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How to Live Frugally: Tips for Reducing Utility Bills

Part of the Frugal Living For Dummies Cheat Sheet

You don't have to take cold showers or drop the long-distance plan to cut back on your utility bills. If you want to become a frugal utility user combine a number of these ideas to save money:

  • Check your utilities' billing statements for extra services (such as call forwarding or voice messaging on your phone bill) and cancel the services you don't need or use.

  • Order basic cable rather than the full cable service with high-priced premium channels.

  • Recycle your glass, paper, and cardboard trash to reduce the amount of garbage you need to pay to have hauled away each week.

  • Don't use operator assistance for placing long-distance calls unless absolutely necessary.

  • Keep curtains closed on south-facing windows during the heat of the day for a cooler house.

  • Cook with small appliances (toaster, microwave, slow cooker, electric skillet) in the summer instead of heating up the stove or oven and heating up your house unnecessarily.

  • Use a draft stopper at the bottom of all outside doors during the winter to keep the warm air inside and the chilling cold air outside.

  • Reach for a blanket or sweater when you're feeling cold, instead of immediately turning up the thermostat.

  • Fill your freezer completely for maximum efficiency. Fill empty milk jugs with water to take up empty space, if need be.

  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.

  • Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when you have full loads.

  • Fix leaky faucets and running toilets as soon as you detect a problem.

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