Free money-saving tips that can really add up around your house and in your life

CLEVELAND - All this week, we've been sharing tips to save you money during the winter months. We are on your side with some tips that are completely free.

All of us can save a little bit of money just be doing some simple things.

Let's start in the kitchen.

Dishwasher: Only wash full loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Some of us get into a habit of running it every night. Don't be tempted to do that. Wait another day and fill it up before pressing start. And use the energy saving setting for the drying cycle or let the dishes air dry. They're still clean.

Refrigerator: Your refrigerator temperature needs to be between 32 and 39 degrees.  If it's not, you're wasting energy.  And decide what you want to eat or drink before you open the door. Standing there with the door open lets the cold air out. It's definitely a good tip if you have teenagers in the house! Don't forget to vacuum the refrigerator coils to keep the unit running efficiently.

Oven: If you're using your oven, don't open it to keep checking your food. Every time you open it, the temperature drops 25 degrees.

Bathroom: In the bathroom, turn off the water when you are shaving or brushing your teeth. It does make a difference. Take showers instead of baths because that saves water and money. And a cooler shower in the winter also keeps your skin from drying out. And lower your water heater. The optimal temperature should be 120-125 degrees.

Other free tips:

  • Keep your garage doors down. That keeps the space warmer in winter and cooler in the summer and that saves energy.
  • Make sure the kids turn off the gaming console electronics when they're not using them.
  • Put your computer in sleep mode when you leave your desk. This reduces electricity consumption to less than 5 percent of full power. 
  • Wash only full loads of clothes and use warm or cold water...not hot. Always rinse in cold water. And if you have to wash a smaller load, make sure you adjust the water level.
  • Even simple things like turning off the lights when you leave a room can add up to savings when your bills come in.
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