Home Owner Saving Tips

Home Improvement
Home repairs often cost thousands of dollars and are the subject of frequent complaints. Select from among several well established, licensed contractors who have submitted written, fixed-price bids for the work.
Do not sign any contract that requires full payment before satisfactory completion of the work.

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Major Appliances
Consult Consumer Reports, available in most public libraries, for information about specific brands and how to evaluate them, including energy use. There are often great price and quality differences among brands.
Once you've selected a brand, check the phone book to learn what stores carry this brand, then call at least four of these stores for the prices of specific models. After each store has given you a quote, ask if that's the lowest price they can offer you. This comparison shopping can save you as much as $100 or more.

Electricity
To save as much as hundreds of dollars a year on electricity, make certain that any new appliances you purchase, especially air conditioners and furnaces, are energy-efficient. Information on the energy efficiency of
major appliances is found on Energy Guide Labels required by federal law.
Enrolling in load management programs and off-hour rate programs offered by your electric utility may save you up to $100 a year in electricity costs.
Call your electric utility for information about these cost-saving programs.

Home Heating
A home energy audit can identify ways to save up to hundreds of dollars a year on home heating (and air conditioning). Ask your electric or gas utility if they can do this audit for free or for a reasonable charge. If they cannot, ask them to refer you to a qualified professional.

Telephone Service
At least once a year review your phone bills for the previous three months to see what local, local toll, long distance, and international calls you normally make. Call several phone companies, including wireless companies, to find an inexpensive calling plan that meets your needs.
If you make very few toll or long distance calls, avoid calling plans with
monthly fees or minimums.
Check your phone bill to see if you have optional calling services you don't use. Each option you drop could save you $40 or more each year.
Before making calls when away from home, compare per minute rates and surcharges for different prepaid phone cards and calling card plans to find the one that saves you the most money.
Dial your long distance calls directly. Using an operator to place the call can cost you up to $10 extra.
If you use a wireless phone, make sure your wireless calling plan covers the calls you typically make. Understand promotions, peak calling periods, area coverage and roaming, and long distance requirements to avoid paying too much.

Food Purchased at Markets
You can save hundreds of dollars a year by shopping at the lower-priced food stores. Convenience stores often charge the highest prices. You will spend less on food if you shop with a list.
You can save hundreds of dollars a year by comparing price-per-ounce or other unit prices on shelf labels. Stock up on those items with low per-unit costs.

 

 

 

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