1. Replace Light Bulbs: Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and you can save 75% off lighting costs.
2. Save Water: Installing faucet aerators and low-flow shower heads will cut water heating costs by 50 percent and save up to $300 per year. It will also cut water use by up to 50 percent.
3. Unplug: Turn off electronics such as the TV and computer when not in use and unplug battery chargers and other equipment. Taken together, these small items can use as much power as your refrigerator.
4. Adjust Water Heater: Turn your water heater down to 120° or the "Normal" setting when home, and to the lowest setting when away. Water heating accounts for about 13% of home energy costs.
5. Plan Ahead at the Grocery Store: Plan out your meals for the next few weeks before going into the grocery store so you buy only what you need and don’t waste food that spoils before you can use it. Plan your grocery list and meals around items that are currently on sale. Buy items in bulk for a lower cost and freeze the rest to be used at a later date.
6. Reduce Winter Heating: Keep the draperies and shades on your south facing windows open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter your home and closed at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows. Re-set your programmable thermostat from 72 degrees to 65 degrees for eight hours a day (for instance, while no one is home or while everyone is tucked in bed) and you can cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent. Weatherize your home by caulking and weather strip any doors and windows that leak air.
Maybe you'll even save enough to head off to the Caribbean for a little Champagne Living this winter!
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