Save $50 a Day 2011: Utilities and Home Improvement
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Save $50 a Day 2011: Utilities and Home Improvement

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Make these moves to shrink your energy costs in big ways and small, cut your cable bill and set up a gym at home to get fit for less.

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Save $50 a Day 2011: Utilities and Home Improvement | Slide 2 of 7

Drop Pricey Cable Packages

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Don't pay for dozens of TV channels you don't watch. Go basic and save big. Although cable packages and prices vary by region, most providers offer a bare-bones plan. Verizon's FiOS TV Local Digital, for instance, delivers local channels for $13 a month. And rather than pay for premium channels, sign up for Netflix's streaming service. For $8 a month, you can watch unlimited movies and TV shows (albeit not always the latest offerings) via your home Internet connection.
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Save $50 a Day 2011: Utilities and Home Improvement | Slide 3 of 7

Make Easy Adjustments

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Start with the easy changes that cost little to nothing. These include switching off lights and electronics when not in use and turning down the thermostat (or properly setting your programmable thermostat). Put compact fluorescent light bulbs in your five most-used light fixtures, and swap out your showerhead for a next-gen, very-low-flow model. (More suggestions at ww.energystar.gov and www.energysavers.gov.)
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Save $50 a Day 2011: Utilities and Home Improvement | Slide 4 of 7

Replace Old Appliances

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Replace an older refrigerator with a new one (you'll save $100 on energy annually by replacing a 20-year-old fridge with a new, Energy Star-rated one). If you're doing lots of laundry, replace an older washer (save $135 a year when you retire one that's at least ten years old).
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Save $50 a Day 2011: Utilities and Home Improvement | Slide 5 of 7

Seal the Gaps

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Air leakage through the exterior shell and interior ductwork is a big issue. Also, attics, basements and crawl spaces often lack sufficient insulation. Sealing your home's gaps and adding insulation may cost in the range of $2,500, says Harrod, but these measures can cut heating and cooling bills 20% to 50%.
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Save $50 a Day 2011: Utilities and Home Improvement | Slide 6 of 7

Set up Your Own Gym

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The average gym membership will set you back $40 to $70 per month. With a budget of about $1,500, it's easy to build a state-of-the-art gym at home.

For cardio, pick up an elliptical machine, such as the Schwinn 420 Elliptical ($600). And for strength training, get a total-body machine, such as a Classic Bowflex ($650). Fill out the rest of your gym with resistance bands (three for $30), a stability ball ($40) and a few sets of dumbbells ($50).
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Save $50 a Day 2011: Utilities and Home Improvement | Slide 7 of 7

MORE WAYS TO SAVE

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SLIDE SHOW: Save $50 a Day on Investing & Financial Planning

SLIDE SHOW: Save $50 a Day on Shopping & Entertainment

SLIDE SHOW: Save $50 a Day on Food and Medicine

SLIDE SHOW: Save $50 a Day on Travel & Transportation
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