Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tips To Help You Save During The Fall Months

Fall is an especially good time to think about savings.  With the traditional back-to-school in September, children and adults alike can “turn over a new leaf” to start fresh.  The household budget is a great place to start, suggests Nationwide Biweekly Administration.


The air conditioner can finally be turned off in the fall; it’s also a great time to prepare the house for the cold months ahead.  Be sure to change air filters regularly to help your unit run more efficiently and consider closing vents in unused rooms.  NBA says that fall is a great time to check out insulation deficiencies and to fix drafty windows and doors.  Weatherize your house by caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows.  Setting your thermostat to a maximum of 68 degrees and even lower at night will save energy, and therefore energy costs.  For every degree you lower the thermostat, you will save about 2% in energy costs.  And don’t forget to have an annual service check performed on your heater.  Other great energy and cost saving tips include closing your chimney flue when it is not in use, turning down your water heater to 120 degrees and installing low-flow faucets on showerheads and toilets.

Since food is often one of a household’s biggest expenditures, there is great opportunity to save money.  Nationwide Biweekly Administration suggests organizing meals by the week or even by the month.  On Sunday afternoons, make your meal list for the week.  Start with dinners and don’t forget to think about using leftovers as lunch.  Obviously the less often you shop, the less opportunity you have to spend.  Therefore, stock up when key staples are on sale and buy in bulk.  Meal planning is the single-most effective thing you can do to reduce your food budget.  Cook food in large batches (chili, for example, is often a family favorite and can be made in bulk and then frozen).  Strike eating out from your list this fall and your savings could total in the hundreds.   Nationwide Biweekly Administration says that certain items, such as apples, pears and squash are in-season in the fall and are often on-sale. 

Nationwide Biweekly Administration also recommends that consumers consider upgrading older appliances in the fall.  While there is an initial expenditure, Energy Star-rated appliances are energy efficient and will save you money in utility costs for many years.

Another great way to save big in the fall is to consider switching your cell phone service.  Nationwide Biweekly Administration points out that you may even want to drop your land-line, an increasingly popular move as consumers discover that only one phone line is generally sufficient.  Examine your cell phone usage and make sure your plan is the right one for you.  Keep in mind that if you are a new customer, prices for you are often rock bottom.  Some companies even pay you to switch!  Read the fine print, examine the offer carefully and then switch if the savings are there.

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