Saving Money

Saving Money at Christmas

Most people want a deal.  Saving a few bucks is always important, but  when it comes to Christmas shopping, we all want to feel like we made an effort to get the best price.  And anymore with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Cyber WEEK, there are plenty of savings to be had.  But how do you know you got the best deal?  There are TONS of articles and apps out there if you have time to sift through them all.  You may find yourself searching so much for a deal, that your forgot what it is you were shopping for in the first place.  But one thing is certain; we all want to save some money.

Apps Articles to Save Money Christmas

I have tried to put together some articles and apps on saving money at Christmas.  There are tons of deals to be had, but you have to find them first.

This article from PC Mag has some great apps.   I personally use the Walmart Savings Catcher, and in about two years time I have saved about $115.

Swagbucks is a great site/app to save money.  For instance, as I write this, by shopping through their app, you can get up to 7% cash back at Macy’s.  There are TONS of stores that have cash back when you shop through the Swagbucks site.

Ebates is another fantastic site/app.  Just since Thanksgiving I have saved over $14.  Right now Under Armour is offering up to 8% cash back.  Amazon, which has its own great app and deals is offering up to 10% cash back right now on certain items through Ebates.  Ebates will also show you all of the deals that are going on at the participating retailers as well.

This article from The Penny Hoarder has 10 weird ways to save money by Christmas.  Very interesting read!

CBS news had an article a few days ago that listed four apps that can save you money while shopping.  The article explains how the Amazon app, Cartwheel from Target, Flipp, and RetailMeNot apps can all save you money.

One other important thing to remember while holiday shopping.  Just because you can get a deal on it, doesn’t mean you need it!  It’s not a deal if you weren’t really looking for it anyway.  10% off of something you don’t need is still 90% more than you should pay for it!

Saving Money

I hope these articles and tips can save you a few dollars this Christmas season.  Maybe put those savings to good use as an investment, donate to charity, or save them until NEXT year’s shopping season!

Ameren Power Smart Pricing

power-smart-pricing

I just wanted to post today to talk about a money-saving program that is available to those electric customers in Illinois that have Ameren as their service provider.  Ameren offers a program called “Power Smart Pricing“.  This program allows a customer to pay electric rates per hour based on actual rates, instead of an average hourly rate.

Speaking from experience, this program could possibly save the consumer a lot of money.  I just got my notification today, and I saved $3.95 last month.  Not whopping, but better than nothing.  I see most savings in the winter when the air conditioner is not running.  I have been a member of the program for 103 months now, and have saved a total of $2,546.80.  On average, I have saved 20.3% than if I was using the standard average hourly rate.

Another benefit to the program besides just saving money is that consumers tend to shift their peak electricity usage to lower priced hours.  This can help reduce peak electricity demand, which may ease stress on the power distribution system.

The electricity rates can be checked by phone or online.  This is helpful to find peak rates when determining if you wish to shift some of your peak usage.    Setting your thermostat higher during the day can help with the electrical consumption as well.   In addition to shifting usage, I have found that replacing lights with compact fluorescent bulbs or LED bulbs has also had a significant effect on my bill.

The best way to find out if you are eligible or if changing to Power Smart Pricing is feasible, is to check their website, or give them a call.  Once you join the program, you do have to stay enrolled for 12 consecutive months.  If you wish to remain in the program, you will be re-enrolled automatically.  There is a $2.25 a month participation charge, but to me it has definitely been worth it.

I hope others are able to take advantage of this program, and I hope that there are similar programs available in other states.

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