Memorial Day Money-Saving Tips
I am so ready for summer. But I am not ready for higher electric bills to run my air conditioner, wasting fuel while I'm stuck in holiday traffic on I-66 and hordes of hungry people on my patio demanding burgers and shrimp kebabs.
The good news is that you can shave a few dollars off your expenses during this long weekend. Let's hit these one by one:
Air conditioning: There are small things that can cut down on your electric bill, such as using fans and closing the blinds or curtains. Keeping the temperature at 78 degrees when you're home and 80 degrees or higher when you're gone can also save you quite a bit. According to BG&E, every degree above 72 can cut 5 to 7 percent from your cooling costs. If you want to replace an outdated system, the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has a useful list of criteria.
Travel: The good news here is that the average price of gas nationally is down 39 percent from last year, according to stats from the Energy Information Administration. And with traffic congestion easing across the Washington region, that means fewer dollars spent on fuel this holiday weekend. Not Made of Money has a good post about last-minute travel deals for those of you who have procrastinated making plans. And Amtrak this week announced it is slashing fares 25 percent in the Northeast corridor, though the prices aren't good until June 2. So start planning now for Fourth of July!
Food: Those of you who have been following this blog know that Nancy and I love to eat (and eat and eat)! This is the sinkhole for most of my discretionary money. It doesn't help that the Consumer Price Index shows the cost of food and drink has gone up 3.3 percent during the 12 months ending in April. Cheap Eats has an extensive archive of foods and recipes to fill you up for $3 or less. The egg salad sandwich looks like a particularly tempting addition to a Memorial Day menu. The most popular post? A recipe for homemade Gatorade.
Posted by: ziggyzippy | May 27, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse
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