Off-grid pantry planner


Wow! What a snowy weekend.


Friday night we attended an overnight Castaway Bay blogger event and then drove  home Saturday in what I heard may have been  Level 2 or 3 snowy conditions.  The picture below is almost immediately after we turned onto Rt. 2 leaving 250 in Sandusky headed back to Canton.


Snowy road, Rt. 2, leaving Sandusky, Ohio.

In light of the fact that this cold spell might be sticking around for a little bit I thought I’d share the tips that my electric company, AEP, emailed to me this weekend. You might like to read this list of 10 Ways to Save Money while Staying Warm also.


Tips for Keeping Warm, Safe and Saving Energy

*The following came right out of this email AEP sent me.
  • If using a space heater, keep it stable and at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including walls. Remember to unplug it before leaving the room and when going to bed. Plug it into an outlet with sufficient capacity and never into an extension cord. Don’t hide the cord under a rug or carpet, this can cause it to overheat and create a fire hazard.


  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home if your electricity goes out.


  • If using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks or rolling logs.


  • Use generators correctly – never operate one inside your home, including the basement or garage.


  • Guard against carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and that their batteries are fresh.


  • Prevent your pipes from freezing by running a constant trickle of water. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Keep garage doors closed if there are waterlines in the garage.


Simple ways to conserve electricity and stay warm include:

  • For economy, set your thermostat for 68 degrees and leave it alone. Setting it higher won’t heat your home any faster. If you’re planning to be away for the day, lower it by five degrees to conserve energy.


  • Turn off electric lights and appliances when not in use.


  • Unless it is equipped specifically for home heating, use your fireplace sparingly. Warm air escapes through the chimney so close the damper when you’re not using the fireplace.


  • Check furnace filters monthly and replace as needed.


  • Open curtains on the sunny side of the house to warm up your home. No sun? Close the shades to keep warm air in.


  • Covering hot water pipes with an insulating jacket and setting the water heater between 120 and 130 degrees can cut water-heating costs by as much as nine percent.


I want to include a tip of my own that I’m so glad I did before these last couple cold spells hit. I rewrapped the plastic over all of our bedroom windows and a doorless doorway we have. I’m sure this has made a difference in our home!

See this list of other things we have done or still do (plus other recommendations) to save money while keeping warm.