by Alia Garrett, Siri Khalsa, Jackie Lebouitz, and Maria Rometo
Now more than ever, every penny counts. Read our tips below to see some easy ways to save money and resources at home.
- Turn off your lights, fans, and electronics when leaving the room. It adds up.
- Sealing leaks and gaps throughout your home with caulk, tape, or other insulation can save you up to $180 a year.
- Visit our Energy Upgrade website to learn more and consider signing up for our free Energy Upgrade online class to see other ways to save energy at home.
- Electronics and appliances consume 75% of their energy while “off.” Unplug electronics or use “smart” power strips to save unnecessary draw.
- Live in Sarasota County? Fill out our survey to see if you qualify for a free Energy and Water Conservation Kit, which includes its own power strip.
- Reducing your daily, 10-minute shower to just 5 minutes can save 7,300 gallons of water yearly, and you can use a low-flow showerhead for additional annual savings of 3,650 gallons!
- Bonus tip: Try setting a 5-minute playlist with your favorite songs to help you know when to turn off the water.
- Watch the weather and wait to water. Skip irrigation on weeks where you receive 1/2 inch or more of rain and during the cool weather months of January and February. Every week you do not irrigate your landscape will save you more than 300 gallons per 1,000 square feet.
- If you live in Sarasota County, request a free irrigation evaluation to help you save water and money at home.
- Before you head to the grocery store, plan your meals for the week. Include meals like stews, casseroles, or stir-fries, which “stretch” expensive items into more portions.
- Check out this list of affordable recipes for inspiration.
- Certain foods are typically low-cost options all year round. Try beans for a less expensive protein food. For vegetables, buy carrots, greens, or potatoes. As for fruits, apples and bananas are good choices.
- It is almost always cheaper to buy foods in bulk. Smart choices are family packs of chicken, steak, or fish and larger bags of frozen vegetables. Before you shop, remember to check if you have enough freezer space.
- Homemade soup is a healthy and tasty way to use vegetables. Make a big batch and freeze leftovers in small, lunch-size containers.
- Try making this delicious chicken soup to share with friends and family.
- Get creative with your leftover fruits and vegetables. Make salsa from your tomatoes and smoothies from your fruits!
- Visit www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov to learn how.
- Check out our website for more blogs, upcoming classes, and other opportunities – most are completely free of charge!
- Need help paying your utility bill? Read our blog to see what financial resources are available locally.