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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Taking The Zap Out Of The Electric Bill

Taking the "zap" out of our electric bill by switching providers
This past winter our electric bill seemed to sky rocket! It was CRAZY, and for this penny pinching girl, unacceptable!

For a year and a half it had been holding steady at $50-60 a month. Mind you we don't use the dryer—preferring to hang our clothes to dry when possible—we unplug things we aren't using, and turn off lights in rooms we aren't in, all in an effort to cut down electric costs. We were doing well for a time.

Then, all of a sudden, we got a bill in excess of $80! Not once, not twice, but many times. Our bills were $85 or more. This was NOT ok!

After taking the time to do some investigating I was able to pinpoint what I thought was the problem. A year before I had changed over our electric supplier because they were significantly cheaper than the only distributor we had available to us. I made a fatal mistake with this decision though, because the price I locked in at was only good for six months. After that I needed to lock in a different price. I forgot about this, and consequently put us into the variable price plan that changes from month to month.

Realizing this so late in the game didn't help matters, because locking in at the current price of almost DOUBLE what we were paying before wasn't cool.

So I decided to see what else was out there.

Thankfully I was able to do all my investigating online because I HATE calling people. (I'm not kidding. I usually make Jake do all the phone calls, and I handle online stuff.) Anyway, as I was investigating I found that there was a new electric supplier for our state, and, lucky for me, they had the best going rate. We're in the same situation though where I have to lock-in the rate in six months, but hopefully by then we will have moved so it won't matter. Plus, I think I learned my lesson.

Happy ending to my story: the last two months our bill has been back down to right around $50! When you have a zero-based budget—meaning, all of our money is accounted for and allocated—an increase of $30-to-$40 a month for electric ruins the whole thing!

Moral of my story: don't hesitate to shop around for the best rates. Electric, gas, oil, groceries, repairmen... Don't think you don't have options. And, if you get yourself into a short term fixed rate, make sure you follow up with it and re-enroll!

Keep pinchin' ;-)


  1. Let me add to periodically shop around for car insurance too. My mom did this in an effort to ease the squeeze on her budget and found the same coverage for $100 less each month.

    1. Agreed! We did that a few months ago and were able to up our coverage but lower our cost!