Many ideas that we’ve shared here have been seen or heard before but the suggestions below are a little off the grid.  That being said they are still great ways to save energy this winter and help keep your electric and gas bills from ballooning too high. Read on to see some creative ways to save.

Holiday Christmas lights are a favorite all over the country but, if left on all night, can really suck up a lot of energy. If you’re keen on giving Santa and the neighbors something pretty to look at you should consider putting the lights and decorations on a timer so that they don’t stay on all night long.  Sure they’re pretty but really, who’s looking at them at 3:00 in the morning?

Speaking of Christmas lights you may want to consider getting rid of those old incandescent lights and using newer, more energy efficient LED lights this season. LED lights use an incredible 90% less energy than those old lights and are just as pretty if not more so.  You can get them practically anywhere holiday lights are sold but home improvement stores are probably your best bet.

When it comes to buying electronic or electric toys for the kids it’s a great idea to also purchase some rechargeable batteries too.  This may not really have much of an effect of your electric bill, frankly, but the effect that the old ni-cad batteries has on the earth as they rot in landfills is pretty harsh.  A good set of rechargeable batteries will last for years and can be used in all types of different products. It’s great for the kids and great for the planet.

If you’re hosting the Christmas or New year’s party you can turn the heat down because the more people you have in your home the more heat they’ll generate and the less you’ll need.  Plus you’ll be cooking which will give off heat too, heating the house nicely.

If you like baking cookies, pies and cakes and you’ll be making a lot for the holidays consider cooking them all at once and storing them.  Heating the oven uses the most energy but, once it’s hot, it uses less.  Bake everything the same day and save big on gas.

Hopefully these tips have given you some ideas of your own.  The holidays are for being with family and friends and, if you can save a little energy at the same time, you’ll feel even more joyful and giving.