water. Whisk well, and cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Add to casseroles as you would the canned product. I also make it with Beef bouillon granules as most of what I make uses beef instead of chicken.
(Theses are all ingredients you should have in your food storage)

Mushroom soup: Add ½ cup finely chopped mushrooms
Celery soup: Add ½ cup minced celery
Chicken soup add ½ cup diced chicken

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The 6 Core areas of preparedness

We have gone through the 6 core areas of preparedness, which are

Food-When building your food storage don’t forget do not depend on the freezer if the power goes out the food will not last very long

Water- At all times you should have a minimum of 20 gallons stored in your home and find options for larger quantities of water and have ways to sterilize surface water.

Off Grid
            Heat- Living in Colorado that is a big concern for us How can you heat your house with out power a wood stove is ideal but some people are unable to have a stove so you will have to find alternatives. Be careful about ventilation when considering your heat sources. Endless people have been asphyxiated due to carbon monoxide poisoning because they chose the wrong option to heat their living space. Some buildings have windows which will not open, and this must be considered when thinking through your heat sources.
        Lights - Oil lamps are very affordable and you can use Kerosene which is less then ten dollars a gallon You will go through batteries in your flashlight pretty quickly so be sure to have lots of candles oil lamps maybe even some solar powered lights and other light sources
        Sanitation-What happens if you can't flush your toilets? If you run out of diapers or feminine hygiene products? If you don't have toilet paper? Think about what kind of reusable alternatives you can substitute for pricey disposable items.
Find reusable versions of disposable sanitary items. Cheap washcloths from the dollar store can act as reusable toilet paper. Use cloth instead of disposable diapers. Try washable feminine napkins instead of disposable. Of course, these reusable versions require a means to wash them, so think through your options. For short-term preparedness, it might be better to stock up on disposables.
If you cannot flush your toilets and an outhouse isn't possible, a five-gallon bucket lined with heavy-duty trash bags and a toilet seat may be your next best option. Wood shavings, sawdust, or ash can be sprinkled in the bucket after each use to help control odors.

Medical- If you can’t get to the doctor or get medical help can you treat your self? Be sure to have a well stocked first aid kit and know your basic first aid Also have some good first aid books on hand, don’t forget prescription Meds This may be harder to do but talk to your doctor to see if you can get a little extra for your first aid kits Also look in to herbal remedies using.
plants that are local to your area.

Safety- What happens when too many people suddenly want to be your best friend post-bleep? What should you do if you live in an urban area subject to rioting and unrest? Some people interpret "safety" to mean they should have an arsenal of guns. Others think they need a secret rural bug-out location. However you interpret it, identify prospective dangers for your circumstances and think of how to mitigate them.
Personally, I believe every family member old enough to handle a firearm should be taught safety factors and target practice. Adult members should also have holsters (either concealed or otherwise) for ease of carry during "bleep" situations. Safety should be more than just firearms. It also includes such things as situational and strategic awareness, home and property security, communications, and property security, communications, and local relations (friends, neighbors, community)

Learn Forgotten skills- Be able to do things on your own, food preservation (canning, drying and smoking are some) grow a garden, sewing, hunting, butcher your own meat, things so you do not have to depend on some one else to do it for you. Don’t forger to stock up on books with information on these things, you may not be able to get on the computer.

There is one thing I neglected to mention I think we need to be physically fit when the hard time hit we will have a lot more to do and will be under a lot of stress, if we are healthy we will be able to deal with things a lot easier.

This is a start for getting prepared in the days ahead I will give some ideas on how to implement some of these things I believe we are running out of time now is the time to get prepared, DON’T BE CAUGHT UNPREPARED

Monday, February 13, 2012

What Do I Need In Order To Survive An Economic Collapse Or a Natural Disaster? Part 6 Water

