We have all seen a rise in energy prices over the past year. Gasoline prices have skyrocketed, which has resulted in higher prices across the board, especially in the grocery store.
But, additionally, you have probably seen a rise in your electric or gas bill as well. And, as is usually the case, we can probably expect to see these prices continue to rise in the near future.
What would happen if these prices continue to rise? How can we continue to function when we can barely afford to both pay our electric bill and buy groceries every month? Would you still be able to live at the same level of comfort as you do now?
Related: Food-Stretching Tips From The Great Depression
Let’s take a look at some legitimate ways to prepare for the rising energy costs that will allow you to keep almost the same lifestyle, no matter how much these bills go up.
Since it is mainly the gas and electricity prices that are rising, one of the best ways to prepare for these costs is to reduce your usage of these. The less you need gasoline, the less money you will need to spend on it.
Likewise, the fewer times you need to plug something in, the less electricity you will use, resulting in lower electricity bills. Let’s take a look at a few specific examples of how exactly we can reduce our gas and electricity usage.
Use A Wood-Burning Stove
If you have central heating and air, you may be adding a significant amount to your electricity bill.
Instead, consider stocking up on wood and using your wood-burning stove to generate heat in your home. This stove will generate plenty of heat, even on a cold winter’s night.
Not only will this stove help cut back on your worries about the heating bill, but it may also provide quite a good workout if you decide to cut the firewood yourself.
Update Your Appliances
It is a well-known fact that modern appliances use considerably less energy than older ones. Consider investing in newer appliances, and you are bound to see a drop in your electric bill. The initial investment may be rather large, but it will pay off in the long run.
Install A Tankless Water Heater
These instant water heaters are a fairly recent phenomenon in the world of home ownership.
Not only will you save space by avoiding the need for a large water tank, but tankless water heaters are also known to use less energy than traditional water heater tanks.
⇒ How To Build An Endless Hot Water System (Without Electricity)
Downsize Your Home
If you are able, consider downsizing your home. This is an enormous change that your family may not be ready for, but if you are willing, you will be able to make it work.
A smaller home means less space that you will need to heat. You will use much less energy to heat your new, smaller home, and you are bound to see that reflected in your first electric bill in your new home.
Install Solar Panels
This option is another one that will be a major investment up front.
However, there is no denying that you will see an enormous drop in your energy costs almost immediately.
Related: How To Build Your Own Solar Panels
Additionally, there are plenty of programs that are geared toward helping people get on the solar panel train.
Switch To Public Transportation
If you live in an area that provides public transportation, take advantage of it! Though there is an associated cost, it will be much less than the amount you spend on gas every day on your commute.
Additionally, you will have the luxury to sit back and relax, instead of stressing your way through traffic jams twice a day. An alternative to this option may be to carpool to and from work with any coworkers that live nearby.
Consider Turning Down Your Heat
With the cold months upon us, it may be tempting to crank up the heat and get nice and cozy. However, consider leaving the heat down and instead putting on more layers or cuddling under some blankets.
Related: Best Ways to Heat Your Off-Grid Home This Winter
It might not sound fun to be bundled up while you are in your own house, but you will see a difference in your bill.
Be smarter about driving your car by planning your outings. Try to run all of your errands at one time, rather than going out whenever you feel the need.
It may be exhausting to drive to five different places in the same trip, but it will save a lot of gas compared to driving back and forth over several days.
Find The Cheapest Gas
Consider downloading an app on your phone that will allow you to easily find the cheapest gas in your area.
Remember not to go out of your way for this cheap gas, however, since you may end up spending all your savings just to get to the gas station. Some apps even offer discounts on gas.
Join A Gas Loyalty Program
There are several companies that offer gas loyalty programs that will help you save a few bucks at the pump. BP and Shell both offer $0.05 off per gallon of gasoline bought.
ExxonMobil offers $0.03 off per gallon. Sometimes, there are some grocery stores that offer cents off of their gasoline as well, such as Walmart or Kroger.
