WHEN THE TEMPERATURE HEATS UP, DON’T LET YOUR BUDGET MELT DOWN!

Forecasters are saying that after a long cold winter, we should be preparing for a long hot summer. The recent summer-like temperatures means higher utility bills already.  Here’s a few tips that can help you save money during the upcoming summer months.

  1. Turn off the air conditioning. This doesn’t mean you have to suffer through sweltering heat, but you should be aware of the weather so that you can maximize efficiency and save money by using it only when needed. For example, if it is going to be a cool night, turn off the air before heading to bed and open a few windows.
  2. Get window wise.  During those scorching days, or before you leave for work in the morning, close your curtains and blinds to prevent the sun from beating down into the rooms and needlessly warming your home. Bonus: It will reduce fading of upholstery and rugs.
  3. Get with the program! Installing a programmable thermostat will help save big bucks on your air conditioning bill (Get a good deal on a programmable thermostat at Amazon). You can program your HVAC system to run less while you’re at work or on vacation and have it run more to cool your home just before you get home.
  4. Replace your air conditioner filters. This can be easy to overlook, but a dirty filter can increase cooling costs. Dirty filters restrict the airflow and the efficiency of the air conditioner, which translates into more run time and higher cooling costs. Filters are cheap, so replace them regularly.
  5. Insulate intelligently. You know the feeling — somehow, it always seems 10 degrees hotter upstairs than it does in your living room. Reduce the effect of the sun’s sizzling rays by insulating your attic. This will prevent the heat that builds up on top from filtering down into the rest of the house.
  6. Keep lamps and TV’s far from the thermostat. Sure, they provide light to read by and your favorite reality shows, but they also exude heat, causing your AC to run overtime. Place the standing lamps and television across the room if you can and consider switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, which generate less heat, last longer and use less energy than incandescent bulbs.
  7. Make use of your microwave. Prepping dinner? Not only is it quicker and a lot more convenient, but four minutes in the microwave will generate much less heat than a half hour in the oven.
  8. Cook outside. Using the stove or baking in the oven can create a lot of excess heat that has nowhere to go except in your house. Consider taking meal plans to the barbecue grill outside so that you can keep your cool inside.
  9. Let your laundry dry outside. If you have the ability to hang up laundry outside, let the sun and warm summer breeze do the drying for you. Even if you can’t hang up clothes outside, try using your dryer on a lower heat setting or only partially drying your shirts and letting them air dry the rest of the way.
  10. Plant a tree. Plant deciduous trees (those that shed their leaves in the winter, like a maple) by the south and west sides of your home to shade windows from heat. In the winter, their bare branches will allow sunlight to stream into your home for added warmth. Also consider planting trees or shrubs near your AC unit. It will use less electricity when operating under the shade.

No need to swoon from the heat, or your sky-high electric bill! Hope these tips help to stay cool and calm during the dog days of summer.

Are you ready for one of the the worst allergy seasons on record?

Start stockpiling tissues…the worst winter in years is about to give way to the worst allergy season. Allergists are predicting a sneezy spring because of the long, cold winter and higher-than-average snowfall.

Approximately 36 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies and this year will be especially tough.

Although we cannot control Mother Nature, there is plenty you can do make your home more comfortable by reducing allergens and irritants and preventing them from making your home a permanent staycation.

Recognizing the importance of indoor quality is imperative. Allergies, asthma, eczema, headaches, dizziness, fatigue, sinusitis, and bronchial problems are all medical conditions that have been linked to poor indoor air quality. Indoor air can be 5 times more polluted than the air outside. The EPA ranks indoor air as one of the top 5 environmental risks to public health.

Here are some simple steps to make the air you family breathes cleaner and healthier:

  1. Controlling the temperature in your home is a great way to control allergens. If you have a programmable thermostat, set the temperature to 70 during the day and 65during the night. Make sure to keep an eye on the humidity level also, no lower than 40 or 50. Don’t have a programmable thermostat? You can get one here at Amazon.
  2. Change your filters and have your ducts cleaned. Dust, pet dander and mold can collect in filters and ducts if they are not cleaned regularly.
  3. Vacuum rugs often and have your rugs shampooed. Make sure you check ingredients, as some cleaners have strong odors that can trigger allergies.
  4. I know pets are like members of the family, but if you are suffering with allergies, try to keep the family cat or dog off furniture that can trap pet hair and pet dander. For example, any place where you rest your head, like a fabric sofa or on the bed, should be kept free of hair.
  5. Wash bed sheets often. You can also purchase pillow and mattress covers that provide a special barrier against dust mites. Also keep in mind that line drying your clothes and sheets outside is only re-exposing them to everything you just washed off.
  6. Keep your bathroom clean. Mold grows in damp environments and is a major cause of severe allergies.
  7. Keep you refrigerator clean. Food that sits beyond its expiration date begins to grow mold. You don’t want that sitting near food you are going to eat.
  8. Donate or pack up old books. I hang on to those text books from college thinking I may need to refer back to them one day. But old books sitting around on shelves are huge collectors of dust, which increase allergens.
  9. Be sure to wash your hands often, as this is the fastest way to spread allergens
  10. *Install a LUX TX1500U fully programmable thermostat (get yours at Amazon). You can set specific temperatures, times and days of the week. And it has a graphical filter monitor which takes the guess-work out of knowing if your circulating air is clean or dirty and let you know when filters need to be cleaned. A programmable thermostat that improves the quality of your air and saves you money!!

LET EARTH DAY 2014 INSPIRE YOU!

Earth Day 2014 is Tuesday April 22nd. Earth day is meant to inspire the public to take better care of the environment and learn to take pride in the environment. The original Earth Day was used as a teaching day to get the public more informed about the environmental impact humans were making.

Since then, the basic message of the day is the same, but it has been taken much further. Since this original celebration Earth Day has become an international holiday. Several environmental groups have also started participating in an Earth week.

During this week, these organizations host several different programs that educate their communities about the different aspects of Earth and how to take better care of Earth. Each year, Earth Day celebrations have become more and more elaborate with an ever increasing audience.

Each year different activities are held to acknowledge Earth Day. Each participating country holds their own activities which can be seen on the international Earth Day webpage [www.earthday.org]. Last year, groups across the globe began to enter into active communication with their government officials concerning environmental policy. These groups began to make moves toward getting schools and business to recycle as well as take other actions towards preserving our environment.

Other, more recreational, activities are also held each year in different parts of the world. Many national parks hold nature walks in hopes that these will inspire more environmental responsibility. Other groups organize clean-ups to clear trash and make the environment more livable.

A big push for more child appropriate programs has also been seen throughout recent years. Nearly every community holds some sort of Earth Day activity. All you have to do is read the local newspaper to find out more. Earth Day 2014 events are nearly always posted far in advance, you just have to look for them [Earth Day Events].

EARTH DAY HISTORY:
Earth day first began in the United States in 1970. This celebration was started by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson on April 22, 1970, after witnessing the ravages of the massive 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Although many thought it was just another hippie cause, as it was established at the height of hippie and flower-child culture in the United States. However, with the help of the media, thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values. Over time, the movement expanded beyond colleges campuses to evolve into the global movement it is today. [Read more about the history of Earth Day].

EARTH DAY RESOLUTIONS:
We cannot ensure a safe and clean planet for future generations if we think about environmental issues for one day only. We must think ‘green’ every day of the year. Decide now to start small with an easy resolution to make ‘green’ part of your daily routine. A few simple ways to start: turn off lights and appliances when not in use, recycle(simply throw your plastic bottles in a separate container than your trash), take a walk instead of driving to your destination. Use Energy Star appliances. Things as simple as installing a programmable thermostat can save energy, the environment and you money [Get a programmable thermostat at Amazon].

EARTH DAY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS:
Our children are the leaders of the future. It is important that they learn the importance of the environment now, instead of waiting until they have grown. There is no better way to teach children than to make crafts and play educational games [Earth Day Activities for Kids].

Spring Ahead & Save Money!

In the U.S., daylight saving time was first used during World War I to conserve resources. It was reinstated again during World War II until September 1945. The Uniform Time Act of 1966 created a standardized system to observe daylight saving time.

So how does it affect us today? The Department of Energy studied the amount of energy savings in 2008. They found that during daylight saving time, U.S. electricity use decreased by 0.5 percent per day. That doesn’t seem like much, but over time it added up to 1.3 billion kilowatt-hours. That’s enough to power about 122,000 average U.S. homes per year.

These electricity savings generally occur during a three- to five-hour
period in the evening. To learn how you can save energy during
Daylight Saving Time, visit Energy Saver.