We talked a little about water in living off the grid I would like to go into that just a little more,
As I said before we all know how vital it is to have a source of clean water available to us at all times. But when the power goes out, how can we access it?
Water is the most crucial element for staying alive. It's more important than food. But the hardest to store.
Everyone must have enough safe drinking water, which generally means one gallon per person per day. Needs will differ according to age, physical condition, lifestyle and climate.
This doesn't include water for cooking, bathing, washing dishes and clothes, and pets or other animals. Large dogs may need as much as a gallon a day, while cats can do well with just a pint a day. If you have other livestock your water needs obviously soar. But in that case, water taken directly from a river or stream, without purification, will probably be okay.
I have read that untreated water straight from the tap should keep for six months when stored in clean, durable containers. However, it must be changed periodically, I have also read that it will last several years. I do not rotate my water and haven’t had a problem with it. When you get ready to use the water if it is flat tasting just pour it between a couple of glasses to work some air back in to it and it will be fine. Bacteria-free water, which means treatment with bleach or other compounds, will keep up to several years. Heat, light, deterioration of the container and other factors can cut this figure substantially. You can store water in a lot containers Soda bottles work great, milk jugs are ok they are not as strong a soda bottles but if you keep them out of the sunlight they should be fine, juice bottles, you can even fill your empty canning jars (they say not to use bleach bottles but I know a lot of people who do) Remember when filling what ever you use that if you store them outside in a shed or out building to leave room for expansion if it freezes Water should be stored as far as possible from paint and petroleum-based products, acids or anything with strong odors such as fertilizer or common household cleaning solutions.

A well with a hand pump would be ideal. Unfortunately, not all people live on land with a well we are relying on a few other sources for water. Since we are fortunate enough to have running water on our property, that’s gonna be our main source.I am wanting to make this homemade water filtration system, so if we do have to drink from the creek, at least we will know it’ll be safe and I will use some of the other ideas listed below. You'll need to locate at least one other water source, since even several hundred gallons of stored water won't last long. We have a large water tank that we want to hook up to a gutter system to catch rain water. Then we can use it to water the garden, and to use in the house for toilets and washing but it would be good for drinking and bathing water as well. If you can get at least one rain barrel installed, it’ll be a good start.
Assume any water not stored or purchased is contaminated, especially in perilous or unstable times. If you can find only marginal water, first strain the debris through a paper towel, clean cloth or coffee filter, then use one of the following methods.
Short of using a very high-quality water filter, this is the most reliable method for killing microbes and parasites. Bring water to a rolling boil and keep it simmering for at least several minutes. Add one minute of boiling to the initial 10 minutes for every 1,000 feet above sea level. Cover the pot to shorten boiling time and conserve fuel.
Liquid chlorine bleach
Use 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite that is free of soap or phosphates. To treat one gallon of water, add eight drops (1/8 teaspoon) of bleach to clear water and 16 drops (1/4 teaspoon) to cloudy water.
Hydrogen peroxide
This is a suitable disinfectant, as it oxidizes the water. Peroxide degrades even more rapidly than chlorine, and it needs to be kept in a dark bottle that blocks out sunlight. Potency could be an issue if it has been stored for a long period.
Testing for peroxide residual levels is more difficult than testing for chlorine content. Residuals need to be measured to ensure that disinfection is thorough.
The bacteria content of your water source is a major factor to monitor. There are various methods for testing the bacteriological level, but measuring residual levels is a much simpler task.
"Residual" is what remains from the original dosage. For example, if one cup of water has 20 parts per million of impurities in it, the disinfectant dosage needs to be at least 20 PPM but no more than 25 PPM to prevent ill effects. A dosage of 23 PPM of the active chlorine content will have a 3 PPM free
residual while showing a 23 PPM total chlorine level.
Peroxide would potentially have the benefit of breaking down to oxygen and water, but its use is also made more difficult by that tendency.A common calculation for daily usage is the required dosage in parts per million times the volume treated in gallons divided by 120,000, which is a constant number. This will give you the number of pounds needed for a particular dosage.
Purification tablets
They are either iodine or chlorine based. One or two tablets will purify a quart of water depending on the contamination level and length of time allowed for treated water to stand. Follow instructions on the package. These tablets are among the more convenient and affordable ways to purify water. Not every brand of purification products (especially iodine tablets) will kill giardia.
Stabilized oxygen
People who have used this method generally prefer it to chlorine or iodine. Both treatments have shown some side effects if used for an extended period of time, and iodine and chlorine give water an off taste. Stabilized oxygen doesn't have side effects or add unpleasant flavors to water, and it also offers health benefits.
For long-term storage, treat one gallon of chlorinated water by adding 10 drops of stabilized oxygen. Add 20 drops if the water hasn't been chlorinated. Use five to 20 drops per eight-ounce

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What Do I Need In Order To Survive An Economic Collapse Or a Natural Disaster? Learn Forgotten Skills Part 5

Learn the forgotten skills, our ancestors survived with out all the modern convinces that we have today so it can be done with a little knowledge and practice.

