Every night I stand in the kitchen getting dinner ready while my kids play in their rooms.  Every night my husband comes home, walks back to where the bedrooms are and I hear, “Why is every light on in this house?”

And every night I hear my three girls try to explains why every room needs to be lit even though they are only in one.  It’s a ridiculous routine and I have been wanting to do something creative with them to help them understand the importance of turning off lights and saving electricity or a while now.

The other thing that is ridiculous is our electric bill.  We live in a 30 year old house with single pane windows, questionable wiring that my husband is slowly redoing and old fixtures that are only partially updated.  I know that I can do things to help lower our bill and now I am on a mission!

I put my daughter’s to work counting how many light bulbs we have in our house.  Bedrooms, bathrooms, everything.  Sarah was the counter, Katie was the note taker and Megan was eating cheese.  But the girls had a blast.  And then we came back to the computer and went to the GE Lighting calculations page and figured out that if we changed every bulb in the house – and 4 flood lights outside – we would save, on average $425.15 a year!  That would be about $2,329.60 over the life of the bulb.  And we are talking YEARS!

It did not take me long to grab my key and head to Walmart.  Even if I could not change all of the bulbs now, I could at least make a dent and I know I’ll see some difference on my electric bill!

See my entire shop, our craft, the new light fixture and the new bulbs in the house below:

I found the GE Energy Star bulbs easily.  There was a huge display and signage right in the middle of the main aisle.  I looked to the left, next to the tires and there were hundreds and hundreds of light bulbs.  I am so glad I researched GE Energy Star light bulbs before I left and wrote down the wattage I needed or I could have been there forever!

There are Energy Star bulbs for flood lights, bathroom lights, three way lights, decorative fixtures and on and on.  Grabbing what I knew I needed for my bathroom I headed to the other side of the aisle for a light fixture for the girl’s bathroom.  I saw what I wanted right away.  A three bulb, brushed nickle light.  I flipped it over, saw that I needed candle shaped lights and went back to the light bulb aisle.  Finding them right away, I added them to my pile of lights I was ready to switch out now and headed to phase two of my mission.

An electricity education tri fold board my kids were going to make -and hopefully learn from.  I found markers, crayons, stickers and more to help make it as colorful and fun and attention holding as I could!

Happy with my choices I checked out, happy that the little extra I was spending on light bulbs now was going to pay off BIG in the long run, I checked out and headed back to my happy kids waiting on a “surprise”.

And then we got to work!  Knowing they had counted light bulbs and made a list they were in the “electricity state of mind”.  Just listen to my Megan tell us what to do to save electricity!

Katie and Sarah answered questions about simple ways to save on electricity.  As they answered I had them draw what they said: Turn off lights, close the outside door when the air conditioning is running and don’t have the thermostat really cold.  Use fans to push air around and keep the house cooler!

And then they cut and paste their items under the heading of How to Waste Electricity, How to Save Electricity and How Much We Will Save – to which I wrote $425!  And I think it has made an impact.  So far they are telling each other by the minute to turn off the lights!  Luckily, I have the tri fold board to remind them should they start to forget!

My husband will have to come up with another welcome home line now!

As we worked, my husband installed the new lights in our bathroom and the new fixture in the girl’s bathroom.  The bright, more modern feature completed the mostly updated bathroom that we have been working on for two years.  It is now an – almost – updated complete and bright modern space.  And I love how light and bright the room is now!

I competed my bulb upgrades with new ones in the dining room lamp and some ceiling fans.  I have a ways to go but I know that if I change a few at a time, I will be reaping the benefits sooner than later!  And, I won’t lie. I do walk around waiting for the coins to start falling from the sky!

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