There’s no doubt about it: the most wonderful time of year is usually the most expensive, too.
I originally started this blog post by listing all of my usual holiday expenses, but quickly abandoned the effort when I realized the list would be longer than my children’s combined holiday wish lists (and, trust me, they go on forever). However, while brainstorming some of the things I inevitably spend money on, I realized there are so many items I don’t normally budget for at the start of the season, like gift bags, impulse décor purchases, matching holiday pjs, etc. It made me all the more motivated to save money where I can, and that includes reducing my energy bill!
There are simply ways to save on energy costs over the holidays; you may already be employing some of the techniques without even realizing! Here are my top four tips for using less energy:
1. Switch to LED Christmas lights. LED Christmas lights use up to 90% less electricity than regular Christmas lights, and they usually retail for less than $10 a strand. There’s no better win-win!
2. Use the smallest appliance to get the job done. No need to use the main oven when a toaster oven or microwave will do – especially for cooking appetizers or reheating dishes.
3. Look for ENERGY STAR certified appliances and electronics. They use up to 60% less electricity than their non-certified counterparts, and during the busy holiday season, this can amount to significant savings!
4. Consider using no-bake recipes or baking in batches. Holiday baking is a tradition in most families, but there are smarter strategies, such as being mindful of off-peak hours or inviting your friends over for a Christmas cookie exchange.
I’ve been experimenting with no-bake treats this holiday season and am happy to share this simple recipe for Candy Cane Fudge!
It’s a little ambitious to call this a “recipe” because it only includes six ingredients and can be assembled in a jiffy. In fact, the first time I made this fudge, it was with my girlfriend relaying instructions to me over the phone! Yes, it’s that simple!
Here’s what you’ll need:
An 8×8 inch pan, lined with foil and lightly greased
1-3/4 cups sweetened condensed milk, divided
1-1/4 cups dark chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/4 cups white chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup crushed candy canes (about 6 regular), reserving 1/4 cup
In a microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan over medium heat, combine half (7 ounces) of the sweetened condensed milk with dark chocolate chips. Stir in vanilla extract.
Immediately spread into prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk and white chocolate chips, stirring in the peppermint extract and crushed candy canes.
Immediately spread the white chocolate mixture on top of the dark chocolate layer, sprinkling reserved candy cane pieces on top. Allow fudge to set in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
When the fudge has set, remove the pan from the fridge and cut into 2×2-inch squares.
This Candy Cane fudge is a hit with the kids (and the kids at heart!) and I know I’ll be making it at least twice over the holidays.
Visit Save on Energy for more tips and tricks to reduce your energy consumption and save on your monthly energy bills.
This post is sponsored by the Independent Electricity System Operator, a not-for-profit entity established by the Government of Ontario. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.