SAVE UP TO $250

28. Comb through your contractor's bid in search of places where he overestimated your job. For example, if the bid includes installation of a bathroom basin, vanity, and countertop but you've got a pedestal sink, point out the error and ask for a lower price.
Cost: Time reviewing an itemized estimate.
Savings: Easily $200 or more.
Bonus: Using the money you saved to splurge on that high-end overhead light fixture you thought you couldn't afford.


29. Plug in a SmartStrip. Three-quarters of the energy that electronics burn is consumed when the equipment is turned off. Rather than unplug items after every use, hook them up to a SmartStrip surge protector, which automatically kills power to electronics when you turn them off and returns it when you switch them back on.
Cost: $31 for a seven-outlet strip at SmartHomeUSA.com.
Savings: As much as $240 per year in energy costs.
Bonus: Two always-hot outlets ensure that slow-to-reboot devices like your digital cable box can be left on all the time.


30. Raise the deductible on your homeowner's insurance from $250 to $1,000.
Cost: Potentially $750, but only if you make a claim.
Savings: $200 per year or more if yours is a high-value home.
Bonus: You won't be tempted to make a nitpicky $400 claim, which could lead to a rate hike.


31. Toss the extra fridge. It's likely more than 10 years old, inefficient, and sapping tons of electricity. Many utility companies collect old fridges for free or even pay money for them.
Cost: No more stocking up on extra frozen waffles and OJ.
Savings: As much as $200 per year off your electric bill.
Bonus: Your garage or basement just got a lot bigger.
Ask TOH users about Money Saving Ideas

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