Saving Money on Utilities

More and more of our utility companies are offering a low cost rate for X amount of time at a very good price to lure you into signing up for their service. Cable and cell phone companies are the worst.


Before signing up though, you need to find out what the cost of that service will be after that X amount of time expires. The companies won't want to give that information up, because the price after that time is so much higher than what it is during the sale period. But if you are persistent, insistent, and determined you will be able to get the answer. Whether you like the answer or not is an individual choice. But it's the only way to make an informed decision.

Before we signed up for the cable package we have, I forced them to tell me what the future cost would be after the initial sale period ended. It took a lot of arguing, but they finally told me what it would be.

Unfortunately we didn't do this when we got our cell phones. Initially we were paying a very low price and were extremely happy. But as soon as the sale period ended, wham! Our bill almost doubled. Then 6 months later it went up again another almost $15. It has gone up twice since the initial sale period ended.

So it's extremely important to force the company to tell you what the price will be after the sale period ends. That way you can make an intelligent informed decision.

By Cricket from NC

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I spoke with my provider, AT&T, on another subject today, and learned something very useful in process. Because I am low-income enough to qualify for food stamps, I qualify for AT&T's Lifeline discount.

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Looking to lower fees for your carriers, like insurance companies, TV, phones, computer, etc.? First, I bundled (calling one carrier such as AT&T to combine multiple services) which is a HUGE savings.

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August 5, 2008

When washing your dishes in the dishwasher, set the control panels to use less water and less drying time. Using the most eco friendly settings your dishwasher may have.

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Some utility companies, such as water and electric offer 2 or more rate times through out the day. Check and see if yours does, and then act accordingly. Try and run your appliances, during the times when the rate is the cheapest.

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January 28, 2009

The high temp today is -5 (Fahrenheit) and falling toward -15. Fearing my face will crack, I'm staying in. I could set the thermostat at 72 degrees, but it's at 64. I don't need to be cheap, but I want to.

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Check with your cell phone provider to see what discounts you may qualify for. Most people are aware that auto insurance companies give discounts, but are not aware that cell phone companies do as well.

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In my area, the trash company and the wireless internet company are locally owed. In reading the fine print on the bills, I discovered some interesting savings. Both, give one month free if you pay for 6 months in advance at a time.

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If you know you are going to be away for more than two months, suspend your cable TV and internet. It will only cost $5 or $10 a month to do this, so you save a lot of money.

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Check with your electric company for savings you may be overlooking. This is especially true if you are on a co-op system, and often also true if you are on a town electrical system.

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It seems that everyone is concerned with replacing their incandescent bulbs with the compact-fluorescents to save on energy costs, however the worst offender in utility costs is the WATER HEATER. It operates 24/7/365 and we're not talking about saving just a few watts (or BTUs) per evening :).

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Today, I was able to go to my city's offices and pick up a landfill coupon. It will pay for a dump run for all the things I can't donate or recycle as I get organized this spring. I get one every year, it is free to residents but the coupons are limited.

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15 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

Tips for saving money on utilities. Post your ideas.


By dsbaby14 (Guest Post)
October 4, 20040 found this helpful

During the fall,winter and early spring, we heat mostly with our woodburner. Not only is it great for heat but make a kettle of soup on it is great.

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March 22, 20050 found this helpful

This past summer was so mild where we live that my husband and I only turned our A/C on a few days during the whole season. Since we are on budget billing for all of our utilites, I was curious to see if we had saved money by not using the A/C and using our ceiling fans at home. I also have cut way back on my usage of the clothes dryer so this helped too.

Our monthly budget billing on electrity was $70 a month and I just got our "settle up statement" form the electric company and we have a $167.00 credit coming! Woo Hoo! It really pays to be frugal!

I have cut back on soooo much and it really has not been painful. In fact it has been a relief! I love this site as it give me so many great ideas on saving money and TIME which is just as important in this day and age!


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March 22, 20050 found this helpful

Wait until you have a full load of dishes or laundry to run the machine. You'll save water, detergent and energy costs.

By cynthia conley

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March 22, 20050 found this helpful

In the evenings when there is not much going on here we have night lights and candles. Unless very necessary we do not turn the lights on. Our power bill is high but i need new appliances so much.

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April 22, 20050 found this helpful

To keep your power bill down, use your electric clothes dryer as little as possible. Either hang your clothes outside, or hang your clothes on hangers in your shower to drip dry or get a clothes rack (this can be set up both, outdoors or indoors). I hang most of our clothes and let drip dry in the shower. Also, I use the nails I put up on our deck to use for hanging Christmas lights to hang clothes on hangers to dry in the light summer breeze. We sure can tell a difference in our power bill if I forget and toss a few loads of wash in the dryer!

By Terri H.

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June 1, 20050 found this helpful

Use only cold water to do laundry whenever possible.

Shut off the breaker to the hot water tank before you leave for work so it doesn't heat water all day while no one is there to use it.

Editor's Note: You can purchase a timer for you electric hot water heater at your local hardware store.

By joni514

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July 5, 20050 found this helpful

Our local electric company has a special time of day meter. This allows you to use electricity for 1/2 price at night and on the weekends. I do laundry and run the dishwasher at 9:00 at night. This also helps me keep up with laundry doing a load or two a night. Our family of four was able to cut our electric bill in 1/2 by not "wasting" electricity during peak periods. We also installed a programmable thermostat that helps especially during the day when no one is home.

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January 4, 2010

Does anyone have suggestions for ways to save money these days? I am particularly interested in saving on power usage.

By drew from Piedmont, AL


January 4, 20100 found this helpful

Use as few lights as possible. Don't leave your PC on when not in use.
Set your thermostat lower when gone for the day.

Use a slow cooker instead of a stove whenever possible. Even a hot plate is better than a stove.
Hang clothes to dry instead of useing a dryer.
Hand wash dishes instead of a dish washer.

Turn heat down at night and add more blankets. Most people usually get up once early in the morning for natures call, you can turn up the heat and go back to bed so it is fairly warm when you and others get up for the day.
You can keep your heat lower and let your faucets drip to prevent pipe freezing.

You really have to look at your habits for using energy and figure out how to cut back. When I was crunched for money I made a point to read a book every other night instead of watching TV or using the computer.
I cut out cable; it was cheaper and more entertaining to rent movies or borrow from my neighbor who had every movie ever put to DVD (or so it seemed).

Turned off my phone (land line) and went strictly cell phone.
Cooked in mass to cut down one multiple use of the stove. Meaning when I cooked I cooked many helpings of something and then would freeze or refrigerate in appropriate portions. A microwave is way cheaper than a 220v stove, and faster too.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 4, 2010

Many don't realize that our basic utility bills provide the perfect money saving opportunity for practically every household. Here's some great tips to save on utilities.

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