Daylight Savings Is Our Little Reminder:

The National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission recommend that consumers change the
battery in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when we change the
clocks for Daylight Savings Time.

This is a great reminder to test and change batteries all around your home. While you’ve got the ladder out to check your smoke detectors, why not change a bulb? Switching to energy efficient bulbs in your ceiling fixtures could save you $30 a year PER BULB on your electricity bill. Energy efficient lighting is particularly important in the fall when Daylight Saving Time ends and the days are shorter. The latest generation of energy-saving lighting includes compact fluorescent bulbs that fit in standard light sockets and provide pleasant, uniform light, as well as LED lighting and halogen bulbs.

Change the batteries in your thermostat. Don’t wait until the last minute and end up without air or heat. Changing your thermostat batteries regularly will keep your home temperature running smoothly. If you don’t already have one, install a programmable thermostat. A Lux programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs [Get programmable thermostat at Amazon].

A Few More Reminders……
Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool — wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system — leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.
Tune up your HVAC equipment. Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort. Learn more: Maintain your Equipment: A Checklist
Seal your heating and cooling ducts. Ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent — and sometimes much more. Focus first on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage. Use duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts. After sealing the ducts in those spaces, wrap them in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Next, look to seal any other ducts that you can access in the heated or cooled part of the house.

Hopefully these reminders and energy saving tips will help you save money and help put a smile on your face after such a long, grueling winter.

12 Simple Ways To Save Money On Utilities (and the planet)

The other day I decided to tally up the amount of money I’ve spent in various household categories so I could really get a sense of the extent to which small things can add up. One thing that stood out to me is that I’ve spent an average of $150/month on utilities (gas, water, electric). Of course, during that period there were months that were lower and months that were considerably higher. At first glance, that doesn’t sound like a huge amount, but consider this… over a ten year period that works out to roughly $18k — now that will certainly make anyone stop and think!

All of this got me thinking about simple things that people can do to cut their utility expenditures without impacting their comfort level. I’m talking here about ’set-and-forget’ modifications that you put in place once, and then reap the benefits forevermore. What follows is a list of simple suggestions. Some of these are common sense, others are perhaps less obvious. And looking beyond the financial savings, a number of these tricks will improve the comfort of your home, and nearly all of them are also good for the environment.

  1. Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or LEDs. Admittedly, some of these bulbs really take getting used to (weird colored light, dim until they warm up, etc.) but there are some good ones out there. In fact, I’ve had great success with the cheaper multi-packs from Lowes and Home Depot.
  2. Get a programmable thermostat.  (Amazon is a good place to get an affordable programmable thermostat) This is especially useful if you work outside of the home. If that is the case, you can dial back your heating/cooling while you’re at work, but have it automatically back at a comfortable level when you arrive home at the end of the day. Similarly, you can automatically control the temperature while on vacation, weekends or even sleeping. This savings become huge when you don’t have a system that is constantly running and expending energy.
  3. Put a sealed jar/jug of water, or brick in your toilet tank. Doing so displaces water in the tank and causes you to use less. Of course, too little water when you flush can cause problems, so you’ll have to experiment with this one. But be careful…displacing so much water that you have to flush twice is generally more wasteful than flushing a larger volume once.  Or upgrade your toilet to the new dual flush models now available.
  4. Install aerator screens on all of your faucets. Any reasonably modern house will have aerators on their kitchen and bathroom sinks, but many don’t have them when it comes to laundry or utility sinks. The magic of aerator screens is that they increase the apparent ‘power’ of the stream of water as it comes out of the faucet. Thus, you don’t need to turn the faucet up as high to get the same effect.
  5. Get a separate water meter for your exterior hose/ sprinkler system. In most locales, your sewer bill is tied to your water usage. Why pay more for sewer service in the summer when much of the water isn’t going down the drain? Many water utilities allow you to have dual meters, only one of which gets billed for sewer service (the one that feeds your house).
  6. Insulate your attic access. Many people who live in single dwelling homes have trouble balancing the upstairs and downstairs temperature. As it turns out, one of the most frequent problems is the attic. In the winter, cold drafts escape into the main part of the house and in the summer, sweltering heat escaping from the attic prevents you from cooling your house efficiently.  Insulating access areas to attic spaces diminishes the problem greatly.
  7. Balance your vents to achieve an even, comfortable temperature throughout your house. Another problem that many have had in regulating the temperature between our upstairs and downstairs is the vents. After a bit of experimentation, many are able to balance the upstairs/downstairs temps. Again, allowing you to run heat/air more efficiently.
  8. Weather strip your doors and windows.  Just think, a 1/4 inch gap along the bottom of a 3 foot wide door is 9 square inches of open space. If you had a 3 inch x 3 inch hole in one of your exterior walls you’d fix it, wouldn’t you?
  9. Insulate your garage door. It works wonders for controlling the temperature in a room above the garage.
  10. Plant trees in strategic locations around your house. This is a longer term solution, but shade trees can keep your house much cooler in the summer without blocking the sun in the winter. Planting trees also helps offset our high-carbon lifestyles.  If you don’t have a landscaper, go to your local nursery and talk to them about what types of trees would be best for this purpose as well as what kinds of trees will thrive in your local ground soil and climate.
  11. Maintain your appliances. Keep your dryer lint free.  Not just the lint trap, but the area around the lint trap, the vent hose, and inside the dryer itself.  You’d be amazed what can build up in there. Run appliances at night, during “off peak” or “night” rates.  Use the delay settings on your clothes washer, dryer, and dish washer. Unplug any appliances you can when you are not using it.  Seems silly, but many electrical devices draw power even when they are not turned on.
  12. This is where you all come in. Instead of ending this list at twelve, I’d love to hear your ’set-and-forget’ tips.  I’m sure there’s plenty of money saving tips that I haven’t even thought of.  Leave a comment so we can share it. 

