Thursday, May 24, 2012

Use of Ceiling Fans in the Summer Months

During the summer months, using the air conditioner to keep your home cool can cost a fortune. 

Ceiling fans can help.  Cool air drops..  A ceiling fan (running counter-clockwise) draws the cool air upward and circulates it better.  This recirculation improves the efficiency of the air conditioning system, extending its life and likely, lowering your bill.

Most ceiling fans use no more electricity than a 100 watt lightbulb.  Studies have shown that this technique can reduce your AC bill by as much as 40%. 

Ceiling fans can be purchased at most hardware stores and big box stores, such as Lowes, Sears, or Home Depot for anywhere from $40 to $300.  They can also be purchased online at a site like Amazon.

Let's a family of four has three bedrooms, and a ceiling fan in each.  Assuming 100 watts per fan, $.09 per kwh, and around-the-clock use of the fans, as well as the following heating bills, we get :
In this example, we save almost $342 per year.


The Frugal Maestro


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Borrow Books from Library Instead of Buying Them

The Library is a great resource that is often overlooked.  Free books, newspapers, and internet.  In addition, a quiet and relaxing place to study, read, and write.

In addition, they have free books.  Why are you buying them? 

Let's say you like to read.  You buy and read a book every two weeks, and you spend an average of $10 on that book.  That's $250 a year.  What if you could borrow that book from the library and read it for free?

It's generally easy to get a library card.  A library card application (available at your local library or sometimes available on your local library’s Web site. Some libraries, such as the New York Public Library offer online library card registration.)

You usually need:

1) A current photo ID with a valid address or two pieces of current identification, including one with your address.  These could include a personal check, a utility bill, a piece of recent postmarked mail, or a voter's registration card.

2) An application, which you can fill out at the library.

Kids under 14 generally need a parent's signature, along with the application, and parent's identification.

In this example, by replacing your "buy and read a book" habit with a "borrow and read a book" you just saved $260 a year.


The Frugal Maestro


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Another Awesome Website - Brad's Deals

Another cool website was brought to my attention.  It's called

This is a sight that highlights savings.  You provide your email address, and Brad sends you daily deals.

The site also has deals listed.  They are categorized in tabs, such as, "Best Deals," "Most Recent Deals," "Online Coupons," "Printable Coupons," "Categories," and "Stores."

Here are a few examples of the savings that I'm seeing on the site as I type this:

1) Home Classics Reversible Down Comforter, regularly $219.99 for the King size, now $56 including shipping.

2) Kate Spade Hand Bag, regularly $325, now $167.99.

3) One year of Whole Living Magazine for $3.50.
There are printable coupons for things like: 

1) 40% off of a purchase at Bath and Body Works.

2) 10% off a purchase at Lowes.

3) 10% off an item at Best Buy.

This site is definitely worthwhile, and could potentially save you plenty of money, if you use these discounts and coupons to buy things that you were going to buy anyway.


The Frugal Maestro


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bottled Water

Someone once told me Evian spelled backward is "Naive."  Bottled water is a ripoff.  I cringe whenever I find myself at the ballpark, or the zoo with a thirsty kid.  Society has made "tap water" taboo.  So then, I get to fork over $3 for a 16 ounce bottle of water that I could by as part of a 30 pack for $0.20, or fill up at home for less than a penny.

Bottled water bottles aren't great for the environment.  In some instances, they've come a long way with making the bottles with less plastic (better for environment, less expensive to produce, did you notice the price didn't go down?

Spend $13 to $30 HERE for one of those pitchers with the charcoal filter.  Spend $1 for a 32 ounce Gatorade.  Drink the Gatorade and meet your new water bottle.  If tap water bothers you, or if the water in your area tasted funny, fill the Gatorade bottle with the filtered water from the pitcher.  If you want a cool water bottle, go HERE and order one.  I'm not a fan of Bubba Keg

Why all the hassle?   Allow me to explain.  Let's say the typical family of four buys the $5 30 pack of 16 ounce bottles each month.  That's $60 per year for roughly $0.50 worth of water.

You just saved $60 per year.


The Frugal Maestro