Many don't realize that our basic utility bills provide the perfect money saving opportunity for practically every household!
Especially with today's energy crisis so prevalent throughout many of the states, you've probably heard this term - conservation.
Guess what, conservation really means "using less". Using less energy, means you are spending less money. Inevitably, conservation goes hand in hand with saving money.
We sometimes lose sight of the fact that the water, gas and electricity we use in our homes, always comes back to us in the form of a lovely bill. Use the tips below and you may be surprised to find yourself saving $1000 or more every year.
* Fans can really cool a house in warmer months if set up properly. Ideally, you want to set up fans to draw in cool air (shady side of house) and circulate into the warmer areas.
* Get in the habit of turning off ALL lights and appliances that are not being used. You'll be surprised at how quickly the energy savings will add up.
* TURN THE TV OFF! Did you know that leaving the television on is the number one electricity waster in the world? When everyone is finished watching television, especially before going to sleep, turn it off.
* Replace all "non-reading" lights with lower wattage light bulbs or possibly the new "energy plus" bulbs for even more savings over time.
* Get in the habit of hanging your clothes to dry, possibly on a clothesline in a bathroom.
* Insulate! Insulate! Insulate! our number one money saving tip! Check the weather stripping around doors and windows. Caulk or foam insulate any place where outside air has a chance to get in. Don't forget to insulate your attic floor with either "roll" or "loose-fill" insulation.
* Long Term - Install ceiling fans throughout the house. You can then start decrease A/C usage and during winter months, the fans will help circulate warm air throughout the house.
* Long Term - Plant tall shrubs and brushes. Not only will this beautify your property, but also shade your home causing less need for the A/C in summer months and help block out harsh winds in colder months.
* Check to make sure none of the faucets & spigots in your household are leaking/dripping. A slow dripping faucet can accumulate over two gallons per hour.
* When watering the garden, set a schedule and try to water in the early morning hours to help minimize evaporation (between 6am-8am)
* Avoid taking baths and long showers.
* Leave the faucet OFF when you are brushing your teeth or shaving. Only turn it on when needed.
* If you must wash your car at home, only turn on the hose when you're rinsing.
* During winter months, light a fire for warmth instead of using the central heating unit. Wood is still cheaper than gas. * check and make sure fireplace is working properly
* Wear seasonal appropriate clothing around the house. Get used to wearing sweaters and pants during winter months. You'll find that you won't need to turn the heat up as high.
* Lower the temperature on your gas water heater. You really don't need water heated up to 180 degrees. Lower it a bit and save.
* Turn off stove and oven a few minutes before time is up. Residual heat will finish the job perfectly.
* Compare the prices of various long distance providers and ask the representative which plan provides you the greatest savings based on your calling history. With all the long distance companies on the market, don't be afraid to change to one that's more appropriate for you.
* Get used to email and the Internet! It costs little to nothing to use, and now with instant chatting services like Yahoo Messenger, here's the perfect money saving opportunity.
* Find a good reason to have people call you. You can even come up with a good excuse for them to "call you back".
HAVE A FAMILY? MAKE A GAME
If you have a family, turn this utility saving exercise into a GAME! Make some type of 'agreement' with all the family members where the savings accumulated each month will be put into a 'savings jar'. Then after six months or a years time, a nice vacation can be arranged.
Sit down with everyone when the bills come and compare the savings from month to month. Not only can this be an educational experience for your children, but it's the perfect opportunity to get the whole family involved working towards a goal.
Gregory Thomas, editor of http://www.SavingSecrets.com - has written hundreds of effective money-saving tips, strategies, and articles over the past 6 years. Visit their website and you'll find FREE money-saving articles, a monthly newsletter, and even a FREE Ebook download just for stopping by!