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Three Ways Your Family Can Save Big This Spring

For busy families, saving money during the spring and summer months is easier than most people think — in fact, with a few proactive changes, you can reduce your home energy bill by a considerable amount.

Consider the following strategies to save on money and do your part for the environment. You’ll be glad you did.

Invest in a Smart Thermostat

By investing in a Smart thermostat, you’re taking the guesswork out of temperature control. By programming your thermostat to warm or cool your house when you need it, you’re keeping energy waste to a bare minimum.


A smart thermostat — like this one from LUX — will raise the temperature during the day when you are away from the house at work and then allow you to lower the temperature remotely as you’re finishing your work day.

This will make sure the house is at the perfect temperature as people return home from their busy days, which in turn reduces any unnecessary strain on your AC, helping you save on energy costs.

Look into Conservation and Rebate Programs

The Fraser Institute releases a report in 2016 noting Canadians are paying 34 per cent more for hydro from 2008 to 2016. Averages ranged from $109 per month in Calgary to $201 in Toronto.

Many municipalities offer programs and incentives to help you reduce your heating bills. Coupons, energy rebates, and even usage tracking through municipal websites helps homeowners understand their energy usage and curb bad habits.

The result can be billions of dollars in savings for Canadians. Between 2011 to 2016, Natural Resources Canada’s (NRC) energy efficiency suite of programs achieved $1 billion in cost savings for Canadian consumers and industry.

NRC program

Keep Your HVAC Well Maintained

To some people, springtime maintenance sounds like a chore. Experienced homeowners, however, know two things that others might not: first, conducting maintenance on a major appliance before you put it to work over the summer is an easy way to save yourself money on household bills in the long run, and second, that the maintenance doesn’t have to be a chore at all — with the right technicians, a tune-up is a breeze.

HVAC systems are complex, and when the summer really gets steamy, your air conditioning can get an awful lot of use. If your AC system isn’t running efficiently, for example, it could be drawing a lot more power than it needs to, which could be causing your monthly bills to skyrocket.

Get your home ready for Spring by hiring a professional to assess your HVAC system and be sure to make any adjustments now — before the summer months where temperatures really ramp up!

Things like outdated components or blocked filters can be major contributors to that inefficiency, and a good technician will help you identify any elements that need to be addressed. The difference between the bill for an air conditioner running at peak efficiency and the bill for an air conditioner that is straining and overworked may shock you!

It’s also worth keeping in mind that maintenance helps prevent costly breakdowns. Repairs can be an unpleasant surprise, and in the case of more serious problems, replacing your HVAC system can be an enormous expense.

It may be helpful to think of your HVAC system like a car: taking a little time every year to have the oil changed and the tires rotated will help save on gas in the short term and avoid major repairs in the long term, saving you money and keeping your life as convenient as possible.

Simple Places You Could be Saving Money

Money saving tips

Finding ways to save money in life can seem tricky. In fact, the opposite is often true, and it feels like life is always getting more expensive, with more bills to pay and the cost of goods and services always on the rise. So, wouldn’t it be nice if you could find places in your life where you could be saving money without making some sort of huge sacrifice?

That’s exactly why we’ve put together this list of simple ways you could make small changes in your life that will, in fact, save you money. While the savings may not seem huge for each individual tip, as you start to add them up you’ll see a significant amount of savings in your pocket each month. So, let’s dive right in and start saving you money.

Look at Your Bank Account Fees

One place that people can end up spending a lot of money is in bank account fees and service charges. This is the money you pay to the bank for having an account with them. There can also be transaction fees, money transfer fees, etc. It’s a good idea to look at the last six months’ worth of bank statements and figure out what you’re paying on average each month in fees.

As early as 2015, bank rates were on the rise, but they are typically done in a manner that is slow so you don’t really notice it. Small little increases over time probably won’t catch your attention, but they will add up. So, what can you do about it? Well, you can look into a free bank account with BB&T.

A free bank account with a bank like BB&T is one that won’t charge you a monthly maintenance fee, it offers no-fee online statements, and it allows for a certain amount of free transactions each month. While some of these bank accounts don’t have a monthly minimum balance you must keep, others will require a set minimum in order to take advantage of the free services.

Sign Up for Rewards/Loyalty Programs

Because you need necessities and can’t cut them out, it’s a good idea to shop in stores that offer customer rewards and loyalty programs. This can be in the form of a discount, cash-back, coupons, points redeemable for merchandise, etc. If you’re going to spend the money, why not get something extra out of it?

Plan Meals Out in Advance

Grocery shopping can equate to a rather large amount each and every month, and much of that may be going to waste. It’s always a good idea to plan your meals out for a week in advance, create a shopping list based on those meals, and stick to the list. Doing this can help you stay on budget, cut back on the money spent, and the amount of food wasted.

