Tiny Prints: Free Magnet for New Customers

Tiny Prints Free Magnet

Through October 31st, Tiny Print is offering one free magnet to all their new customers when you use the code FREEMAGNET. Again, think ahead to Christmas when you place your order!

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Recyclebank: 25 Candy Points

With a little creativity, you can keep the wrappers from your Halloween haul out of the landfill. Learn how and earn 25 points via the image above.

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50% Goodwill Sale Oct 24 & 25

Goodwill October 2014 Sale

If you’re looking for a good deal at the thrift store (and don’t mind some extra people), the Goodwill stores in Ft. Wayne are having a 50% off everything sale this Friday and Saturday, October 24 and 25. You can view all the Ft. Wayne locations and hours here. If you’re not from Ft. Wayne, it may be worth a quick check to see if your local store is running the same sale.

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Simple Savings: Pay bills online.

22 - Pay bills online.

How many of you pay bills online? In today’s digital age, I would assume that many of us do. If you don’t already, today’s savings tip is do just that. Pay your bills online. 

You still have to pay your bills. Sorry. You can’t save here! Bills are an unfortunate fact of life. Along with that, remember to pay your bills on time so you don’t have any late fees added onto your bills.

I advocate saving on your bills by saving on postage. Stamps currently (as of October 2014) cost $0.49. For each bill that you pay by mail, you are spending $5.88 over the course of the year in postage to mail in your monthly payments. The flip side is to look at what you could be saving. For each bill that you pay online, you are saving $5.88 over the course of the year. Who wouldn’t like an extra $5 to add to their wallet? Multiply the number of companies you pay online by $5.88 and the savings really accumulates! I’ve started walking our small town water bill to town hall so that’s one bill on which we’re already saving!

I challenge you to look through all your bills and see how many of them you can pay online. Go ahead and set up online bill payments today if you are so inclined. If you are already paying bills online, add up how much you are saving on postage and give yourself a pat on the back!

To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

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Simple Savings: Unplug everything.

21 - Unplug everything.

Today’s saving strategy is one we’ve all heard about, but much like the cold water laundry issue, have probably wondered how much we’re really saving. Unplug things to save money. The savings vary depending on what and how much you unplug, but I can safely promise that when you do unplug things, you will save. Here are some facts to support that statement.

  • According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBL), the average home contains 40 products constantly drawing power. These sleeping devices may account for as much as 10 percent of household energy use.
  • According to the LBL, laptop computers and cable boxes (particularly cable boxes with DVRs) are among the worst phantom power offenders, drawing an average of 9 watts and 44 watts in “off” mode, respectively.
  • According to the Energy Star Web site, the average U.S. household spends more than $100 each year to power devices that are turned off.

For more information on this topic, I encourage you to read the money article on How Stuff Works that explores the question “How much can you save by unplugging?” The ultimate suggestion to find out specifics is to rent / borrow a Kill-a-Watt reader. Fortunately, the Allen County Library recently began renting them out, compliments of our Indiana Michigan Power company.

I checked one out the other week to see what I would learn. I didn’t have time to test many appliances, but I did test two different key appliances. First, I figured out the $0.115 is our cost per kWh. (To see your cost, get a copy of your recent utility bill and divide the total dollar amount by the kWh used.) Then, I simply plugged the Kill-a-Watt reader into my wall and plugged the appliance into the reader. There were step-by-step instructions included with the reader that did make this process very simple.

I started by plugging in a power strip that plugs in our upstairs television and dvd player. I learned that without any use, it is costing us $0.02 a day or $0.19 a week and over $11 a year. That doesn’t seem like much day by day, but when you think we’re paying $11 for something to just sit there, it seems ridiculous!

Then, I tested my laptop and charger, which are almost constantly plugged in and powered on. I didn’t run that quite as long, but it also seemed to be costing me $0.02 a day, for another $11 a year. Just by unplugging these two devices when they aren’t in use, I’m saving us $22.

Using these numbers, and presuming I have the 40 phantom objects suggested by the LBL, I am paying over $100 – most likely nearly $200 a year – just in phantom energy costs. Knowing this, I am going to be much more intentional about unplugging things. I’ll follow with this disclaimer.

It would be a hassle to unplug my stove and reset my alarm clock each day. However, I easily unplug most lamps in my house as well as our cell phone chargers when they are not in use. I’m also going to turn off that TV power strip that I mentioned earlier to save money. I’m curious to keep using the Kill-a-Watt reader and see what other savings I could garner.

Here’s the challenge of today. Go around your house and see what you can quickly unplug that you don’t regularly use. Remember, every penny of phantom power saves. I’ll be curious to see our electric bill after a couple months of unplugging!

