Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saving a Little Here and a Little There (it adds up)

1. Reduce your water-heater temperature to 120F and you'll reduce your costs by 10 to 15 percent.
2. Replacing storm windows or covering windows with plastic in the winter will save you 2 to 7 percent on heating costs.
3. Install a low-flow shower head to reduce your water use 30 to 50 percent.
4. Fix leaky faucets to stop the waste of water.
5. Wash your clothes in cold water and save 10 to 20 cents a load.
6. Turn down your air conditioner when no one is home.
7. Maintain proper tire pressure, for better gas mileage and to extend the life of your front suspension
8. Drop expensive collision insurance on older cars
9. When you get new glasses, tint your old ones for sunglasses, or donate them to the Lions Club, who uses them for the needy.
10. Check you local restaurants for advertised specials. Usually one night a week is set aside for specials, or kids may eat free one night a week.
11. If a store runs out of an item that is on sale, ask for a raincheck. Not all stores offer this. Walmart doesn't.
12. When you buy something large from a store that offers free delivery, ask if you can get a discount for picking it up yourself.
13. Always weigh prepackaged fruit and vegetables before you buy. Since the bags sometimes weigh more than the listed weight, buy the heavier bag.
14. Cool hot food at room temperature before putting it inside your refrigerator.
15. Store refrigerated liquids in covered containers. Otherwise they release moisture, which makes the refrigerator work harder.
16. A freezer works more efficiently when it is full, even if you use plastic containers full of water as fillers.
17. Wait until there are full loads of dishes or clothes to wash instead of doing many small loads. Each consumes the same amount of water.
18. Barter services with friends and neighbors. Example: one can sew curtains while you weed her garden.
19. Look through the wholesale listings in your local yellow pages for items that you buy frequently or in bulk. Many wholesalers do sell their products to the public but do not advertise.
20. Local police, sheriff offices as well as the post office and US Customs office, often sponsor auctions to get rid of lost, seized, or abandoned goods. Keep an eye out for these in your local paper. Also, look for advertised auctions at mini storage sites. They auction units that are not paid for or removed after several notices. You can pick up a whole house of furniture for next to nothing.
21. If you are in need of office equipment, the best time to buy used equipment is right after a political election when the campaign offices are closing up. Contact them right away.
22. If you believe you have a leak in your toilet, dump a little laundry bluing or food color into your tank after it has filled and stopped running. If the color shows up in the bowl, you have a leak.
23. Instead of putting bricks in your toilet tank to conserve water, which may crumble and clog the plumbing, use a 1 quart plastic jug instead. Fill the jug with water, screw, screw on the lid and place it in the tank. You can reduce water consumption considerably.
24. Buy frozen juices and add your own water. That is all the bottle juices are anyway, so why spend all the extra money.
25. Check your local restaurants for advertised specials. Usually one night a week there are specials, such as Kid's eat free night, a special price for all you can eat, etc. You may want to call first and find out if there is any restrictions before you go.
26. When you want to go out to celebrate a special occassion, go out for lunch instead of dinner. Meals are usually a lower price at this time of day.
27. Another way to eat out and save is to go to a happy hour that serves appetizers and a variety of snacks. For the price of one drink or a soda and a tip, you can eat and enjoy the company of family and friends.
28. Before you head out to the supermarket, make out a check for a little over your food budget. Any difference between the final total food bill and the amount of the check, stick in your savings account. Using coupons, store specials, two-for-ones, and careful shopping, your savings could add up quickly.

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