Saving money on utility bills: Part 2


house-utility-saving

Heating bills

The furnace is still running full-blast in my home which is one of the joys of winter in the Northeast. Although I enjoy being warm, I don't enjoy paying the gas bill. I have found that the easiest way to save on your heating costs is with a programmable thermostat. If you do not have one, you may want to consider this small investment. The temperature automatically adjusts depending on the time of day and the day of the week. I program it to turn down to 64 degrees starting at 9pm, back to 68 degrees at 5 am, then down to 65 during the day when only the dogs are home, and so on.

The night-time temperature in the house is a bit chilly, but I invested in down comforters for all the beds a few years ago. There is nothing warmer than down. I also use the  “European” method of making the beds with a duvet cover over the comforter with no top sheet (I remove and wash the cover). Using this method, you can essentially wrap yourself in the comforter, which is extra warm.

I also wrapped some of the windows on the North side of the house in plastic sheeting this year. Not the stuff that sticks to the window, but plastic sheets taped around the window and frame. It seems to help with the drafts.

TV

I really hate the cable TV bill. The rate keeps increasing and channels keep disappearing. I have an expanded basic plan in order to get some channels beyond just the local ones. I got rid of digital cable several years ago-it was too expensive and we barely watched the extra channels. If you do have digital cable, consider whether or not you need it on more than one TV set. This definitely falls into the category of want vs. need. If I was to lose my job, this is one bill I would completely eliminate. These days, more and more TV shows can be watched on the computer. This is something you may want to consider if you are really short on cash.

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