Saving money seems to be a high priority for everyone these days. With a few simple changes to the everyday routine, anyone can save money on the electric bill.

Turn off the lights when leaving a room. Simple enough advice, but sometimes this can be a hard habit to get into. Start now and try to remember this mantra: "I'm not running a light house here!" Speaking of light bulbs, consider switching to CFLs to save loads of money over the life of the bulb versus a traditional light bulb.

Only wash full loads of laundry. Same goes for dishes, if you have a dishwasher. As far as laundry goes, turn the dial to cold water. In most cases, washing in hot water is unnecessary. Using laundry soap specially designed for use in cold water is also not necessary, as most people cannot tell the difference between laundry washed in cold water or hot water, regardless of detergent used. The only exception to using cold water in the laundry may be whites, which do benefit from hot water.

Turn down the thermostat. Even if it is turned down one degree, will anyone really notice a difference? Your wallet will. For every degree cooler the heat is kept, the home owner can save 1-3% on the energy bill. Turn down the heat on the water heater as well. Often factory settings on water heaters are too hot for home use, meaning there is no reason for the water to be so hot. Turn the thermostat on the water heater to about 130. This is hot enough to kill bacteria in the tank and in the pipes and for sanitizing dishes in the dishwasher.

Use window shades wisely. Open the curtains in the morning and afternoon to take advantage of the sun's natural heat. Close them at night in order to retain heat in the house. Sunlight can heat the house by one degree in optimal conditions. Even without optimal conditions, letting sunlight in will make the house feel warmer.

Open the oven door when you are done using the oven. The air escaping from the oven will help to warm the house!

Combat drafts under doors with a rolled up towel. Use a plastic window insulator kit in the winter to combat window drafts. If a plastic window insulator kit is not practical, use heavy curtains or even thick blankets to cover the windows and quell drafts in the home.

Finally, turn off the computer or change it to sleep mode if you are going to be away for a while or sleeping overnight.

Happy saving!