Misty H Gooding, EzineArticles.com Basic Author

Money Saving Tips

Everyone loves to find treasure! By following these money saving tips, I bet you'll find the treasure that's been hiding in your home. You might be pleasantly surprised to find a couple hundred dollars lurking in your electric bill that you could have kept in your pocket. I found $300 in just one month!

One of the first money saving tips I discovered when I called my electric company was that I qualified for their low income program. I was able to get the discount just by applying online at my power company's website. What a huge surprise! Then they came to my house and gave me free energy saving light bulbs. They even installed them.

If you don't qualify for the low-income discount program, you'll still save significantly by following the rest of these money saving tips. You don't want to get me started on going solar! If I could, I would! Until then, just like you, I'll take all the discounts and savings that I can find.

I started saving when I tossed the 60-100 watt bulbs I was using and accepted the 23-26 watt bulbs. My electric went from $347.00 down to under $50.00 in just 30 days! I almost wet myself! I was holding $300 that I was used to giving to the electric company every summer. I paid off just over $900 in old debt in just one summer!

Try these tips for more savings.

Unplug appliances, game systems, fans, clocks, printers and anything else not in use. Each appliance draws about 5% of electricity just while plugged into an outlet. It doesn’t even have to be on! About 40% of wasted electricity can be found by plugged in but unused appliances. Add that up to hundreds of dollars a year for the average household!

Spend that money on something more important…like chocolate!

I mean…old debt, of course.

Check with your local electric provider to see if they offer lower rates during off peak hours. In some areas, using your major appliances after 7:00 pm can reduce your electrical rate significantly.

I found one more helpful program through my local electric company. This was a hidden money saving tip that I stumbled across while talking to my local power company. They offer a free swamp cooler, refrigerator and/or dish washer, depending on what your home needs and again, your income status.

My fridge is rather new so it's energy saving ability is up to date. My dishwasher, though I rarely use it, is also up to date. My air conditioner works great but it's very expensive! The electric company came out and installed a brand new swamp cooler for free! I couldn't believe it and I was ecstatic when I found out how little energy it uses. It's like 9 cents an hour! It does use water but I hardly notice the meager increase. I can see me shoe shopping more often!

What? Shoe shopping? I said saving money. Are you sure you're listening? Okay, I believe you. Let's just move on, shall we?

It may be to your advantage to run your washer, dryer and dishwasher at a properly scheduled time to reap the savings. Weekends may also give you a better kilowatt rating even if you use your major appliances several times a day. This is not considered peak times for most utility companies.

Try to avoid electric stove top cooking of long term foods such as beans and stews. Your electric stove may have a higher wattage per hour than smaller appliances, such as crock pots and microwaves. If you have a hectic schedule, use your crock-pot, counter-top grill, rice cooker or other smaller electrical cooking appliances to save you time or make your life easier. You may save more money by plugging in your crock pot after 7:00pm and letting tomorrows dinner simmer all night. Refrigerate it until you get home and just microwave it hot. Do what makes your life easier!

Try using the crock pot, grill, or rice cooker outside on your patio table to keep your house from heating up in the summer and welcome the appliances indoors to offset the winter heating bill. It makes a significant difference in my house!

Some money saving tips come as surprises! I bought curtains at Wal-Mart. I paid less than $20 per 52 inch panel that helps with outside noise control, keeps my house cooler in summer and warmer in winter and are machine washable! They aren't fancy but they are nice and with the right valance, quite pretty.

I didn’t have to use my central air conditioner or heating near as much after I hung these curtains up! You wouldn't think that curtains were an important part of money saving tips or saving energy but they make a huge difference! I got them before I got the swamp cooler. I don't know if I would have realized their value if I had bought them after the swamp cooler. But I no longer have any high utility bills! Yup, I'm doing that snoopy dance again. Don't watch, it's embarrassing.

Printer Ink

These next two money saving tips will save you hundreds by themselves!

#1. Learn to refill your printer ink cartridges yourself. It takes about 3 minutes and you’ll cry yourself green when you see how easy it is to do.

#2. I paid $11.99 for 5 bottles of ink. Two bottles of black and a bottle each of yellow, pink and blue. I have refilled my cartridges eight times already and I’m no where close to running out of ink.

It came with everything I needed for one low price. I was paying $38 for just one black cartridge and $42 for my Tri color cartridge. I spend more money on copy paper now than I ever will on ink. This includes my 3 kids printing full color pictures, game cheat sheets that always seem to have a million pages per game and full color school projects.

These ideas will get you started and well on your way to saving $300 or more every month. Once you’ve completed your first month…you’ll be planning next months menu in your sleep and counting cash instead of sheep!

...no relation to Dr. Seuss...

Money Saving Tips on Luxury items...if you can afford these, you're not doing as bad as you think. However, you may want to make some adjustments using these money saving tips. If you're feeling a pinch and you have these payments, you could find enough savings to ease your discomfort.

1. Car Insurance. If you've had it for a long time/no accidents or you've downsized, taken a defensive driving class or even paid off your vehicle. You may be entitled to a savings or discount that you're unaware of.

2. Residential Insurance. If your home has significantly lost value due to the economy, you may benefit from re-evaluating your home insurance. If your insurance company is basing your premium on the original price/value to replace your home, get your home insurance re-evaluated at it's current replacement/value/cost.

3. Home Content Insurance. If you think you're furniture and personal belongings are insured because you have homeowners insurance...be sure. Talk to your insurance agent and read the clause. If the agent can't find a clause for it, you're not covered. Maybe you didn't ask for it the first time around or it was assumed that it was included. Either way, money saving tips like this one can save you thousands alone!

If they say you're covered, should you take their word for it? It's just good business to get it in writing. When push comes to shove, an agent in court has everything in writing. So should you.

Replacement cost and value is very different from current actual cost and value. If you have to replace your furniture and you had Aunt Betty's antiques, you may not get the full value for that furniture. Also, if you had college furniture for 20 years and it was on it's last leg, this may be a blessing in disguise to get newer furniture!

However,you may get enough to pick up just second hand pieces to get you back on your feet. Again, your insurance agent can explain the types of coverage that's right for you. If you don't understand something in a contract from anyone, don't sign it until you fully understand it. Even if you have to find a third party that you trust to explain it to you. None of this is legal advice, it's just common sense.

Here's a Money Saving Tip that may make a few waves...you know that magical bracelet that is advertised on TV as an energy and balance piece of "technology"? I was watching the commercial and I noticed something. Before the person puts the bracelet on, the spokesperson shows us how easy it is to pull them off balance. I noticed that the spokesperson actually pulls the person or presses away from the persons natural center of gravity.

After the person puts the bracelet on, the spokesperson pressed straight down into the persons natural center of gravity, making it look like the bracelet was magic! Folks, this trick will work with or without the magical bracelet! try it at home and see how much fun you can have with your friends and family! You can make them wear a spoon on their head, a dime on their nose or anything that amuses you! Ha Ha! Have fun with science!

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