Get Rid of Cable

While this may seem like a drastic measure, the fact is that there are so many streaming services out there that cost a fraction of cable, you may not even notice that you’ve gone ahead and gotten rid of it.

Get Creative in Your Savings

Saving money is sometimes about having a creative eye and spotting those little places you could make changes that really add up, and keep more money in your pocket as a result.

Is You Grocery Bill Out of Control? Mine Is Starting To Get There!

Yesterday I read an article over at Life as a CEO about her grocery bills and how expensive they are becoming.  It got me thinking about my families shopping habits and our grocery expenses and how much we spend on food on a monthly basis.  

Yesterday I went food shopping early at Shop Rite because there were a few good items on sale that I didn’t want to miss like $1.99 Blue Bunny Ice Cream quarts and 4 for $8 General Mills Cereals.  My kids eat a TON of cereal so I wanted to buy 8 boxes.  Thankfully Melinda found a bunch of coupons online saving me $6.  So for 8 boxes of ceral I spent $1.25 per box which is an awesome price. 

The one thing Melinda and I have been trying to do lately is look through the entire store circular and use coupons so that we can try to save as much money as we can.   Yesterday Melinda also started back up her weekly meal planning which in my opinion is a money saver because we know what we are having for dinner everyday and it saves us from having to order out.  Preplanning is so important in saving money on food because I find if you need to go to the store more then once in a week you will be in big trouble.  You will buy things that might be on sale but not on your list and items that you may not necessiarly need.

Below are 10 tips provided by Consumer savings expert, Andrea Woroch to help you with the increase in food prices:

1. Shop Warehouse Stores
Not all prices are better at membership stores, particularly if you tend to go overboard, but there are some really good deals to be had. Look for great buys on perishable items and shop towards the end of the day, when department managers want to unload extra inventory.

2. Use Coupons
Now’s the time to get in on the extreme-couponing trend, particularly since there are so many ways to access them these days. You’ll find coupons online in both Internet-code or downloadable (IP) form.. Mobile coupons are as close as your cell phone. CellFire is a great source for grocery savings.

Don’t overlook the coupons that print out with your receipt at the register. Known as Catalinas, these coupons are targeted towards the purchases you’ve made that day. Some stores, like King Soopers, also allow you to stack manufacturer and store coupons for additional savings. Not all supermarkets allow you to stack, however, so check first.

3. Hit Dollar Stores
Whether you cruise the narrow aisles of Dollar General or hit one of the smaller chains, dollar stores offer “ka-ching” savings on boxed, bagged and canned goods. Make sure you check the expiration dates, however.

4. Use Grocery Store Rewards Cards These loyalty cards have become a necessity to access store sales, but they also have another benefit; You can download online coupons directly to your rewards card and the savings will be taken off at the register. Visit the rewards-card pages of such supermarket websites as Safeway and Food Lion to find these manufacturer coupons.

Some rewards card also provide gas savings when you buy groceries. At times, King Soopers has taken up to 10-cents off each gallon you purchase at their pumps when you spend $100 or more in their store.

5. Buy Generic
By and large, store-brand generics can be much cheaper than manufacturer products with the exact same quality. In fact, generics come off the same assembly line before being slapped with separate labels so skip the brand name items.

6. Use Discount Gift Cards
Shop websites like GiftCardGranny for discount gift cards from Kmart, Walmart and other major chains that sell food goods and produce. Paying just a portion of the card’s face value gives you an instant savings on your grocery needs.

7. Make A List
Avoid impulse purchases by making a list before you leave home and sticking to it when you hit the store. Knowing specifically what you need also helps avoid duplications of products you already have at home.

8. Plan Your Meals
It’s a lot easier to make a list when you have a plan. Creating a weekly menu also helps you avoid quick trips to the supermarket that end up costing you more in many ways. For last minute meals, create a gourmet dish at a deep discount by buying meats, produce and other food items that are on sale at your local grocery store.

9. One-Stop Shop Save gas, time and money by shopping stores like Target that allow you to buy everything on your list within one visit.

10. Avoid Out-of-Season Produce To every vegetable and fruit there is a season…and a better price. Squash are cheaper in the fall while asparagus can be a bargain in the spring. Wait until prices are at their best and plan your menu around seasonal produce to save big.

Melinda and I try to do everything above to save every dollar we can.  We go to the grocery store every week and to BJ’s Wholesale club once a month so the money starts to add up.

What do you do to save money on food?

This is NOT a sponsored post but the 10 tips listed above were provided by Consumer savings expert, Andrea Woroch.

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