16. Get your fall yard-cleanup crew to clear your gutters instead of having a gutter guy make a special trip.
Cost: $100 for your lawn crew.
Savings: $200 or more that you're not paying the gutter guy.
Bonus: There's no risk of gutter gunk being dumped onto your lawn after all the leaves have been blown and bagged.

17. Set your computer to sleep—not just the monitor, but the hard drive, too—so that it automatically dims after 10 minutes of nonuse.
Cost: It may doze off when you don't want it to and you'll have to punch a key to wake it up.
Savings: $75 per year off your electric bills.
Bonus: Like people, screens and hard drives age more gracefully with plenty of rest.

18. Wait to replace your grill, lawn mower, or patio furniture until the fall, when stores mark down their inventory to make room for holiday decorations and snowblowers.
Cost: Making do with what you have this summer.
Savings: $150 or more per item.
Bonus: Retailers—especially online ones, such as Target—often provide free shipping on leftover warm-weather gear.

19. Shop for phone, electric, and cable service at Whitefence; it's like Travelocity for utilities. Enter your ZIP code and compare rates offered by providers in your area.
Cost: A few minutes online.
Savings: Up to $150 per year on your utility bills.
Bonus: The switch to a new carrier can usually be made without an in-home service call or fee, and you can keep your old phone number.

20. Prune that overgrown rhododendron rather than replace it. If the shrub is blocking your front windows, cut it down to 18 inches high in late March. It'll regenerate into the plant you want with routine maintenance in one to two years.
Cost: 1 hour with pruners.
Savings: $100 to $200 for each new mature shrub you don't have to buy.
Bonus: Because the plant is already established, it won't need the intensive watering a new specimen requires during its first growing season.

21. Buy a deluxe battery recharging station and stop using disposables. A combo unit keeps a supply of AA, AAA, C, and D batteries at the ready.
Cost: A one-time investment of $40 for the La Crosse Technology BC-900 AlphaPower charger and assorted NiMH batteries (the best kind) at
Savings: As much as $100 per year on disposables for dozens of tools and gadgets.
Bonus: Never again having to raid your kid's battery-operated toys to power up the TV remote.
Ask TOH users about Money Saving Ideas

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