Energy and Money Saving Hacks For The Mindful Parent

Perry and I are finally tackling the basement and going through all the boxes that we never got around to back in August when we first moved. These boxes are filled with old college memorabilia, childhood belongings, art and music supplies and quite frankly a bunch of things that we just don't use.

In my twenties, my friends would make fun of me because I was a bit of a hoarder. Meaning, I attached sentimental value to everything and kept a lot of objects that really didn't serve me. Now that I am in my early thirties, I have realized that the more stuff I have around me, the more chaotic I feel on the inside.

Both Perry and I are trying very hard to live a more minimal lifestyle and notice that more and more of our efforts are going towards a "how do we use less and save more" type of mentality.

Below is a list of 5 Energy Saving Hacks that actually work:

  1. Plant Trees: The other day Perry and I bought 3 fruit trees: a cherry, apple and peach. Planting trees (especially on the south side of the home) provides shade which serves as insulation for your home in the summertime. Also, trees can act as a windbreak which in turn can reduce the home energy cost by 25%! (Sources: Trulia; HuffPost)
  2. Invest In A Nest: I don't know about you, but when we bought a house we had no idea how much money and energy we were wasting by not monitoring the thermostat. Pictured above is the Nest, a smart thermostat that actually learns your living patterns and increases or decreases the heat or A/C for you. "On average the Nest Learning Thermostat saved US customers about 10-12% on their heating bills and about 15% on their cooling bills."
  3. Unplug: I don't just mean from social media, I mean all your electronics. That toaster oven, coffee pot, Iphone charger and record player are all costing you money if they are plugged in even when you aren't using them. Powerstrips are super helpful to use so that you can turn off a bunch of electronics all at once. “The EPA estimates these devices burn through 100 billion kilowatt hours of electricity...that translates to $10 billion of wasted energy per year.” (Source: Forbes)
  4. Make Your Own Green Cleaning Products: Buying cleaning products can really add up. We do our best to be a chemical free house and often make our own cleaning products out of vinegar and baking soda. This post provides some wonderful recipes for making cleaning products that actually work!
  5. Grow What You Eat: It's not a surprise that Perry and I love to garden. But besides the enjoyment that we get from it, it is actually saving us money. The trick is to grow vegetables that are expensive to buy such as tomatoes or melons. (Source: Michigan State University). Canning is also a good way to make sure those uneaten vegetables don't go to waste.

Are there any good energy and money saving hacks that you know about?

Nest was kind enough to gift our family the thermostat, indoor and outdoor camera. We are loving all of these products. The extra home security we now have and the energy we are saving because of their products is so invaluable. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Photography by Brittany Renee'