Sign Up For A Gas Rewards Credit Card
There are plenty of options if you are considering a gas rewards credit card. Some of these credit cards offer up to 5% cash back on gas purchases from participating gas stations. Though you will not be saving any money upfront, it will be nice to see that refund come back into your account.
Hopefully, some of these options will help you save a little money on your gas or electric bill. It can be hard to maintain a certain lifestyle when these basic necessities rise in their price.
Luckily, the more work you put into reducing your energy use now, the less these issues will affect you and your family as the energy prices continue to rise.
Other really significant ways to reduce your electricity include:
Sorting out your need for heating and cooling. Shade walls that get hot summer sun, and shut blinds in the day/open windows at night to keep a house cool.
Insulate and seal windows and door draughts.
Close parts of the house off when not in use so you aren’t heating and cooling empty spaces.
Consider when you build the most environmentally sensible design, including passive solar design, and insulation, look into heat sinks and the use of double brick / reverse brick veneer/brick veneer construction and even straw bale or compacted clay construction. Houses designed with these ideas in mind don’t need air conditioning even in arid rural Australia!
Put another layer on! Instead of ‘turning up the heat’.
Look at where your shade is, and where you do and don’t want it – is it blocking winter sun, when it should be blocking summer sun?
You can buy doo-dad meters the measure how much electricity an appliance uses, it sits in the power point like a double adapter but measures the use of the items plugged into it (so put one on your fridge and see how much juice it really uses!). Keep an eye on things.
Look to see if your electricity supplier has an ‘off peak rate’ and ‘smart meters’ you can take advantage of (Australia does), where you can use your power selectively at cheaper times of day. If you heat a pool or run a water bore consider running them during the cheaper hours.
Look at all the small power wasters in your home – ‘sleep mode’ on everything from a microwave to a tv to the dishwasher.
LIghts. Replace them with LED globes. Keep the old globes as spares if you feel this is wasteful and pat yourself on the back.
Look at where you are driving, and when. Can you loop multiple trips together? Is someone else going that way / place and can run that errand saving you the kilometres (and you trade them one in another direction)? Are you sitting in heavy traffic during peak hour, and could you swap that out for a train or bus ride and do some reading instead, or change your work hours and miss peak hour entirely? If it’s only a few kilometres could you ride a bike instead?
By using “common since”, one should be able to stay comparable.
You know when you are wasting.
Do you need to be told to close the door so the cold weather can’t come in.
Use the brain that GOD gave you. Just think…
I live this way all the time.
Common sense is in short supply these days. Lots of folks think they are being “frugal” when they buy generic bottled water instead of brand name. It would never occur to them to drink tap water.
not everyone’s tap water is good
Looks like a scam to me.
If it did work, governments and big oil would snap it up and hide it.
It also sounds like a Nicola Tesla type invention.
There’s a lot of suburban preppers though!
A lot of people, for a wide variety of reasons, haven’t been able to up sticks and move bush… they are still living in urban areas.
And when I read (elsewhere, and here) about how American’s don’t cycle or walk anywhere (one of the most unexpected culture shocks for visitors to the US is the fact that they are often targeted by police for the simple act of walking to work along streets!), but instead use cars, I am left befuddled. But then I remember – America doesn’t have a good public transport system. It really should look at that!
City people are funny . Ensure th3 public transport can fit that cord of wood you split.
Wood heat is the best
Public transportation ? yeah i am not tracking….. a Prepper site that people still live in the city .. … You can’t be a prepper and still think you’re going to make it in a “high population center” Its foolish and you need to make the changes to get out. Does that mean a lot of sacrifice and cutting out a lot of fun items. Yep…… or don’t do it and just die.
Some people don’t have the luxury of moving to a rural area, but they can do the best they can do where they are.
everyone does….. they just choose not to
That’s a fact
A big energy saver for us was the installation of a door on the side of our garage. We no longer use the front door to come and go, and do not need to open the 2-car garage door to take out trash, check mailbox, carry out garden tools and supplies. It is metal insulated, and we installed a good storm door to help insulate it.
