Shrink Your Utility Bills
In Save Money on Pracitically Everything, we give you 107 ways to cut costs. Here are a few ways to lower your utility bills:
Audit your cell-phone plan. Most people don't use all of their cell-phone plan minutes each month, according to an informal Consumer Reports poll. Go to BillShrink.com, enter some data from your bills, and the site will direct you to plans that may be a better fit -- and cost less. Or try Validas.com -- you'll pay $5 for a similar service, but it looks at your actual cell-phone bill to give you more detailed analysis.
If you're an infrequent cell-phone user, you might save money with a prepaid plan. Compare rates at MyRatePlan.com.
Lower your water temperature. Set your water heater at 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If your heater does not have a temperature gauge, dial down until the water feels hot, not scalding.
(Before going too low, make sure your dishwasher has a booster heater, which gets the temperature back to 140 degrees, necessary for proper cleaning.)
Stop watering the sidewalk. Watering that strip of land between your sidewalk and the street is often a big waste of money. Because the so-called parking strip is so narrow, your sprinkler probably showers most of the water on concrete.
Landscaping this area with a rock garden or drought-resistant plants could save you 90,000 gallons of water and $135 on water bills annually, according to estimates from the Utah Rivers Council.
See all 14 ways to Save Money on Utility & Phone Bills.
See the full set of cost-cutting tips in our special Save Money on Practically Everything package.