It is simple enough to find ways to save on the items you purchase at retailers such as grocery stores and drug stores. Did you know you can even save on your utilities? By making a few changes to your lifestyle, you can easily reign in some extra money at the end of the month.
The next time you get your telephone bill, take a look at the services you are paying for vs. what you are using. If you pay for items such as call forwarding, voice mail, 3 way calling, analyze if you are using them or not. If not, cut that from your bill. Many times, these services are already included in your basic, plan, but some companies still charge extra.
You can also eliminate your telephone bill by shutting down your land line. This is becoming more and more common place for families. You are already paying for the cell phone service, so why pay for two different phone numbers? This may not be an option for your and your family, but one you might want to seriously consider if you need to shave some money out of your budget.
AIR CONDITIONING / ELECTRICITY
As summer is knocking on our doors (and actually already here for many), the air conditioning units are going to get a work-out. There are a few ways to save on your energy bill this summer.
Did you know that appliances still draw electricity when they are not in use? If you unplug that lamp or TV when you are not using them you can cut down on your utility bill. We actually have a power strip that shuts down our TV, satellite dish and Bly-ray player when the TV is off. So none of those draws juice when not in use. Something as simple as leaving the television on when you are not in the room is wasting you (and the environment) precious electricity, which equals money. Just get into the habit of shutting everything of when you leave the room, you can begin to save money.
Adjust your thermostat. When you are not home, turn your thermostat up. The easiest way to do this is through a through the use of a programmable thermostat. These can be set to increase the temperature inside of your home during the day and then can be lowered around the time you will be getting home at night. In addition, when your thermostat is adjusted so it is not requiring as much electricity, your other appliances do not work as hard to get the juice they need in order to run. Be sure to start your unit’s cool down earlier in the afternoon so as to not compete with others around 5:00 p.m., which is when usage is normally hitting it’s peak.
I realize that it is nearly summer, but you can save on your heating bill this coming winter.
Once again, adjust your thermostat. Just as we do in the summertime, lowering your thermostat to be 5 – 10 degrees cooler at night can save as much as 5 – 10% off of your utility bill. Once again, a programmable thermostat can help you easily accomplish this. Just change your settings once fall/winter comes. Oh – and to keep warm – throw on a sweater or toss an extra blanket on the bed to help keep yourself nice and warm.
It is amazing how much money can be lost through the use of water. There are some easy ways you can save here as well.
When summer brings it’s sweltering heat, we all see our plants and yard suffering. While having a gorgeous green lawn is wonderful (I love mine too), a little brown won’t hurt. So, don’t spend hours watering your yard. If you have a sprinkler system, be sure that it first of all has a rain sensor and doesn’t kick on when you’ve recently received moisture. Secondly, be sure you do not water more than once or twice week and for a short period of time – if not at all.
The most important thing to keep in mind about watering is do NOT water in the heat of the sun. Water in the very early morning (5:00 am if you can) as your precious water will not evaporate away. I’ll admit that by mid-July, a lot of my plants start to look a little wilted, so I will put some water on them from time to time, but it is certainly NOT a daily occurrence.
Turn off the water when not in use. This may sound simple, but do you leave the water running when you brush your teeth? Why not shut it off when you are brushing and not actually rinsing? Do you need to spend 10 minutes taking a shower? Why not try to shave off 5 minutes from your shower time and see how much water you can save.
Be sure to check for any leaky faucets or toilets in your home. It may not seem like much water loss, but it doesn’t take much to create a gallon of wasted water, which is money your are pouring down your drain (literally). The cost for a new faucet will outweigh the cost of your wasted water.
CABLE / SATTELLITE
It is really good to compare your current plant to a competitor’s plan. Many times, you can get some great sign-on rebates when you switch, which is nice. However, you need to take a look at company reviews and the plans they offer.
Sure, it would be great to have every channel the company offers or most of your channels in Hi-def — but check the prices. Do you watch enough of those channels to warrant the additional cost? One way to check this is to see if you could rent the movie through on-demand or another rental service vs. the cost of what you pay/watch. Just by dropping to a lower tier of television channels, you can knock some money off of your bill. Does watching the evening news in Hi-Def really matter? Maybe you can live without Hi-Def broadcasting as well, which can save you cash as well.
I am absolutely not advising everyone to follow every step I listed here. Just take a look through this list and make the changes that work for your family. If there isn’t anything I can’t stand it is the rising cost of utilities, so I just do what I need to do, in order to try to stay ahead of the game.