If you are thinking of building a smaller house here is another suggestion. Put in a garage door on the back side of your home as well. Doors are nice for flow through air but a garage door that can be rolled up (with or without power) gets it done a whole lot better. I have 3 doors in front and 1 door directly behind the third car area which is also a shop. If you have others coming your way during a disaster i have plenty of room for equipment and personnel. Just a thought I understand allot of people dont have this option. Thanks for listening.
I put in a propane thankless water heater in 2015 and will NEVER go back. As long as I have propane in the 250 gallon tank I have hot water. I fill it up once a year and also use it with my cook stove. Best 2 investments ever.
Thanks for the tip on Propane tankless water heater. Building a house and gonna see how to incorporate that into the build. Have a large new electric one, but still want to dig into your suggestion. I’ve heard from several people that the tankless electric units really suck the juice.
I just built a house and rather than a propane furnace, I heat with in-floor heat. The boiler is propane, and provides my household hot water along with my heat. I love not having the forced air furnace or a tank always full of hot water!
how do you hook solar panels up to your electrical panel without going into the grid programs by govt where they take the excess.Can you set up for certainappliances furnace or how?. Can I get a link thanks
Setup a separate box and use it for whatever items you take off the “house grid”
A furnace would require a significant setup
Why? On a gas furnace, you only have to power a fan.
Well a blower fan can push the air around the house if you have wood heat. Or propane but it’s a huge amount of energy
Never vote for a Democrat or a liberal. This will ensure a steady supply of affordable food, fuel and electricity.
right because republicans didn’t out spend everything either….. stop voting
Never say “stop voting” to a citizen of our great country. When the security of the vote gets significantly popularly undermined the fewer votes are needed to pass anything. Look at 3rd world dictator countries voting percentages. Tiny fraction vote and most of those are told to at gunpoint and don’t have a voting choice when they do vote. That plays into the hands of a few at the very top. More people should vote, and even MORE people should get registered to vote and then VOTE! Your vote is the only real definitive power the average citizen has to wield. If i was in charge of things i would pass a law that required every legally able to vote citizen to register. Not too hard really. Give them a one-time, at registration, $25 tax credit for that year and toss em another $15 for each time they vote for the following 4 years and tax penalize them $10/year onward if they don’t vote at least once per year. It doesn’t bias by party, age, race, etc. Obviously, this would not be a 100% voter turnout mechanism, but it would get people to voting and thinking about the issues more.
We no longer have a great country …..
Its a country that worships BAAL….. and is morally bankrupt.
my sentiments exactly. I have not voted for a major party candidate in any election where a third party candidate was running
I agree we should vote…… it is a duty i just don’t think it matters…. nor will it save anything.
Doug – The Marxist and Socialist have stolen the Democrat and Liberal names. They know two things – First, Liberals hate to be referred to as Socialist even though the ‘current’ Liberal is exactly that, a Socialist. The Democrats know they are Indoctrinated Marxist and use the Dem handle to try to hide that fact. There are no longer any Democrats (other than Tulsi Gabbard maybe) or true Liberals left. These two dinosaur terms have been co-opted by the Indoctrination of our youth stemming back to the 1960’s and gaining speed in the last 20 years…. Yep, the Dems and Libs are the latest victims of the ‘Boiling Frog’ process – they are fully cooked – now the WEF and their Marxist converts are coming for the rest of us.
Lol my gosh all it takes is one wacked out lib claiming she quit the democratic party and you welcome her with open arms.
Shows how corrupt both sides are its a damn joke
Ahhhh you changed your name again and maybe even your view on voting. Although I doubt you vote.
People should vote but it’s not worth anything
Richard Williams…passing laws to require people to exercise their right to vote eliminates the “right”.
People like Richard like to vote away your rights whenever the guy they voted for said it’s good ..
I’m Aussie… and live under laws that require me to vote.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.
