Monday, August 20, 2012

Tablets and Cooking

Boyfriend got a new tablet! Its an Asus TF300 for those who are interested.

However, this unplanned $450 expense means we've got to save a bit of money over the next few months.

I keep track of our spending pretty well, I have a spreadsheet full of numbers. It looks like Electricity, Food, and Gas are our top spenders. Well, and rent, but you don't get much cheaper with rent. Anyway, so I'm going to try an experiment to see how much money we can shave off our bill.

First, luckily enough, our AC shouldn't have to work as hard, as we've had a few cooler days (its sad when I'm calling 85 'cool'), and after August things start to cool down. I bumped the thermostat up to 79 (it was at 78), but I don't expect that to do a whole lot. However, I'm going to try a few more things:

1) Unplug anything we don't use on a daily basis. So: game systems, toaster, fans, lamps... um... can't think of a lot more that exist.

2) Raise the fridge temp by a degree or two. I'm fairly certain its on ULTRA COLD, because Boyfriend is paranoid. But what he doesn't know, won't hurt him.

3) Cook recipes that take a short amount of time.  This is a bit of a challenge, so I'm excited. Hopefully I'll post some recipes. pan sear steak, nuke potatoes for a minute before cooking them, making large batches of things, then nuking them throughout the week. Cook these large batches during cool parts of the day, so the AC doesn't have to work so hard. Also, use the oven for several things at once. Don't open the oven door while things are cooking. Use the toaster oven when possible. Use the small burner for the small pan. This is something I've done forever, but its worth mentioning: Use less water to cook pasta. You can use about half of the amount it calls for on the box. Drives me nuts when people over-water their pasta. But I digress.

4) Clean the dishwasher drain. This is something that has needed to be done, but its just a job I hate. Get out all the nasties.

5) Do laundry during cool times of the day. The heat from the drier heats your house. In the summer, it means your AC has to work harder. In the winter, it makes your heater work less hard. All around, it just makes sense to use it while its cool.

6) Dust out the vents. I've tried to do this before, but I might try to vacuum them out, if possible. we don't have a canister vacuum, which is why I haven't done it before. Its probably better for our health, anyway.

Anyway, what this means for you guys, is I'll try to post an energy-efficient recipe about once a week, based on what I'm eating for this week. Of course, I'm still going on my 300-a-lunch challenge, so I guess I just upgraded to hardcore mode.

Wish me luck!

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