Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Feeling the pinch.....

As I'm sure many others also experiencing we're noticing that things are getting more & more expensive here in England. The media are talking the country into a recession & everything is affected. I work in sales & have definitely noticed a reduction in market confidence in the past 6 months. Equally prices of almost everything have risen by a ridiculous rate mostly driven by the rise in fuel costs but wages aren't increasing :( Luckily my new job is just over a mile away from our home & for the first time since my operation I took my bike today rather than the car. DH travels to work on the bus & his fares have increased recently citing increased fuel costs as the cause.

Luckily we capped our energy prices just in time to escape the massive price increases from British Gas although we keep getting letters from them asking us to reconsider! I bought a Clothes airer last November & have already saved 2 1/2 times the purchase price in fuel bills so at least we can dry our clothes for free & utilise the otherwise wasted warm air from the central heating (when it's on). We're using Eco Balls & a Magno Ball as we're in a hardwater area & our machine was getting built up with limescale & kept spitting bits out all over the washing (hopefully this will keep it going a bit longer). A few hot washes with white vinegar has sorted out the smell from a build up detergent & the clothes are clean without detergent. I've also moved over to a Mooncup for both environmental & cost issues & am getting used to it. It's definitely more flexible than traditional methods, a lot cleaner & I'm no longer plagued with guilt regarding sanitary towels in landfill. A Wireless Electricity Monitor has led to loads of plugs being turned off & I've totally reassessed where I do our shopping & have got a lot cleverer about what I buy but then again I've never been one to waste food or throw money away.

Now the challenge is for DH to finish the small extension that he's been working hard on so that he can install a new efficient central heating boiler that doesn't leak or drop pressure so that our house is warmer, install new windows in our bedroom so we don't freeze this winter & for me to earn enough in commission to pay for it all. At least I have a decent yarn stash so that my 'habit' won't be curtailed


Long term we'd like a Solid fuel stove to warm the house & heat the water, re-insulate the loft as it's been badly done & new windows throughout but can't afford to have them all done at once.

Has anybody got any other tips?

ETA:

We're keen Freecyclers, shop at the local Farmers Market & I'm planning to start growing a few vegetables next year when I've cleared some space in the garden. Plus a water meter is going to be installed when the extension is finished. All our lightbulbs are low energy & we're trying to teach DD not to leave lights/PC's/TV on when she leaves the room.

7 comments:

Lin said...

You have some great tips there. The only one I can think of is to knit more sweaters and throws so that the heating doesn't need to go on as much in the cold!! Also to use free cycle, the library, swaps for things and grow your own veg.

Cybèle said...

solar panels in combination with a wood burner - very efficient! (my partner installs them, hence the advice ;-) And yes, I second Freecycle...

Auntie Noo said...

You've pretty much covered everything I do, so I can't add any other ideas. It is a worry though, as there is really only so much you can cut down.

oooh I do hang curtains over my front and back doors in winter as they're not Dble Glazed.... that helps a lot! - I got old heavy ones off ebay, although if you're lucky you might get some through freecycle.

Daisy said...

Yeah, you've pretty much covered everything I can think of! If you'd like a thingy to go in the loo cistern to save water I've got a spare one! Have you found moneysavingexpert.com ? Lots of good advice on there!

Steph said...

Do the eco balls work then? I keep looking at them but haven't bought any yet. I use a Mooncup now too - much better suited to me, cheaper in the long term, and no waste! Every menstrual woman should have one.. :-)

blog-blethers said...

I'm impressed by your commitment to the environment and am planning to follow your lead on a few of those...

We've replaced all lighting, including spots, with low energy alternatives. Am also encouraging the kids to shower, rather than bath. We've also got much better at recycling domestic stuff ... put in foam cavity wall insulation and good quality insulation in the loft.

I know there's more still to do, but if we all even do a little...

Arianwen said...

I saw this when I was at the centre for alternative energy. I reckon if it works in wales it will probably work in Yorkshire
http://www.rotaire.com/