If you don’t want to vote, you still show up, along with everyone else from your local community so it’s a fun social time. You stand around and depending where you are eat a democracy sausage or a cup of hot soup (and pay a couple of dollars for the pleasure, which is fundraising for the local school, where you are voting – it’s generally schools and community halls, most within walking distance of your home, on a Saturday from 6am to 6pm). Then you walk in, show your iD to confirm who you are, and are marked off on the rolls, given a huge form of the 120 odd people who have managed to prove they are Aussie citizens (or not, and will be cast out later with much fury) and vote. You can vote above (by party/groupings, just a few numbers) or below (number every damn box including the “Sex Party” representative, the “Bikinis should be free” guy and differentiate between “Conservative Family First” and “Family First Conservative” if you want. Or you can write across the whole sheet a screed of whatever you like. You can draw a big penis on it and hair balls. You can sneeze on it. Just remember someone will open it and read it at some point later in the day, and it will be placed in piles with similar votes. This is called a “Donkey vote” and is a given right of every voting Australian.
Then you fold it up neatly and post it into the ballot box.
Done! The only infringement on your rights is the fact it’s going to chew an hour of your Saturday up, and you’ll have to run a bit further to get rid of that democracy sausage. A small price to pay really, and there’s far less corruption, illegal voting or inequality in the voting system than the US.
You’ve now voted.
My husband built this small ranch house in 1977 in central Ohio. Could barely afford the payments, so he put in a wood stove to help heat the house. That was it. We don’t use the electric furnace unless we are out of town. As the wood is split, it gets stacked in a tote and covered to season. We load up metal chemical totes (appx. 255 gallon) and use the 3 point on the tractor to move them to the house. I love how warm the wood heat is!
We bought a new washing machine and dry clothes on the line out back. We run the dryer when the weather is bad. Saves on electricity.
We got rid of the big deep freezer (only 2 of us now) and have taken to canning everything we possible. Again, saves on electricity. Plus, if the power is out, there is no need for concern.
During different times, I’ve thought we need a bigger house… bigger car… more stuff. I’m glad we stayed small and relatively self-sufficient.
I would like to thank everyone who posts their ideas. You can never have too much knowledge!
Who do call if you need work/repairs on your woodstove? I’ve been told to call a General Contractor. Is this correct?
Vicki, it depends. Where I live, we have several places that sell wood stoves. I’m not talking big box stores, as they don’t seem to service anything they sell. If you have a store that sells wood or coal stoves or fireplaces, check there to see if the do repairs or can recommend someone. Also check for chimney sweeps in your area, as they can often repair stoves or know someone who can.
Whether any if these would be a general contractor to boot, I can’t say. Most of the general contractors ove net can do a lot of the physical work but tend to coordinate crews for the tasks at hand.
“Let’s take a look at some legitimate ways to prepare for the rising energy costs that will allow you to keep almost the same lifestyle, no matter how much these bills go up.” Nearly every suggestion either resulted in a major lifestyle change or an initial significant financial investment.
Move out of the city
Think in terms of the 1700s.
Wood heat isn’t as cheap as many people think it is. Last winter I spent $400 on wood for my outdoor woodstove. I live in an area where we have a lot of wood. In addition to the wood that we purchased, we bought a small chainsaw to cut the wood they brought into smaller pieces that we could use! My husband also had to use our chainsaw to supplement what they brought so that we could stay warm at the end of the season.
Cheap no but propane is way more. Plus wood heat is warmer and radiants even as the fire burns out.
You can process your own wood.
Guy – this site is not only USAwide – it’s international >>>> the local economy on a product changes radically per geography ….
for example wood in the Upper Midwest is $$$$$ – WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more per BTU than natural gas piped in and even tanked in propane >>> anyone with any access to decent firewood doesn’t waste it heating their home – he’s selling it for $25 a bundle to the backyard firepit crowd …..
Wood stoves? Have you priced firewood lately? Unless you have trees that you can cut and burn, this isn’t a money saver.
On demand water heater? The cost of installing the exhaust flue equals the cost of the heater. You can’t hook these up to the existing flue attached to a conventional heater.
Public Transportation? Not as bad now that virtually all of us can carry: Working at home via telecommute is a much better option.