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#497359 02/26/09 11:46 AM
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I am in the process of reducing expenses since times are rough. I have already switched cell phone providers and plans. Any other ideas for utilities?

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Even though it's not a utility. I cut my cable bill. We very seldom watched all the channels for the premium services. So after meeting as a family and discussing our viewing habits, we figured basic cable covered everything...Lifetime, cartoon network, disney channel, tbs, tnt. bravo.. We were all set AND saved $96 per month.



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While, I know that not everyone has the ability to do this, we cut off our heat and use our wood burning stove to heat our home. While others have electric bills over $300/month, ours have been under $200.00. We make an effort to turn off lights, use smaller wattage lightbulbs in our lamps. We watch how much laundry we do and the size of the loads. We grow alot of our own food and I can and freeze it in the summer.

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Definitely cutting cable. Switching phone plans. Switching cell phone plans. Here in Massachusetts we can choose amongst electrical plans.

Even better - go around your house and look at EVERY device that's plugged in. Does it need to be plugged in all the time? Many devices "suck" electricity even when they're not on. It's well worth unplugging everything unless they have to be used.

Keep your fridge full so the items retain the cold for you. Even if it's full of ice cubes or something.

Don't use the whole oven to heat foods if a toaster oven will do. Think about every way you use electricity.

Turn off lights whenever you leave a room.


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My 80+ mother said something interesting today. She truly believes that we are going to hit a depression. She said, "if people don't learn to grow and can their own food, there's going to be alot of hungry people." It makes you wonder.

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Do you mean for the long haul, or just to get past a cash crunch?

Stop discretionary spending. (restrict items that will be reimbursed).
Lay off any people who are being managed for performance problems (cut payroll)
Put all planned capital expenditures on hold and require 3 more levels of approval.
Put a halt to discretionary benefits.
Require employees to pay more of their health premium and deductible.
Hand out dental floss and toothbrushes and eliminate the dental insurance.

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I mean just to get past the current rough times. I can't live without my cable- its my lifeline lol. So what other options do I have? I've heard of some utility re-sellers. But they seem hokey.

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Originally Posted By: Kristin Davis
I mean just to get past the current rough times. I can't live without my cable- its my lifeline lol. So what other options do I have?


Kristen, It's so funny that you said mention that. I was talking to a friend the other night and we were debating the whole cable issue....and he was adament that cable will be the last thing to go for most people because as you said...can't live without the cable. It's funny because as we head toward the whole tv analog conversion, those without cable will have the most problems unless they purchase (and hopefully get reimbursed for) that box.

Another way to cut down is that some people sleep with the tv on. They can turn it off. I know that sometimes I will have every tv on in the house at the same channel if I'm home alone cleaning...first for the noise value and also so that I can move around the house and keep up with the show blush...makes sense unless of course I'm downstairs for 2 hours and have 2 tv's on upstairs. I stopped doing that to.


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We definitely need cable here because I work from home and it is my high speed internet connection. I could never survive doing my work on a dial-up, it would slow me down too much. But I do think in terms of "tv" that most people can deal with far fewer channels, especially since many of them can be watched on the internet now!


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We cut costs by doing a movie night at home. Once every other week we go to the dollar video store and rent 5 movies. We buy some fruit, popcorn and other snack items. Instead of spending $60 for a family of 4 to sit through one movie, we've spent $20 to watch 5 movies. Plus we get to cuddle up under the blankets and get comfortable. The best part is that I don't feel cheated if I fall alseep during one of the movies.
If you can snag movies from the local library it would be even cheaper!


Dianne Walker

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How do I relax? I run!
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