Cooking from scratch- (and no Hamburger helper is not considered from scratch ) learn to Make your own bread, pasta, cheese, Sauces, ect all those frozen meals had to made by someone.
Canning- Can your own food including you meat that way you are not dependant on freezer or the grocery store
Dehydrating Food- dry foods they will keep a very long time and are easy to transport.
Sewing- You may have to make your own clothes or at least be able to mend what you have.
Soap making-Make your own soap (bath, shampoo, laundry, and dish soap.)
How to Butcher your own meat - Beef, pigs, chickens, deer and rabbits
Repairs in your home-know how to make minor repairs to your home.
Spin your own yarn-make your own yarn for sweaters, rugs, and blankets.
Crocheting or knitting
Grow a Garden-Learn how to grow your own food Be sure to grow enough to can. Maybe even grow extra to sell or use as barter.
Forging-Know how to forage for things in the wild (Herbs, Berries, fruit ect.)
Herbal Remedies-know your local plant and herbs and how to use them for medical uses. You may not be able to get to a doctor or get over the counter meds.
Smoking your own meat- learn to smoke your meat (Bacon ham pork roast).
Make Cheese- We eat a lot of cheese can’t imagine not having any.
How to cook on a wood stove- If you have a wood stove learn to cook on it( We don’t have a wood cook stove but I do cook on my wood stove as I’m heating the house.
Candle Making- Be able to make your own candles out of bees wax, or plain wax, or melt down leftovers from old candles. Also learn hoe to make oil lamps from vegetable oil.
Basic Machnicing -Be able to work on your small engines so you don’t have to replace or pay some one to fix them for you.
Basic Electrical- Know how to change a switch or just some of the basic house hold repairs.
Wine and Beer Making-Great barter item
Hunting & fishing-Know how to hunt deer , rabbit, elk and what ever your area offers and be able to fish if you have a lake or river near by.
Cut Hair- Learn how to cut your kids hair. This I may have to barter out my girls refuse to let me cut there hair ( Thay saw what I did to there Dads when I tried to cut his hair  haha)

What ever you do, do something. If you only do a few of these things at least you will be ahead of the game. This may give you a skill that you can use to barter with. I don’t know what is going to happen to our country I wish it would pick up and get back to normal but all the indicators are pointing in the other way. We don’t know what lies ahead and we cannot trust the main stream media. We have to be prepared to be able to take care of our selves and our families should the hard times hit. Don’t be caught unprepared.
If you have any other ideas that I didn't mention please share them.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What Do I Need In Order To Survive An Economic Collapse Or a Natural Disaster? Part 4: Guns & Ammo

Ok this may be a touchy subject for some of you but it is necessary and may save your life.
A firearm is extremely important to have in your home whether you are getting ready for hard times or not and since I do believe things are going to get a lot worst before they get better I feel I need to share this with you. Better safe then sorry. I believe that is why gun sales a skyrocketing because a lot of people are seeing the light. If (When) our country spirals out of control. If (when) gas and food prices skyrocket and even more people lose there jobs, if (when) rioting and looting begin to be more commonplace, if a natural, or man made disaster happens…. Will you be ready? Will you have what you need to survive or will you have to go out into the chaos hoping to find food and supplies for your family?
Some of us are choosing to be ready now by preparing our families in case of an emergency. There are over 2 millions preppers now and more starting everyday.
You do need to know there are people out there who think that when times get bad they will just go and take it from some one else. They will not know who the people are with food storage they will just go house to house to find what they want There are people out there who plan to attack your family and take what they want if things get out of control. Look at the increased gang activity Look at the occupy protesters a lot of them think that if you have it you should give it to them and they are willing to take it by force if necessary and I think it is going to get worst as time goes by. Can you defend you family are you prepared to? If not your fate will be in there hands. This is for real you have to be able to defend your home do not be completely left at there mercy, think of your kids if nothing else. If someone is breaking in to your home it will be all over by the time the police show-up, law enforcement agencies are already stretched so thin and with budget cuts there are not as many officers as will be needed, you can not depend on the police they will not get there in time all the more so if you live in a rural area.
If you don’t have a gun get one and learn how to shoot it store up ammo for it or better yet be able to reload your own ammo and store up on the supplies to do that. Get it now while it is still legal and accessible. Congress is working very hard to stop gun ownership. A Shotgun is the best for home defense but you should have a rifle you can use for hunting and a pistol in your vehicle it probably wouldn’t hurt to take a conceal carry class and get a permit.
As far as home defense goes there are other things you can do to protect yourself get a dog, good locks on the doors and window and use them. Maybe have an alarm that goes off if someone is on your property or trying to break into your home.
Look I do not know what is going to happen down the road I do think things are going to get bad all the signs point that way. There are a lot of tings that we still need to do but we are working towards those things. Having guns and ammo are at the top of our list just as important as food storage. Are you prepared to defend your self and your family from those who would do you harm? Can you shoot a deer or other animal and clean it if you had to? Now is the time to get ready while you still have a little time left.
, you need to use extreme care when keeping a gun in your home. Keep the safety on at all times. Keep it loaded, but do not keep a round chambered so that it would go off if the trigger were to be pulled. If you have children, do not hide it from them and never tell them about it!! It is much wiser to show it to your children and explain to them the dangers of handling a gun on a regular basis. Let them become used to seeing it, but teach them to respect it. If you have small children, keep it out of their reach. But don’t make it a forbidden fruit. Teach them early on how to use a gun and when they are old enough enroll them in a hunter safety class.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Emergency First Aid Preparedness