Keeping your home — and wallet — comfortable

BBC Capital

Whether you live in a part of the world where the mercury is soaring, or where frigid temperatures are settling in for the next few months, there is one thing you can be certain of — you’re going to have to pay more to keep your home comfortable  [MORE].

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A good way to reduce your heating and cooling expense is to install an affordable programmable thermostat which will automatically adjust your home’s temperature according your your individual schedule.  Amazon is a good place to get a programmable thermostat.

EXTREME COLD WEATHER HOUSHOLD TIPS

Tips to avoid plumbing issues:

  1. Let water drip from a fixture that is the furthest away from the water supply line to prevent frozen water pipes & breaks in your home.
  2. Leave cabinet doors open under the sinks so heat from the room reaches the pipes.
  3. Make sure the water is turned off to outside spigots, remove hoses/attachments and cover spigot.
  4. Locate your emergency water shut-off valve in case a water pipe freezes and breaks.
  5. Never turn off your heat during cold weather.
  6. Make sure your thermostat is in good working order and change batteries annually. Amazon is a good place to get a new affordable & reliable programmable thermostat that helps you save money by reducing your heating bills.  Click here for more info.

Did your New Year resolutions make our top ten list?

New Year’s Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past, and more importantly, forward to the coming year. It’s a time to reflect on the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Did your New Year resolutions make our top ten list?