To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

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Hot $1/1 Ten Soda Coupon

10 Soda

Right now, there is a new $1/1 Ten Soda coupon available to print, when you share the copy via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. Since this soda regularly goes on sale for $1, this coupon will mean free 2 liters! Once you share the coupon, you will receive a link to print your coupon. Since it is a Bricks coupon, be sure to press the back arrow and print your coupon again for 2 copies of the coupon.

Thanks, Hip 2 Save!

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Simple Savings: Cut dryer sheets in half.

20 - Cut dryer sheets in half.

Laundry must be on my mind lately with all these savings strategies! Perhaps because we all have to do laundry – whether we like it or not. We’ve learned to save by using less detergent while washing full loads in cold water. To round it out, today’s laundry tip is another simple one that I gleaned from my sister. Cut your dryer sheets in half. They still work just as well and you are making a box last twice as long!

There are a couple other options to this. You can reuse your full dryer sheets if you don’t want to cut them. Of course, you could skip dryer sheets all together. There is always the frugal option to add vinegar to your load of wash since it acts as a fabric softener. Vinegar is a very frugal option but for me, I am currently using several boxes of dryer sheets that I got for free. Free tops even the cheapest of vinegar! I’ve also heard of people using worsted wool balls.

What other options do you have to save in the area of laundry? We’re all eager to learn!

To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

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Two New Target Samples

Target Fab Freebie Sample

Target has two new samples available to request – one of Biotrue contact lens solution and another a Fab Free Finds box with Soliel, Advil and Poise products. You can request your free samples at Target’s Sample Spot.

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Simple Savings: Only run full loads.

19 - Only run full loads.

Yesterday, I shared how much we can save by washing our laundry in cold water instead of hot. Today, I want to follow that up with an equally important savings tip. Only run full loads. 

When you are doing laundry, make sure your load is always full. Don’t waste the water, energy or your time to run a small or even medium load when you can save by running a full load. It is more cost efficient to do a full load of laundry at once than two separate small loads.

The same can be said of your dishwasher. Make sure that your dishwasher is always full when you run it. If you are going to heat up the water to run your dishwasher, make the most of the space and fill it up.

Not only will running full loads save you money, but it will save you time. On this point, I think the time savings might be even more valuable than the money! What do you think?

To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

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Simple Savings: Wash clothes in cold water.

18 - Wash clothes in cold water. Read this article to see the actual amounts you'll save when you wash in cold water. You'll be amazed!

Like baking my own bread, I’ve been washing most of my clothes in cold water for some time. Washing clothes is cold water is another simple way to save. I know this practice saves me money but I was curious to find out exactly how much I am saving. Do you know? In research for this series and today’s tip, this is what I discovered. I think you’ll be amazed. I know I am!

First, I happened to stumble across the Simple Dollar’s article on why to use cold water.  It was very well written with great detail. The Simple Dollar referenced Mr. Electricity’s article on washing machines, which gave even more detail. These two articles give you proof that you save using cold water. I highly encourage you to read them! However, I will summarize my findings here – adjusting the numbers for my own use.

According to Mr. Electricity, here are the average levels of kWh use per load, based on wash and rinse cycles. This is noting the cost of electricity only, because all loads of laundry will have the same cost of water.

Hot / Warm uses 4.5 kWh.

Warm / Warm uses 3.5 kWh.

Hot / Cold uses 2.8 kWh.

Warm / Cold uses 1.9 kWh.

Cold / Cold uses 0.3 kWh.

Right away, we can clearly see that that based on the kWh, we are saving from using hot water. I looked at my most recent bill and figured out that my kWh cost is currently 11.5 cents per kWh. Using that cost, here is what the levels cost me.

Hot / Warm uses 4.5 kWh and costs $0.5175 per load.

Warm / Warm uses 3.5 kWh and costs $0.4025 per load.

Hot / Cold uses 2.8 kWh and costs $0.322 per load.

Warm / Cold uses 1.9 kWh and costs $0.218 per load.

Cold / Cold uses 0.3 kWh and costs $0.0345 per load.

Isn’t that incredible? By switching from hot water (at 52 cents) to cold water (at 3 cents), I am saving $0.49 on every single load of laundry that I do that way! I have to admit that I am shocked. I didn’t expect the savings to be this great. Considering that I do at least 2 loads of laundry a week, that is $1 I am saving each and every week – which adds up to over $100 a year saved just from this one simple change. Wow. Knowing this, I will continue to use hot water only on my sheets and towels. As for the rest of our laundry, I’ll stick to using cold water and pocket the savings!

Will you make the switch, or do you already wash your clothes in cold water? If you want to see how this applies even more directly to you, you can adjust these numbers by multiplying the kWh by your current cost of electricity. Finally, were you surprised by the amount of savings in this one simple strategy?

To read the previous tips in this series, you can do so here.

31 Days of Simple Savings - A series of simple tips & tricks to help you save because every little bit counts

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