Part of being prepared is having first Aid supplies in case of a medical emergency and you are unable to get medical help. I have compiled a list, I have researched this and hope I have all of what would be needed. I also plan on using herbs ( That I grow and gather myself ) and natural remedies.
I think everyone should take a basic first aid and CPR class .
You should also have a smaller kits in all of your vehicles.

Multi Vitamins
Vitamin C
hydrogen peroxide
Activated charcoal
Band-Aids of all sizes
Gauze- pads and rolls
Medical tape
Epie pin
Thermometer & fresh batteries
Antibiotics (if you can get these from your doc or look into fish antibiotics ) for each person; a
     week’s worth; preferably not liquid form as it doesn’t last as long;
 Hot water bottles (x2)
Anti-nausea drugs
Plastic Inflatable splints for arms and legs
Benadryl (Liquid and pills)
Sleeping pills
Fever reducing medications such as Ibuprofen or acetaminophen
Triple Antibiotic Cream
Antihistamine ointment/Calamine
Insect repellent
Snake bite kit
Tourniquet kit
Aluminum finger splints
Antiseptic towelettes
Ace bandage
Instant cold packs
Cotton balls
Disposable synthetic gloves
Bulb syringe for flushing out wounds
Hand sanitizer
Blood pressure cuff
Needle and thread
Saline eye wash
Clotting sponge
Ipecac- induces vomiting
Anti diarrhea meds
Cough drops / Cough syrup
Disposable Gloves
Razor blades
Medicine cup or spoon
Super glue (when minor stitches are needed, but you can’t get them)
Safety pins
Burn care kit
Triangular bandages
Dental filling repair kit
Colloidal silver
Any prescription meds you currently take
Children’s/baby Tylenol and Motrin (if you will have kids with you)
IV and fluids (not sure where to get these?)

Recommended Books (ebay, paperbackswap.com, amazon):
Where There Is No Doctor
Where There Is No Dentist
The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook
Ship’s Medicine Chest and First Aid at Sea
US Army Special Forces Medical Handbook
The Physicians Desk Reference
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy

In the vehicles you should have a cell phone
Cellular phones need to have enough battery power to turn on, but they don't need a contract with a service to call 9-1-1. Federal law mandates that cell phones must be able to reach 9-1-1 anytime the number is called, regardless of the service agreement. Take that old cell phone you don't use anymore and put it in your first aid kit for emergencies ( make sure to have a charger with it). If you don't have one, there are programs to unite old, unused cell phones with people who need them for emergencies.

I think it is wise to be prepared for any thing if you are unable to reach medical help. If we ever have an economic collapse or a natural disaster you will be glad to have these things. As I mentioned  above I incorporate as much herbs and essential oils as I can.
If you can think of any thing else I would love to hear what they are.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What Do I Need In Order To Survive An Economic Collapse Or a Natural Disaster? Living Off Grid # 2 Part 2

With the rising cost of utilities, here are some ideas to cut back on usage My husband lost his job two years ago he is working part time and my business has fallen below half of what I was making so we had have to make a lot of cuts. For people who know me they know how extreme I am about this kind of stuff. I am going to share much of what we do and a few things we don’t do yet but need to.

