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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Lower your bills in Snellville

Here are some ideas that worked well for me in cutting back expenses:

Cancel land-line phone line, go with an Internet phone provider.

  • Benefit: Great money savings.
  • Downside: If you call 911 and can't tell the operator where you are, they won't be able to find you. Landline phones have satellite tracking of your location to the emergency operator, Internet and cell phones don't. Voicemail with AT&T/Bellsouth works even if the power's out - if you have a business, it's good to be able, once the power's back on, to connect with people who tried to reach you.
UPDATE: @mweavr recommends checking on VOIP & e911 services, and says that they can determine your location if you fill out the right info beforehand

TIP: If you really like having a land-line phone but hate the high long-distance bills, then consider changing only your long distance service provider. You can do this, you can have the landline phone but have long distance service with someone else. I am very happy with Pioneer Telephone. You just need to make sure you dial a "1" before the area code when you call someone - that's how it switches over to your selected long distance provider.

Cancel inside wire protection service with AT & T

If you keep your land-line phone service, there's an optional charge on your bill each month for about $7. That's for inside wire coverage. Maybe you don't need that. Think carefully about if you do.
  • Benefit: $7 per month savings, which adds up to $84 over the course of a year.
  • Downside: AT & T takes care of damage to the phone wires from the outside of your house to the telephone pole, but inside your house is your responsibility unless you pay the $7 wire protection.
Call the companies you do business with and ask for a better rate

I called the pest control company I use and told them I just had to cut the budget somewhere, and unfortunately I was going to have to cancel my account. They asked me if I was happy with their service. I said "Oh yes, I'd recommend you to anybody!"

So instead of my $96 every-90-days bill, my bill is now $70. Yearly $384 to $280, savings of $104 a year. When you get an arrangement like this, make note of the name of the person you spoke to, and put it in a safe place. I usually write this information on my calendar on the day I spoke to the person. Note the time of day the discussion took place, and any other specific information - in my case, the customer service rep used the exact words: "I'll change this so you are only charged $70 from now on."

Downside: If you call saying you need to cancel an account because you can't afford it, be prepared to have your account really canceled. Don't threaten it if you don't really mean it.

TIP: You ask for a bargain only if your account is in good standing and you've never been late with a payment. They're more likely to want to keep a good long-term customer. They can afford to give good customers a discount, because good customers cost them less to service. (They don't have to hunt you down for payment). It also doesn't hurt to time your request the day after Suze Ormon has been on Oprah, telling everyone to slash their expenses to the bare bone!

Downsize your trash can

Are you inside Snellville City limits and get a bill for trash service? If you do, it's because you are getting a larger size trash can and service than you might really need.

I was paying about $26 every 3 months. I decided that we could cut down that expense by using our recycling bin more. In Snellville, you can put items in your recycling bin that are glass, or plastic items have a "1" or a "2" on them (Look for the small triangular recycling symbol on the bottom of plastic containers). I've been surprised by the number of things I've been throwing away that could be recycled. Newspapers and magazines can also be put in your recycling bin, but they must be kept dry. I put mine in plastic grocery sacks to keep them dry. You can cut down on your other trash by remembering to break down food boxes. They'll take up a lot less space that way.

Savings: $104 a year.

Eat more basic, less processed foods

This is better for your health anyway. Shop the outer edges of the grocery store first - because that's where the healthier and less expensive foods are. It doesn't have to be harder to eat this way. See this recipe for Oven Chicken Packets in my recipe blog. It's relatively inexpensive for the food value, and you don't even have to dirty a dish! Most of the recipes in that blog are really easy and inexpensive. You can also see what's on sale, look at the list of ingredients on the recipe blog, and fix meals based on what's on sale that week.

This is all I can think of right now, if you have any tips, please leave a comment! I'm always looking for more ideas!

1 comment:

  1. Nice tips for saving. I wanted to add that as well as the landline-to-internet-phone-switch you mentioned, major savings can result from modifying cell phone plans as well. Not to blatantly plug, but I do have some experience in this area given my job so I figured I'd add some tips. I work in the consumer advocacy division of the company Validas, where we electronically audit and subsequently reduce the average cell bill by 22 percent through our website, . Put simply, Validas guards against the frivolous and unnecessary charges that over-inflate 80 percent of cell bills. You can find out for free if can modify your plan to better suit your needs by going to the website.

    For more info, check out Validas in the national news media, most recently on Fox News at .

    Good luck to further reducing those wireless costs.

    Consumer Advocacy,


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