Ways to Save Money on Your Bills

by Ramkitten

When it comes to saving money on the basics, people tend to think of clipping coupons. But there are plenty of other ways to shave dollars off your bills. Here are some tips....

Save on Your Cell Phone Bill

I'm one of these odd people who still have a basic cell phone -- no apps, no internet. And I don't even have a cool ring tone. Can you believe it; the thing just rings! Yes, I do text ... a little, but I didn't add that feature until about six months ago. So that does put me in the minority.

And I know many cell phone users will need a lot more than the 450-minute package I have, and lots of you have those fancy-shmancy iPhones or Droids and the like. But if you're like me and have a phone that's under $100, you should think about whether it's really worth it to pay about $5 to $7 per month ($60 to $84 per year) for cell phone insurance. I just got rid of mine, deciding to make saving some money a sure thing and take my chances on having to spend less than $60 on a new phone, should mine get lost or damaged ... which it never has. (You can always buy yourself a cell phone lanyard or other case for less than the insurance savings, to help ensure your phone doesn't go walkabout or drop and break.)

See: How To NOT Lose Your Cell Phone

Also, if you have a feature like Verizon's Friends & Family, where you can enter up to five out-of-network phone numbers which you can thereafter call or receive calls from for free, be sure to log into your account online and make use of it, to save yourself minutes and potentially money. I forgot to do that for years!

Image credit: Stock.xchange / CC

Save on Your Heating Bill

Sure, you can turn the thermostat down a degree or two or three and put on some fleece and down booties to keep warm in your own house. You can save about three percent on your heating bill for every degree you lower the temperature below 70 degrees Fahrenheit over the heating season. But you can also save money by keeping the heat you do use INSIDE that house.

One way we do that in our home is to line some of our windows, in particular our skylights, during the coldest months with white Velcro strips, which blend in with the paint so you don't really see them, and put clear plastic between the ceiling (or wall) and the window. The plastic is cut to fit slightly larger than the window, and strips of Velcro are attached around the edges of that plastic in order to join it with the Velcro on the ceiling (or wall). This really reduces heat loss, which in turn, saves us on our heating bill.

Save on Your Electric Bill

Things like chargers for cell phones and other gadgets and microwaves suck energy whenever  they're plugged in. This "standby power" can account for 5% to 10% of your home electricity use.   Save by plugging those gadgets and appliances into a power strip that you can turn off with a single click or flip of a switch when you're not using them.

And maybe it's a no-brainer, but it's also easy to forget: Turn off the light if you're leaving a room, even for just a minute or two.

Save on Your Cable or Satellite TV Bill

You may not be a new customer, but if you see a good deal offered to new customers, call and ask if the company will extend that deal to you (you might add: in order to keep your business). If you've been a long-time customer who pays bills on time, many cable and satellite television companies will give you at least some kind of break on your package.

Or you might even go without cable or satellite altogether and opt instead to watch some of your favorite shows on your computer. Sites like XFinity and Hulu carry a variety of full-length episodes for free. Also check out Joost and Veoh, or, if you're a Netflix member, you can watch movies on your computer for no additional cost beyond your membership fee. 

Lots More Ways to Save on LOTS of Things

100 Ways To Save Money and Spend Less
From the basics and necessities to the extras

Updated: 12/28/2011, Ramkitten
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katiem2 on 02/26/2012

Very good ideas, I never would have imagined saving money on our everyday routine bills could be so easy with simple adjustments. Great practical advice!

pkmcr on 12/29/2011

I am back! We were talking about this subject over lunch and I was reminded how difficult it was for us to get my partner a mobile 'phone that simply made and received calls and sent texts. The assistant would persist in "but don't you want to be able to........" which got the response several times "NO I just want to make and receive calls and send texts" :-)

Jimmie on 12/29/2011

There are so many ways we can tighten our belts and make do with just a little bit less. We all have different priorities and can find different areas to cut back. I like to eat well, but I do my best to buy inexpensive foods by shopping at membership stores and at discount grocery chains.

ohcaroline on 12/29/2011

I'm all for not throwing my money away. These are some good steps. I am like you on the cellphone thing. When I am away from home...I want to be free of things like the internet. I get enough of it at home. All I want is to have a phone for emergencies.

pkmcr on 12/29/2011

Super, straightforward and sensible steps that folks can take to save money on their bills!

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