Do not use the lights during the day- open all the curtains and use the daylight. You might think about putting skylights in rooms that don’t have windows or the light is bad We don’t have a window in the laundry room so I am wanting to put in a skylight. It is such a habit to just turn on the lights when you enter a room, and during the day you don’t need the lights on.
Use the clothes line - I hang all my clothes out even in the winter sometimes I have to adjust my wash day if the weather is real bad, I hang even in the cold (There have been times that by the time I got the clothes out of the basket to the line they were already frozen ) they will dry. Back before dryers every one hung clothes all year around. This will also make your clothes last longer ( Where does all that lint come from in the dryer? It’s fibers from your clothes)
Wash Dishes by hand-The dishwasher uses a lot of power and a lot of water ( This is my weakness I have a hard time not using the dishwasher but am working on it).You do need to use a tub for the rinse water so you are not running the water after you are done use the water to water plants or pour into a bucket to use for flushing toilets ( told you I was extreme haha )
A Wood Stove - As I mentioned yesterday a wood stove is great that is the only heat we use I Turned of the furnace when we got the wood stove it has saved us so much money on heating cost. I have a large pot with a lid full of water to heat water for cooking, washing dishes and washing hand and faces
Use compact fluorescent bulbs (I personally do not like to use these I think the hazards outweigh the savings use you own judgment ) in lamps that are on for more than one or two hours per day. Fluorescent lights have greatly improved in quality over the past ten years, and prices have come down recently: you can get 13-watt bulbs for less than four dollars. Fluorescent bulbs are 6-8 times more energy-efficient. They last 10-20 times longer than normal bulbs, so you won't have to change them for years. You can buy fluorescent bulbs that give off a very warm yellowish light, not that harsh white light. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, a fluorescent bulb will prevent the emission of 1000 pounds of carbon dioxide from electrical power plants. Let's say you have a light on for 4 hours a day, 250 days in a year. On average, running a 23-watt fluorescent bulb for that long will cost you $1.88, while a 100-watt incandescent bulb will cost you $8.30 in electricity. A 23-watt fluorescent bulb costs about $13, but it saves you $6.42 in energy costs per year, so it will pay for itself in 2 years. Note: Sometimes you'll see a light bulb advertised as a "long-life bulb", or something like that. That's not a fluorescent bulb, and it won't really save you much money. Do you work at a desk at home?
Use a 20-watt desk lamp instead of turning on a 60-watt light bulb that lights the entire room. You'll save about $5 on electricity for every 500 hours you spend at the desk.
Set your temperature to 38-40 degrees Fahrenheit. If it's set 5 degrees lower than that, it's cost refrigeratoring you about $5 more per year than it should. Defrost it as needed, to save another few bucks per year. Don't open the door too often, or for too long
A computer system can use $35 to $140 worth of electricity per year. You can reduce this cost by about 85% if you use a laptop computer. Or you could use the "standby" mode that's available in newer desktops, and/or use flat-screen monitors. You can go to your PC's power settings and tell it to automatically go into standby after not being used for a while (when it wakes up, your PC will still have the files and programs that were there when it "sleeped" itself.)
Go around your home and unplug devices you haven't used in the past month. Even if they aren't turned on, they probably use some juice just to stay warm.
Use a microwave oven or toaster oven when cooking small items. They use less energy and they don't require preheating. The approximate yearly cost to use ovens of various types is:
Electric Oven: $27
Toaster Oven: $14
Gas Oven: $13
Convection/Toaster Oven: $10
Microwave Oven: $5
Eliminate Phantom Load A surprising 75% of the energy used by home electronics is consumed when they're turned off. These "phantom" users include: televisions, VCRs, stereos, computers and many kitchen appliances--basically anything that holds a time or other settings. A simple solution? Plug all of these items into power strips, and then get in the habit of turning off the strips between uses. I am even putting a power strip in the girls rooms for the phone chargers and Radios.
Clothes washer -Set your clothes washer to the warm or cold water setting, not hot.
Dishwasher-If you do use your dishwasher make sure it is full when you run it and use the energy saving setting, if available, to allow the dishes to air dry. You can also turn off the drying cycle manually. Not using heat in the drying cycle can save 20 percent of your dishwasher's total electricity use.
Water Heater-Turn down the thermostat. Thermostats are often set to 140 degrees F when 120 is usually fine. Wrap in an insulated blanket.
Seal up the house. Cooled air can leak through cracks along window and door frames. Invest in some caulk and weather-stripping to plug up these drafts. A home that s properly insulated and sealed improves energy efficiency by up to 20% year-round, according to the Alliance to Save Energy. (Insulation materials are also eligible for the 30% energy efficiency federal tax credit, up to $1,500 for all improvements combined.) You can also cover your windows in plastic If you have older windows this