As promised, below are the money-saving tips from the Kodak “Print and Prosper” event. They are from Laura Rowley a personal finance expert, Yahoo! Finance Columnist and mother of 3 kids.
LIVING ROOM: MAKE A LIVING FROM YOUR LIVING ROOM
Use your family room to unplug, literally. Vampire drain of electricity in “standby mode” –turned off but still plugged into the wall – drains our wallets $3 billion per year. Plug items into fuse-protected power strips that don’t suck energy from the wall when turned off.
Watch a little closer. Americans pay an average of $60 for cable, but only watch 15 channels, according to the Consumers Union. If you pay for premium cable, call your provider and put the service on “vacation mode.” You’ll still receive basic service but save temporarily on the extras – and get a good sense of whether you miss them. If you don’t, call the cancellation department and say you’re considering eliminating service altogether – this department has the best deals on hand to keep you as a customer.
HOME OFFICE: CREATE A HOME (OFFICE) TO CALL YOUR OWN
Rethink your ink. Equip yourself with items that stretch your dollars like Kodak’s All-in-One Inkjet printers, which can save you up to $110 a year on ink.
Channel your inner freegan. Sign up for free services like Skype that lets you make long distance calls online without spending a penny and faxzero.com, a service that allows you to fax for free by adding an ad coversheet to your faxes.
BATHROOM: DON’T FLUSH MONEY DOWN THE TOILET
Go with the low-flow. Water bills can be cut back 25 to 60 percent by replacing showerheads and faucets with low-flow aerating models for $10 to $20 each. Look for a model that’s 2.5 gallons per minute to save on average $200 per year.
A prescription to save. Only one-third of prescription drugs are mostly covered by insurance, according to a recent Consumer Reports survey. Prices can vary as much as $100 between designer and generic drugs so make sure you ask your physician for a generic equivalent, which can cost up to 40 percent less.
LAUNDRY ROOM: DON’T GET TAKEN TO THE CLEANERS ON YOUR DRY CLEANING
A dirty secret. Households spend an average of $1,500 a year on dry cleaning, and 65 percent of those clothes are washable, according to Proctor and Gamble research. Wool, cashmere, silk, rayon, polyester and spandex can all be laundered, saving America $750 a year.
(For more savings ideas and to calculate getting started, check out “Money and Happiness: A Guide to Living the Good Life“.