You will save on leisure, gasoline, and morning coffee. But the coronavirus quarantine implies that we are all at home, which in all probability will increase the monthly expenses for water, electricity, and gas during confinement. Although it is essential that you feel comfortable at home to cope as well as possible this season, there are several actions you can take so that your bills do not get too fat and expenses do not skyrocket.
1. PREPARE A WEEKLY MENU.
If you organize at home to prepare a menu for the whole week, you will be able to eat more balanced and also save. Plan everything: from breakfast to dinner. There are organizing templates that will help you. And when you have the menu designed, make the list.
With this technique, you save time, money, and effort. A single ingredient can serve several dishes. For example, some roasted carrots can be used as a cream and as a garnish. And the same sofrito is valid for different recipes. Make the shopping list according to the menu you have planned and cook more. Many casseroles can freeze and you will have meals for several days.
3. GO TO THE SUPERMARKET WITH A LIST.
Arguably, going to the supermarket has become the ‘event of the week’. Surely it is the only reason why a member of your family goes outside. But, to avoid buying more things than necessary, keep a list to buy what is necessary. And above all, avoid going hungry. You will see how the whims and vices do not fill the car and make your purchase more expensive! If you want a well-equipped pantry, these are our recommendations.
4, BUY WHAT YOU NEED.
Do not load the cart with five packages of toilet paper or flour as if you were going to start a bakery. But what is necessary for several days and check the expiration dates. In the end, hoarding too much food will only get you to purchase products that may spoil or expire before you consume them.
5. USE THE OVEN FOR VARIOUS THINGS.
While you make a pizza, you can put an eggplant lasagna in the oven or bake any vegetables. The oven represents 8% of the electrical cost, so using it for various things will save money. It is also recommended not to open the oven door while it is operating. You will avoid the loss of energy.
06. AVOID ‘VISITS’ TO THE FRIDGE.
Being home for so many hours can be stressful and boring. And the fridge often becomes the object of our forays into the kitchen. As if there was going to be something that wasn’t there before! Avoid snacking between hours, since, in addition to gaining weight, opening the fridge frequently means a waste of the energy accumulated inside between 7% and 10%.
07. USE THE DISHWASHER AND WASHING MACHINE AT FULL LOAD.
Although sometimes you put some of these half-full devices, now it is not necessary. Take advantage of all the loads and don’t waste energy. Except if there is someone affected by a coronavirus in your home. In that case, it is best to put the washing machine at half load only with your clothes – so that the detergent reaches all the clothes better – and at a temperature of 60 degrees to disinfect. And with the dishwasher don’t wait until it’s full. If there are cutlery or dishes that a person with coronavirus has used, put it in as soon as possible. But there are more tips for the proper use of appliances during the quarantine .
8. USE THE VALLEY HOURS.
Check on your invoice – or call your electricity and gas distributor – if your rate is of time discrimination and use off-peak hours to put the washing machine or dishwasher. Learn how to read the electricity and gas bill and start saving now.
9. CONTROL THE HEATING.
Although being at home in short sleeves, almost as if it were summer, is nice; the ideal is that you keep the heating between 19º and 21º. At night, it is advisable to lower it to a temperature between 15º and 17º, which also helps you sleep better. Think that each grade represents 7% more consumption. The OCU also recommends placing weatherstripping on doors and windows, ventilating early for about 10 minutes, or venting radiators.
10. BETTER SHOWERS THAN BATHS.
This applies to you and your children – if they are over 3 or 4 years old. For adults, taking a bath from time to time is fine and helps us relax. And for children, it can be quite a party. But she thinks that filling a standard bathtub can cost 230 liters of water while using shower costs between 8 and 15 liters per minute. Don’t forget to turn off the water when you lather up and don’t leave the tap on for several minutes before you go into the shower.
11. STANDBY EXPENSE.
Believe it or not, appliances in ‘standby mode’ consume electricity. To avoid this expense, turn off the router at night and unplug appliances with standby. On this page of the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), you can see the annual expenditure of each one.
12. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NATURAL LIGHT.
Teleworking is the day to day of many. Also from your children. So finding a space at home to focus on and be productive is essential. Ideally, look for a space with natural light to avoid having to turn on the light prematurely. These are the IKEA recommendations to adapt your home to telecommuting.
13. CONTROL INTERNET USE.
During the state of alarm, the Government has decreed the suspension of fixed and mobile portabilities. Some companies have increased the data to their customers, but if this is not your case, you can always reduce the cost with a few simple gestures. For example, check the settings of your social networks so that the videos do not play or download if you do not ‘click’ on them. You can also lower the resolution of what you see, downloading from 4K to HD, or download at night – when there is less demand – the series and movies that you are going to see the next day.
14. ONLINE SHOPPING.
Online stores continue to operate during the alarm state. But that does not mean that you have to make an extra expense that you did not have planned. Buy only those things that you are going to use and do not buy out of boredom. Compare offers and assess if you really need those products at home.
15. PUT THE WASHERS RIGHT.
Since you are not going out as much on the street, it is not necessary to put the same number of washing machines as usual. Although the most advisable thing is to take off your pajamas and put your clothes on as if we were going out, it will not stain as much. So do not put the laundry to wash with just one use.
16. AVOID TAKING FOOD.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a third of the food produced on the planet is thrown away, especially fruits and vegetables. During confinement, there is even more reason for the logic to move to a sustainable way of cooking in which we make the most of our food. Here we give you practical tips not to throw away any food.