This guest post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who is an industry critic on the subject of AT&T Rewards. She invites your feedback at heatherjohnson2323 at gmail dot com.

Now more than ever people are trying to save money on their utilities and anything else they can. This sort of panic sets in any time we’re in a recession. It’s vital that we look to every avenue possible to cut corners. This doesn’t mean we’re being cheap; it means we’re being smart. Why fork over more money to the big companies when we don’t have to. When it comes to your utility bill there are countless ways you can shave off a few dollars here and a few dollars there. Here are five great ways you can get started and see a few more bucks in your wallet after you’ve paid your next bill:

Get a smart thermostat. If you and your spouse or roommates all are at work at about the same time or if you live alone you can get a thermostat where you program what times you want your heating or cooling system to kick into high gear. There’s no use in wasting the energy when you’re not home; this isn’t good for your heating bill nor is it good for the earth. This is a perfect solution for killing two birds with one stone.

Hug a tree. Plant trees in strategic points around your house or find your next apartment with plenty of trees around. By having trees covering up large portions of your house, you’ll keep your place much cooler in the summer and cut down on the need to jack up the air conditioner all day.

Change over your light bulbs. If you’re used to using incandescent light bulbs then get ready to ditch them. Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. They may not be as bright as what you’re used but if you shop around you can find some decent ones out there and they emit much less heat than the incandescent bulbs which is another you can cut down on the air conditioner use.

Seal your windows and doors. If you had a hole in your wall wouldn’t you patch it up and keep the elements of the outdoors out of your living room? Well so many of us dismiss the cracks around our doors and windows. These are major sources of energy loss. Simply weather strip your cracks and you’ll see a fairly dramatic increase in savings.

Clog your toilet tank. We’re not saying do anything stupid here, but by putting a sturdy container in your tank will displace some of the water in your tank. Consequently, you’ll use less water. You want to tinker with this project as having too little water in the tank isn’t a good idea either.


  1. Anonymous // July 8, 2008 at 11:20 AM  

    Great list! I never thought of changing the water level in the toilet! What a great idea, I'm gonna have to try it.

  2. Anonymous // July 9, 2008 at 10:27 AM  

    I replaced my thermostat with a digital model about 2 months ago. It was a relatively inexpensive model - about $35 and it paid for itself in the first month alone!

    Also, I've used the compact fluorescent bulbs since I bought my house 2 years ago - and I haven't had to replace an indoor bulb since.

  3. Anonymous // July 9, 2008 at 11:09 PM  

    I love your ideas.

  4. Anonymous // July 9, 2008 at 11:11 PM  

    This will help a lot, you can also take other measures to lower the temperature like having a house painted white, painting reflective coatings on the roof, better insulation, weatherizing to keep the hot air out, and low flow shower heads.