The electric bill is killing my food savings

Our electric bill has always been the bane of my existence. I run my business out of the house so our bill is higher than most. I have done everything I can think of to lower it. We have Smart Surges on all the computers and set the computers to hibernate after 20 minutes. We make sure all the lights are turned off when not in a room. I monitor the temperature of the fridge.

Last month I did two things that had a dramatic effect on our bill. First, I checked with our state’s department of public utilities to see how much 3rd party suppliers were charging for electricity. All the rates are listed on the site. Not only was the company I picked 2.5 cents less per kilowatt hour but the company provides 20% renewable energy, where CL&P only provides 12%. Plus, I didn’t have to sign a contract. This saved me over $13.oo last month.

I also did something else last month that saved me more than that. I unplugged the deep freezer. I’ve been trying to use up  food we have in the house and I finally got to the point where I could empty the freezer. This saved me $27.00 last month. I have a newer freezer, it’s only 3 or 4 years old, but it still uses a lot of juice.

So I started to think about how much I’m actually saving on my groceries by having the freezer. I generally buy meat on sale and freeze it but I don’t buy huge quantities. I try to keep a month’s worth of cooked ground beef on hand, plus a few roasts, some chicken breasts and pork chops. All of those things will fit in the upstairs side-by-side freezer. I would need to save $324 a year on frozen food just to break even. We don’t eat frozen dinners, so the only thing we keep in the freezer are frozen veggies and meat. I’m not saving enough to keep the freezer plugged in. Maybe if we had a larger family, but it’s just Jeff and I.

The deep freezer is going to stay unplugged for now. It might end up on craig’s list. For now, I’ll monitor the weekly sales at Stew Leonards and buy whatever meat is on sale that week. I’ll plan my meals accordingly. I’ve been doing this for the past month and I’ve been very pleased with the results. We are wasting less food since we don’t lose anything in the back of the freezer and I’m saving $27 a month. That’s a really nice dinner out (with a coupon of course!).

Is your deep freezer costing you more than you’re saving?