  1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends Recent polls conducted by General Nutrition Centers, Quicken, and others shows that more than 50% of Americans vow to appreciate loved ones and spend more time with family and friends this year. Make plans to meet up with friends for an evening of camaraderie at a favorite restaurant or someone’s home. Work shouldn’t always come first!
  2. Fit In Fitness The evidence is in for fitness. Regular exercise has been associated with more health benefits than anything else known to man. Studies show that it reduces the risk of some cancers, increases longevity, helps achieve and maintain weight loss, enhances mood, lowers blood pressure, and even improves arthritis. In short, exercise keeps you healthy and makes you look and feel better. Why not make this the time to start getting in shape.
  3. Tame the Bulge Over 66 percent of adult Americans are considered overweight or obese by recent studies, so it is not surprising to find that weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Setting reasonable goals and staying focused are the two most important factors in sticking with a weight loss program, and the key to success for those millions of Americans who made a New Year’s commitment to shed extra pounds.
  4. Quit Smoking If you have resolved to make this the year that you stamp out your smoking habit, over-the-counter availability of nicotine replacement therapy now provides easier access to proven quit-smoking aids. Even if you’ve tried to quit before and failed, don’t let it get you down. On average, smokers try about four times before they quit for good. Start enjoying the rest of your smoke-free life.
  5. Enjoy Life More Given the hectic, stressful lifestyles of millions of Americans, it is no wonder that “enjoying life more” has become a popular resolution in recent years. It’s an important step to a happier and healthier you! Beyond considering a product designed to bring balance to your body, mind and soul, just get out and try something new! Take up a new hobby. It can be as adventurous as trying your hand at skiing or more relaxing like collecting stamps. Go to a theater performance, or head to the local spa. Check local papers and websites. They offer a wealth of artistic and recreational activities to meet just about anyone’s wishes.
  6. Quit Drinking While many people use the New Year as an incentive to finally stop drinking, most are not equipped to make such a drastic lifestyle change all at once. Many heavy drinkers fail to quit cold turkey but do much better when they taper gradually, or even learn to moderate their drinking. If you have decided that you want to stop drinking, there is a world of help and support available. Alcoholics Anonymous offers meetings throughout the country. There are groups for Parents of Teenage Alcohol and Drug Abusers. There are also a number of treatment-based programs, as well as support groups for families of alcoholics.
  7. Get Out of Debt Was money a big source of stress in your life last year? Join the millions of Americans who have resolved to spend this year getting a handle on their finances. It’s a promise that will repay itself many times over in the year ahead. Start by making small steps to save money. Look around your house and I bet you can find a few simple ways to cut back and save. Turn off light s you’re not using.  Turn back the thermostat a few degrees.  A programmable thermostat will do this automatically for you!   Clean out the attic or basement and have a garage/yard sale. If it’s too cold for that this time of year, try selling select items on websites like Ebay.
  8. Learn Something New Have you vowed to make this year the year to learn something new? Perhaps you are considering a career change, want to learn a new language, or just how to fix your computer? Whether you take a course or read a book, you’ll find education to be one of the easiest, most motivating New Year’s resolutions to keep. The local community college probably offers a wide variety of courses, and local YMCA’s offer great recreational training for beginners of all ages. Most local colleges and universities offer distance and adult education programs. Or if the arts are more your thing, places such as the local theater or museum offer workshops or adult studio classes.
  9. Help Others A popular, non-selfish New Year’s resolution, volunteerism can take many forms. Whether you choose to spend time helping out at your local library, mentoring a child, or building a house, there are many nonprofit volunteer organizations that could really use your help. Many organizations makes it easy by connecting volunteers with projects to fit practically any schedule. Or if your time is really in short supply, maybe you can at least find it in you to donate the furniture, clothing and other household items that you no longer need, rather than leaving them out by the curb to fill up our landfills.
  10. Get Organized On just about every New Year resolution top ten list, organization can be a very reasonable goal. Whether you want your home organized enough that you can invite someone over on a whim, or your office organized enough that you can find the stapler when you need it, these tips and resources should get you started on the way to a more organized life.  There are professional organizers who can help you reduce the clutter in your life and find peace in your home or office if the task is too overwhelming.

 Make Your Resolutions Stick  Get What You Want Out of the New Year

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

The holidays are here again. It’s that time of year when spending can easily get out of control. Gifts, gift wrap, greeting cards, household decorations, outfits for holiday photos and parties, and food shopping for holiday meals are at the top of everyone’s lists.

Unfortunately after Santa has arrived and New Year’s has been rung in, many of us are faced with credit card debt and a pile of bills.  Here are a few ways to save during the holidays and start the New Year on the right foot.

