Many utility companies have raised their rates this summer. Last month I almost barfed when we got hit with a $70 water bill, and a $200 electric bill. Since then, I’ve been on a mission to limit our utility usage and reduce our utility bills. Here are a few things that have helped us cut our bills this month.

Collect Gray Water
We collect gray water by putting a bucket in all of our sinks. Dish water gets recycled by watering the plants outside. We use the gray water in the bathroom to bucket flush our toilet. This simply entails dumping the water into the tank of the toilet when we flush, and you will save several gallons of water a day by doing this. There is also a bucket in the shower. While we are waiting for the water to get warm, we collect the water and then recycle it by putting it out in the garden. We’ve also started showering together in order to reduce our water usage. There’s nothing sexier than frugal living, baby!

Dry Your Clothes on a Clothes Line
Arizona’s hot summer sun is the perfect clothes dryer. By the time I’m done hanging a load on the clothes line, it’s already time to start taking the clothes inside. I love the smell of clothes that have been on the line. And I feel like I’m doing something good for the planet at the same time. If you live in an apartment, try hanging your clothes on the shower rod instead of using the dryer. It takes a bit longer to get all of your laundry dry, but it will substantially reduce your laundry expenses and your electric bill.

Turn Up the Thermostat
It’s amazing, but turning up the thermostat by even 1 degree can make a substantial difference in your electric bill. We keep our thermostat on 80 now instead of 78, but this gets turned up to 85 at night and when we’re not at home. The electric bill was down by $50 this month as a result. If you get hot, drink some iced tea or eat a popsicle and think of the money you’re saving.

Re-evaluate Your Cable Subscription
You don’t really need Showtime and HBO, do you? If you’re not ready to completely eliminate television from your life, consider cutting your cable subscription back to the basics. You can watch the shows from the premium channels on the internet or on Netflix. So what’s the necessity of spending over $100 on cable each month?

These are just a few ideas that my partner and I have employed to help us reduce our utility bills. What are your suggestions? If you’ve got tried and true tips for cutting your summer utility bills, I’d love to hear them in the comments.