Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Save Big This Summer: Part 1

In an article by Leah Ingram, from the July 2010 issue of Good Housekeeping magazine, on saving big during the summer.  This season is a got time for bargains, on back-to-school and more.  Below are cost-cutting strategies that could lower your bills by $4,500 - plus.

1. Save on Keeping Your Cool: If you cringe before opening your summer utility bills, see if your local provider offers what's known as an AC conservation plan.  For instance, Shakopee Public Utilities in Minnesota offers a free Smart Switch option, which saves users up to $30 on their electric bill for the summer months (June to September) by switching off their ACs automatically for 15 minutes at a time (a quick switch-installation visit by licensed electrician is required.
2. Trim Your Haircut Cost: Most of us he hard the myth that hair grows slightly faster in the summer, but don't let that lead you to more frequent (costlier) cuts.  Instead, space out your and your kids' trips to the salon, and don't opt for a cut when a trim will do. If you can stretch the time out between appointments, say from every two months to every three, by adding some fringe-snipping, you'll have more cash in your pocket.
3. Take Down Tech Fees: If you're in the market for a new laptop, summer is one of the best times to buy; the sale prices can be comparable to those offered on Black Friday.  That news should pleas anyone who has a child heading off for college and in need of some hardware. 
Also consider a new venue for savings, as Lindsay Barhold, 24, of Los Angeles, did when helping her parents research which computer to buy her college-bound brother.  Barhold discovered, which is akin to an online version of Marshalls.  Stores send their products to when they can't sell them, or when the store doesn't put returns back on sale.  Some items come in an "open box"; others are brand-new, as was the Dell laptop Barhold found that, at $350, was $250 cheaper than anything she'd seen.
4. Snip Back-to-School Expenses: By the time the cute clothes and myriad supplies are purchased, the typical American family has spent over $500 getting ready for the school year, reports the National Retail Federation. To trim your tab, try a shopping portal like, which rewards you with money back.  How it works: Start your online shopping at their portal, which links to hundreds of e-commerce sites (,,, and more); these sites pay a commission, part of which Ebates passes on to you, usually 10 to 15 percent off the purchase.  Savings up to $60.

Stay tuned tomorrow and get more big summer savings.


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