Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Harness the sun!

See that? It's my shadow cast across the kitchen floor.

My legs look so much longer and thinner in the shadows. Hmm.

Anyway. With the sun shining so brightly I figured today is a perfect day to share a frugal-living, money-saving tip.

First, there's something you should know. I'm no expert. And these are not original ideas. Every single frugal tip I will ever share with you is someone else's idea and you've probably even heard from your grandmother at some point or another. Our grannies are smart ladies, many of whom survived The Great Depression. So if you are lucky enough to still have a granny around, listen to her. Take notes, even.

Today's tip: Harness the sun. Soak up every single ray you possibly can like it might not be there tomorrow. OK, that might be my it's-been-a-long-winter-and-I'm-deprived-of-vitamin-D self talking, but I'm half serious. The sun is a source of light and heat. And it's FREE!

I am typing this post at 8:40 a.m. and there is not one light bulb burning in my house right now. There hasn't been for almost half an hour. That's because as soon as the sun reached above the treetops I flung back the drapes and let the light pour in. And really, there is no shortage of light in this house. Granted, the front of our house faces southeast (one of the best decisions we ever made, though we didn't know it at the time and it sure doesn't feel like it in the middle of July, but I digress) so we get the best of the morning sun to light up and warm up the house.

This saves money in a couple of ways. The obvious one is the electric bill. I simply don't need many (or sometimes any) lights on in the house throughout the day, and if I allow the sun to warm the house the furnace isn't kicking on and using electricity. And if the furnace isn't kicking on we're not using propane to heat the house, either. Cha-ching! Of course, this all depends on the time of year, the placement of windows in your home, and whether the sun is even shining, but any time you can harness the rays is a time you can save a few pennies. (This seems like a good place to mention another great decision we made but didn't know it at the time - skylights in the bathrooms. Love them.)

I know, it seems pretty trivial. But I have learned that living frugally is not about making big, sweeping changes in our lives; rather, it's about making lots of little changes that add up over time. It's a state of mind that eventually steers us away from mega consumerism and toward living simply and being content with what we have.

I could go on forever! This is a subject I have become very passionate about. As I've mentioned before, the little ways we find to save money all add up to allow me to continue my job as a stay-at-home mom. To me that's something worth working for.


  1. We spend the majority of the year doing the opposite -- shutting the sun out to keep the house cool! :-)

  2. I agree! I can't wait to build a solar heater that will really put the winter sun to good use. Whenever we get the materials for it and get one done, I'll post it on facebook and tag you so you can see it. They sure are neat, and aren't very expensive to build, either.