Afraid to go in the water, the cost to high!

I have thinking since last night what I would like to talk about today. We do have our gas line fixed and the gas company moved the meter to the side of the house. This way they didn’t have the added expense of replacing our driveway and front porch. All of our neighbors have their meter on the side and we always had it on the front. We did our best to conceal it, Randy made a box to cover it which I always thought was great, because the kids were always sitting on it. Our neighbor said “glad to see that eye sore gone?” Maybe it was an eye sore.

My last post said Hot Shower wanted! I wanted to talk about ways to save water. We live in a town that the water rates are so high and we can’t keep up with our water bill. I decided my mission is to lower our bill like my mission was the gas bill earlier in the year and we have almost $20. I am a frugal mom on a mission!

I called the water department and was told our rates went up 28 percent, and last year we had a 70 percent increase, which equals 98 percent. How can people make it if they aren’t frugal? I can see why people have to leave our wonderful town; they can’t keep up.
Here are some water-saving tips:
1. Check for leaks, drips and running water. Think of it as money going down the drain and get them fixed.
2. Only wash full loads of laundry and dishes in dishwasher. It doesn’t matter if there is one thing or a full load; you will use the same amount of water.
3. Showers take less water than a bath. Try to make it a five-minute one.
4. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge. This way you won’t waste water running until it’s cold enough for you.
5. Add a brick or small filled water jug to the tank of the toilet. This displaces the water and you use less.
6. Remember when mother said “Scrape your plate!” Well, she was right again. Scrape rather than rinse before you put your plate in the dishwasher and this will save water.
7. Shut that water off when brushing your teeth.
8. The joke – is your toilet running? Well, you better go catch it, because it’s running away with your money. To check if it is running, put blue dye in the tank and if the bowl turns blue right away, you better catch it soon or you’ll be seeing red when the water bill comes. (Remember: if you don’t see a color change right away, you will when you flush it until the color is gone from the tank.)
9. Think about installing a separate water meter for outside water faucets if you do outside watering and car washing, so you won’t get charged sewer usage.

I found a site with 49 ways to save water to read

Our family will be doing this one today. Check your water meter and write down the number and don’t run any water for 2 hours and check again. If the number has changed you have a leak. I am going to check before work and after to make sure I am not running any water. I will let you know!

Have a blessed day, Candy

Series: How to cut you Bills Part 3

I think we are on a roll and I wanted to get to our  part 3 in our series How to cut your bills.

My mom always taught me it doesn’t hurt to ask, sometimes they may say No but they just might say Yes. With the current state of our economy many providers for different services are nerves about losing many customers. Before you call any of the service you would like to negotiate with have your latest bill handy.

– Here is a list of services you can call and ask if the they will lower your bill. I would say any kind of service that  there is competition, try. The first person you speak with may say no but ask to speak to someone in customer retention, they have more influence on reducing your bill and keeping you happy. Mention other offers competitors may have. I have played hardball before and had to cancel a service so be prepared!

  • Cable – Many are getting rid of their cable. I enjoy it in the winter but may in the summer.Well I called Buckeye Cable to see if I could lower my bill. I have a bundle for cable, internet and phone. The best I could do is get rid of my home and save $20 a month.
  • Internet
  • Home Phone – I am thinking of getting rid of my home phone
  • Cell Phone – Both girls have jobs now, the time may be right for them to pay their bill.
  • Gas
  • Electric
  • Gym membership – If you have one
  • Car insurance- If you have an older car look into collision coverage.

Why not ask and maybe you can reduce your bill and keep more in your pocket!

  • Paying bills on time saves late fees and your credit rating. If you are late on a credit card many companies are even raising  interest rates.
  • Our new President has challenged banks to lower home payments, So why not call your bank and ask what they can do to help you.

I am going to go over my bills tomorrow and start making my calls. I will update you and how about you call yours. Let us know any savings you receive. God’s Blessings, Candy

I saw a commercial for a free Kashi entree and here is the site for you to get yours.

How to save on your water bill!

My water bill keeps going up and I have checked for leaks (We had a running toilet and thought that was the problem. I was eagerly waiting to see how much I reduced my bill). The bill increased so we started to recycle gray water, we take short showers and the bill keeps going up and I can’t keep up.
I called the water department and was told our rates went up 28 percent, and last year we had a 70 percent increase, which equals 98 percent. How can people make it if they aren’t frugal? Some of these tips are very simple and you may already know but, others are easy things to do to save more.
Here are some water-saving tips:
1. Check for leaks, drips and running water. Think of it as money going down the drain and get them fixed.

2. Only wash full loads of laundry and dishes in dishwasher. It doesn’t matter if there is one thing or a full load; you will use the same amount of water.

3. Showers take less water than a bath. Try to make it a five-minute one.

4. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge. This way you won’t waste water running until it’s cold enough for you.

5. Add a brick or small filled water jug to the tank of the toilet. This displaces the water and you use less.

6. Remember when mother said “Scrape your plate!” Well, she was right again. Scrape rather than rinse before you put your plate in the dishwasher and this will save water.

7. Shut that water off when brushing your teeth.

8. The joke – is your toilet running? Well, you better go catch it, because it’s running away with your money. To check if it is running, put blue dye in the tank and if the bowl turns blue right away, you better catch it soon or you’ll be seeing red when the water bill comes. (Remember: if you don’t see a color change right away, you will when you flush it until the color is gone from the tank.)

9. Think about installing a separate water meter for outside water faucets if you do outside watering and car washing, so you won’t get charged sewer usage. This will also save.

10.To peel and rinse vegetables let the water go into a small pail to rinse then use that water to water plants

11. This year y dad made a rain barrel for me and I watered my garden and topped off my little pond. This week I will post the directions.

