Full freezer uses less power
Keeping your freezer full will help it run more
efficiently. If you have empty areas, place plastic bottles filled
with water. The bottles work double-duty. You'll be more prepared
for electrical outages because the ice will keep things frozen longer
and you'll have a safe emergency-water supply.
-- Charleston, S.C.
Pouring a half cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a
half cup of vinegar, will open a clogged drain by dissolving the
gunk on contact. This will save money spent on expensive clog removers
and is environmentally friendly as well.
-- St. Clair Shores, Mich.
Cut grass at cut-rate prices
Lawn mower repair shops often have used, reconditioned mowers for
sale and the prices are usually competitive with even the best discount
store chains. The shops also stand behind what they sell, should
anything go wrong. I recently purchased a shiny, like-new self-propelled
mower, in tiptop condition, with all the latest features for less
than a new, barebones model would cost at a discount store. And,
discount chains usually cannot service what they sell as they lack
-- Orange City, Fla.
Scratch and dent
When shopping for a major household appliance (washer, dryer, oven,
refrigerator, etc.), browse the Yellow Pages for companies that
sell "scratch and dents." These companies buy slightly
tarnished appliances from major retailers at rock bottom prices
and pass the savings on to you. The appliances might have a blemish
that is not visible to the naked eye. Savings can be more than 50
percent off the manufacturer's suggested retail price.
-- Ellicott City, Md.
It pays to shut down!
Contact your energy provider to see if they have any energy savings
programs that you can participate in. Florida Power & Light
has an "On Call" program that enables them to occasionally
cycle off our A/C system for brief periods of time when necessary.
In return, we receive a credit on our monthly electric bill, even
if they never cycle off our equipment. There are no out-of-pocket
costs to participate in this program. And because your A/C already
cycles on and off during normal operation, the main difference you'll
notice from On Call is getting paid for it!
-- Tamarac, Fla.