  1. Planning ahead can save you in the end. Make a list of people, and then prioritize. This list will also be your gift shopping budget for the holidays. Note how much you are going to spend next to each person’s name. You can even share your holiday gift lists with family and friends online at KeepandShare.com. For budgeting tips, go to Mint.com and check out its easy budgeting tools. Now carry the list and budget with you on your shopping sprees, and stick to it!
  2. Focus on buying for close friends and family. Minimize the number of gifts for acquaintances and coworkers. Also consider buying one large gift that several people on your list can enjoy. Some people would rather get one great gift for the family than 10 little gifts. Groupon.com, with the slogan “collective buying power,” provides bulk discounts. You can sign up at Groupon.com for e-mail alerts of sales going on in your area, such as restaurant or beauty salon discounts, which make ideal gifts to share with family or friends.
  3. Pick a name out of a hat. Whether you come from a large or small family, buying for everyone adds up quickly.  It’s been called Secret Santa, Grab Bag or Pollyanna. But the concept is all the same. You only have to buy a gift for one person. Set a limit on how much you are allowed to spend so everyone is on an even playing field. 
  4. Online coupons are great. Consumers can simply point and click to find online coupons for the product of their choice. Most of these coupon sites provide a coupon code to be used on a retail store’s website. During the online checkout, type the code under the “promo” or “coupon code” heading to receive the discount. On most of these websites, you can register to receive daily or weekly E-mails of coupon specials. Sites like Coupon.com, SmartSource.com, and CouponMom.com are popular for consumers looking for a bargain.
  5. Comparison shop on line. Left with excess inventory last year, retailers are going to sell fewer items in stores this holiday season. As a result, more people are going to go online for research, price comparison, and convenient shopping. One way to do that is through sites like ComparisonShopping.com, which aggregates product search results from the 10 leading websites for price-comparison shopping, including BizRate, PriceGrabber, NexTag, and Shopzilla. These sites have vendor prices, reviews of vendors and items, and product descriptions. Also, visit FreeShipping.org, which provides free shipping coupon codes for more than 1,710 stores. Other websites have threshold free shipping, where shipping doesn’t cost anything after a minimum purchase; Amazon.com, for example, provides free shipping for members whose purchases are over $25.
  6. Homemade gifts, cards, and wrapping paper. Get crafty. Homemade gifts and cards are not only affordable but also fun projects for you and your friends or family to do together. Clip craft stores’ weekly coupons, or visit cheap art supply websites, such as CheapJoes.com, to save on supplies. Instead of buying expensive cards and wrapping paper, make them with colored paper and art supplies. You can put your kids to work with craft ideas from KidsCraftWeekly.com. “If you aren’t so artsy, buy homemade artwork, jewelry, and clothing at Etsy.com, as well as unique art supplies,” says Michelle Madhok, an online shopping expert and founder of shopping websites SheFinds.com and MomFinds.com. If you’re a baker, recipe sites like Epicurious.com have a plethora of seasonal recipes from cookbooks, chefs, and home cooks. Holiday-themed treats are tasty and inexpensive gifts for your friends and family members with a sweet tooth.
  7. Buy gifts that save money.  You don’t have to be buying for the “Do It Yourselfer” in the family or even the frugal family member. Give gifts that people wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves. Energy saving lightbulbs, a showerhead that saves water, or a programmable thermostat makes a great gift or stocking stuffer.  They’ll be thanking you every month when they see the savings on their utility bill.
  8. Re-gifting. Refer to re-gifting as “gift recycling”. It is easy not only on the wallet but also on the environment, as you are reusing items rather than throwing them away. Avoid the dreaded fruitcake this year, and go for gifts, preferably less personal and unused, such as gift cards, candles, picture frames, and homeware items.
  9. Budget for yourself. Now after all of your generosity, don’t forget to reward yourself. Along with your gift list, budget how much you’d like to spend for yourself. It’s best to decide what you’d like early on, so you can spend time looking for it at the lowest price. If you have a specific gift in mind, you can go to sites like ShopStyle.com, for clothing and fashion accessories, or PriceSpider.com, for electronics, and select items you like. Then the website will send you E-mail alerts whenever your selected item goes on sale.
  10. Happy shopping. Remember to have fun. Shopping for gifts shouldn’t be a dreaded chore. Give yourself plenty of time. Enjoy the crowds and everything that comes along with it. It only comes around once a year.

HAVE A SAFE & PROSPEROUS HOLIDAY SEASON & A HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Thermostat Deals!

Happy Holiday!  For a limited time you can shop the year’s lowest prices programmable thermostats for your home that will save energy and save you money.

  • Lux TX9000TS 7-Day Touch screen programmable thermostat regularly $82.97 now $63.75 with coupon code LUXSPC11
  • Lux TX9100U 7-Day Universal programmable thermostat regularly $65.00 now $48.75 with coupon code LUXSPC12
  • Lux TX1500U 5-1-1 Universal programmable thermostat with filter monitor  regularly $55.00 now $43.75 with coupon code LUXSPC13
  • LUX TX500U 5-2 Universal programmable thermostat regularly $45.00 now $35.75 with coupon code LUXSPC14

… a gift that saves money all year long!

Coupons are applied at final Amazon checkout screen.

Hurry while supplies last.  Limited time offer, ends midnight 12/2/2013.

Good luck and happy Thanksgiving.