I keep starting posts for this thread and then decide not to post what I write... Hopefully this post won't sound too strong worded that I sound like some nutcase coming off too harsh.
My husband and I lived without power for 12 years, I gave birth here without power or running hot water, once in the summer, once in the winter. Living w/o power can be done. We did have propane fridge and a propane stove/oven for cooking, 1 propane lamp, the rest of our lighting was either kerosene, gasoline or candels. We heated with wood. Our water is gravity flow, so it runs through the pipes all the time to keep the flow going so usually it does not freeze (it froze 2 days before the birth of our winter babe and we were lucky enough to have the extra $ to just go buy more pipe to run from the spring instead of trying to get a quarter mile of pipe thawed, any other time we would of just delt and carried the water in buckets for a week or two until the weather warmed or we were able to drag the pipe out of the woods and out into the open sun or tie it in the other heavy flowing creek that the running water would thaw. The kids were 4.5 and almost 3 when we finally decided to hook into the power grid.
Living w/o power is doable, living w/o running water is doable. I think I would choose water over electricity anyday though. I know of at least 3 families now that do not have running water in their houses, all by choice not because they are financially stricken. They have outhouses, they carry their water from springs, and no they don't have fancy set-ups of big tanks on trailers to get their water, they carry it by buckets.
I know living in the city or even on the outskirts of a small town is compltely different than country living. Here all you have to do is spend $5 and apply for a privy permit at the local health dept, some places I'm sure would truely scoff at having a port-a-john set up by a true rental company tht mintained it, even if it was only for a week or two because you were doing a house remodel and did not want the workers to use your bathroom in the house. Some plaes won't even allow clotheslines....
Cooking over an open pit fire, not even a grill is doable, if you can get away with it in the community you live in, you don't need a grill to cook on. You need a source for fuel though, wood, dried cow patties... it can be done.
There ar many places in the world today that do not have power, that do not have running water, that do not even have clean water. People can live without these things (although having clean water really does help)
I'm not saying it's an 'easy' way to live but you can live this way.
We are leaving the country life and moving to a 'real house' in a city, one that has a thermostat and hot water that comes from a tap, a dishwasher, a washer and dryer.... beleive me it's not easy living without... but the ease of things is not the main reason we are changing our lifestyle, it's a huge bonus for me though!
Practical advise instead of me just rambling, some might appy for the OP, some might appy if you just want to cut back on your usage of things....
Unplug any and all electrical things that you don't have to have. Think about closing off parts of the house maybe even turn off the breakers to those rooms so you are not tempted to turn a light on. Don't turn on lights unless you absoultly have to, open the drapes during the day to let the light in. Start heating water on the woodstove, if you have one, for baths and handwashing, dishwashing, keep a pan on it all the time so you have hot water to dip when you need it. If your paying for water, start saving and reusing your water, water that you wash your dishes in can be used to flush the toilet with, water you rinse your dishes with can be reheated to wash your dishes with. If you have little ones or even big ones and aren't too grossed out by it, take community baths, wash everyones faces and hair in the water then work your way down. You can take a pretty good wash off bath in a gallon of water, (if I'm washing my hair too, 2 gallons is nice.) Plates, dishes and cups don't wash them after every meal, if your afraid of stuff growing on them between meals and you have a fridge, stick them in there. It may sound 'barberic' but one of you can eat out of the pan that is cooked in, okay it only saves one plate to wash, but that is one plate less that takes water to clean. Start stirring your food while you are cooking with one of the forks or spoons you are eating with, saves that 1 untinsil from being washed. If you have anything that can be recharged in the car start charging it there instead of the house. Utilize free electricity where you can, if you are going to school and have a laptop, and they have open plugs there be sure to charge it in the library before you come home. Get rid of your portable phone that charges all the time, use one that does not need to be plugged in.
adding to say... Be careful if you get the meter for water, electricity, gas pulled from your house, I have heard some places could condem a house as being unlivable if it does not meet local code requirements.