Avoid ugly utility bills this winter with easy makeovers for the
most expensive rooms in your home.
Because food is one of the largest expenses, buying smart
can yield massive savings. Kelly Whalen, founder of The Centsible
Life (thecentsiblelife.com), champions cooking at home from a
pre-determined, repeating meal plan. Whalen encourages taking one
day each week to `clean out the fridge' of leftovers and things
that need to be eaten. After all that home cooking, open the oven
door to let the heat warm the house. Another trick: Stop the
dishwasher and open the door to let dishes air dry.
For such a tiny space, the laundry room consumes a lot of
resources. The primary culprit is the dryer. Use an indoor rack to
cut down on dryer use. A good washing machine will help cut costs
by extracting the most water from the clothes and using less water
for washing. Washing in cold water will cut the heating bill, but
is not always practical. Consider replacing old tank water heaters
with heat pumps that only heat water as needed. (This saves money
in the bathroom, too!)
In the living room, avoid cranking up the heat by
investing in cozy blankets so you can cuddle up. Whalen recommends
decreasing cable services, renting games and DVDs instead of
buying, and being a smart consumer of big ticket items like TVs,
sound systems and gaming consoles.
Lela Davidson is a former CPA with foam on her garage door and a scribbled meal plan in her purse.
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