12. While waiting for the shower water to get warm, let it run into a bucket and use that water to flush the toilet the next time. We use an ice cream bucket. it was easier for the kids to fill then milk jugs.

If you have any water saving tips please leave a comment and have a blessed day, Candy

Series: Tips to cut your bills! part 2

How do you deal with it, simply? For much of my married life I have thought and said  “I don’t need much I just want to be able to pay my bills and if we need something be able to get it”  Now, I am thinking maybe my goals are too small and that is why we never seem to get to the next level.

Tips to cut your bills! Part 2

  • If you can’t pay off the credit cards each month, then try paying those credit cards every 14 days and save money on interest

I have been thinking a lot about saving on your medical bills and here are some:

  1. Eat healthy and try to eat you fruits and vegetables. I saw ad for Burger King for their dollar menu that read eat and pay rent, Did you know that fast food restaurants are no of the only industries to see increased sales. Why, due to dollar menus. Just my opinion, but I feel there a lot of  families that are so busy with work and activities for their children feel it is easier to drop through the drive thru then cook at home. This is going to have a lasting affect on the health of these individuals. We were there 2 years ago during baseball season!
  2. Drink at least 32 ounces of water. You can’t believe how much better you feel when you drink water. Your body gets rid of toxins, many headaches are from being dehydrated. I save water is a frugal drink when you pour it yourself  and save money
  3. Get plenty of rest. The cause of many illnesses are due to lack of rest and you are rundown.
  4. Don’t smoke and save money!
  5. If you are like us and don’t have health insurance negotiate with the doctors office. If you pay cash will they take less, sometimes it is up to 1/2 the total bill.
  6. When calling your physicians office many times the nurse will give me advice and save on a visit or say we need to see them.
  7. If you are ill and see the doctor ask if they may have samples you can use. Pharmaceuticals representative give the office their brand of  prescriptions so the doctors will try them and start writing prescriptions for them.
  8. Many pharmacy’s have a  $4 prescription list and if you have a Meijer in your area have a list of  free antibiotics No strings attached.
  9. Another way to save on prescriptions ask for a generic brand. Generics are less expensive and are basically the same product.
  10. Kids sports physical – Many schools offer sports physical for $10-$15 compared to the $100 at the office.  Our school has the physician and staff come right to the school.

Do you have medical savings tips?

Series: Tips to cut your bills!

I belong to a forum group called Frugal Village , I love this site and have made many friends from all over the world. I am seeing more and more of the members dealing with unemployment, our family included. I thought today I would give some of the best tips I have to cut your bills.  Maybe you may have some you would like to add.

  1. This is one of my biggest- Cook at home- There is a world of recipes on the net. I love sitting as a family and we like to figure out how much our dinner cost that night. Yesterday, we had stir fry and to feed our family of six cost less then $10 and that was  an expensive meal for us.
  2. Shop for non-food items at the dollar store. We needed deodorant this week, I got it at the dollar store and used my dollar off coupon and spent  less then $1.
  3. This is something I couldn’t believe when we did it. Take an inventory of your cabinets and freezer. I took my clipboard and Randy and I inventoried everything and there were things I didn’t even know I had. This way I could better plan with what I had and not spend the money.
  4. Declare No Spend days- I have heard different theory’s on this but for me it is a way to hang on to a little more and we spend No money. We have even had No spend weekends. This Monday The Henry Ford Museum is free family day, These are the kind of outing I like to find and did thanks to Paula at  Monroe on a Budget.
  5. Be your own cleaning lady- Do jobs that you would pay for outside help like lawn, cleaning, snow removal and how about hair and nails. I bought hair shears and I cut my family’s hair. You can find sites online to help show you the ins and outs!
  6. Barter services– When my children were younger a friend and I would barter childcare.  I didn’t have to stress about the money I was spending out and the money I would be spending to pay the sitter.
  7. Make it yourself food- Last year when my oldest was away at college she mentioned to me her money was going faster then usual. What I discovered was the $4 lattes. Making your own coffee is a big one, Friday night Pizza has also helped our budget. Homemade yogurt recipe
  8. Make it yourself cleaning- Randy and I have been really enjoying making our own and testing them to see what works here are a few Homemade Fabric softener, window cleaner, shower spray. I will post these recipes this weekend.
  9. There are many natural cleaning products that are cheap and work great like baking soda and vinegar together they form an explosion of bubbles the clean and disinfect and apart the work great also. The baking soda is abrasive but doesn’t scratch, I love that!
  10. Frugal Parties Here are some frugal party tips.
  11. Help with the dishes– dishwasher tips and even my homemade detergent recipe.
  12. In our home we are on the budget for gas and electric. This helps me plan my budget, because I know exactly how much the bill will be and I am not shocked when it does arrive.
  13. Car insurance– I pay our insurance monthly. It is deducted out of our checking. For me paying for 4 drivers is cheaper and  will never lapse. With student drivers there are good student incentives and many insurance companies will give a discount to go through a save driver course, which for our daughter was a few hours. Did you know that your credit score my effect your rates? I think with the current economy this practice my have to be rethought!
  14. When I was a kid my mom would say “Shut your light off!”  Well now I need to rethink this because with the new CFL light bulbs they need to be on for at least 4 hours and every time you shut them off cuts their life. When we switched to these more expensive light bulbs our electric rate went down but they were lasting less then the conventional bulbs, so Randy called and you don’t shut the light off when you leave the room.
  15. Clean your appliances- this will lengthen their life. One thing I notice about senior citizens is they seem to keep their things nice. We are such a throw away society and it cost us money. Keep you things nice and save money on replacing them.

Well, I need to get to work to have money to pay those bills, but I think we have a good start in our series : Tips to cut your bills. Have a blessed day, Candy