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    Cost-saving tips for homeowners

    by News Canada
    Published: Mon, Dec 5 2005


    (NC)—There are few things in life that compare to the sense of pride and accomplishment experienced from owning a home. While being a great sense of comfort, homes are among our biggest and most stressful financial investments.

    Costs of home ownership such as mortgage payments, taxes and insurance are unavoidable however, smart consumers know where to find the best cost-saving options to help lighten the financial load. The following are tips to help homeowners get the best for their home - for less.

    Big isn't always best – Don't assume that large companies offer the best deals. When shopping for services like long distance and natural gas, small companies often provide lower prices with better service. For example, natural gas supplier RiteRate.ca has consistently offered fixed rate contracts at much lower prices than larger competitors.

    Hunt for off-season promotions – Booking services or purchasing items during the off- season can net sizable discounts while keeping long waiting periods associated with peak times to a minimum. For example, purchase an air conditioner in February rather than waiting for the first hot spell in June.

    Bulk up – When shopping for household items, buy in bulk. Bulk prices are lower than individually packaged items. Also, buying bulk items usually means fewer trips to the store, saving time and gas.

    Look into energy-efficient options – For long-term savings, invest in energy-efficient appliances to help trim monthly utility bills. Saving a few extra dollars per month adds up over time. The average family household can save up to $400 per year on utility bills just by switching to energy-efficient appliances.

    Do your research – There are several useful websites that consumers can use to shop and compare routine expenses. Energyshop.com offers independent information and comparisons of fixed natural gas and electricity rates. Other helpful websites are Telecomparisons.com that evaluates costs for a variety of long distance plans and Torontogasprices.com that compares current pump prices for all gas stations in the Greater Toronto Area.

    - News Canada



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