A few weeks ago, I was talking with a young gal about saving money when it comes to groceries. She shared with me that she was concerned about thinking too much about it--and focusing on the money saved.
This popped into my mind this morning as something else crossed my mind.
I have started to play around with turning off the burners on my stove and turning off the oven before the food is done cooking. I've been trying to conserve energy. During last winter, our energy bill was high for my tastes so through the year, I tried to find ways to minimize our home's loss of heat.
* I made sure the doors and windows were caulked and sealed around the edges. I was quite surprise at what I found!
* We put a storm door on the front door and screen door on the back. We also replaced the back door.
* We installed a low flow showerhead on our shower so that we would consume less hot water.
* I time the girls' showers.
On our to do list is to replace the older windows and insulate the water pipes in the basement. But, that didn't get done yet. They haven't come to the top of our priority list yet for our budget.
So, in the meantime, I have been thinking about how I can conserve energy that we consume. We already turn off lights in our home when those rooms aren't in use. My mother in law once came to our house recently and wondered if we were home, because so many lights were off! I also don't turn the lights on in the bathroom unless I need them. During the daytime, there's plenty of natural light from the window.
So, that leaves laundry and cooking--the largest consumers of energy (next to bathing). Laundry. I run everything on cold and our clothes (even whites) do come out clean. With our dryer, I only run full loads. I do add extra time instead of having to rerun the dryer twice because a very full load wasn't drying completely on a regular time amount (41 min. normally vs. 50 mins. with the extra time).
Cooking... We have a gas stove and electric oven. Ovens are a huge energy hog. And sometimes I forget to turn it off as soon as I'm done baking. So, recently, I started playing around with turning it off early. I tried one tray of cookies. They did cook through in 14 min. (normal 8 min. cooking time), but they weren't browned. So, instead whenever I remember, I've started turning off the oven halfway through the last tray. It extends the time less. We have a gas stove and I often cook with cast iron, which retains heat well. When I'm making pancakes, I turn the stove off when I've flipped the last batch and am cooking the last side. It helps me not forget to turn the stove off and it saves a bit of energy.
But, why do I do it? I could say it's just to save money, but that isn't the whole truth. Honestly, I really like to use less--energy, stuff... I feel better about conserving. It is a way that I can be a wise steward of what God has blessed us with. I don't want to be wasteful.