Solar energy is a resource that is not only sustainable for consumption, it’s also indefinitely renewable. But the value may vary according to where you live, so determining whether it’s a cost-effective alternative is a complicated matter. As prices decreased for the hardware in recent years, solar power rose in popularity for ecological and financial reasons. Here are the facts you need to know to make an informed decision about whether switching to solar power is worth it for you.
There are several ways to purchase a typical grid-tied solar panel system. You can buy a kit to install yourself or get an installation package from a local service company. If you’re handy around the house, its possible to get a kit for $1,900 to $13,000 and install it yourself, although it’s a difficult installation. A typical kit sold at places like Costco, Home Depot, and Lowe’s includes solar panels, an inverter, and rooftop rack. If you choose professional installation, the installer will design the system, specify the appropriate components, and perform any necessary follow-up maintenance. Solar panels usually have a 25 year performance warranty and solar inverters have a 10 to 25 year warranty.
May 18th, 2015
People who don’t use coupons believe all kinds of crazy ideas about them, but they simply aren’t true. We’ll set the record straight about 10 of the biggest myths. If you’ve heard those stories and you’re still skeptical, read on.
- Coupons make you spend too much. Not true. Even if you stock up on more items than you would normally buy, it doesn’t mean you’re spending more money overall. Coupons provide an opportunity to try new products or brands at lower prices. If you’re able to purchase products for free by combining a coupon with a loyalty program and don’t need them yourself, you could consider donating them to a church or shelter to help others in need. Sales usually run in 12 week cycles, so good couponers create their shopping lists based on coupons matched with those sale prices to get the best deals, stocking up only enough to last until the next sale.
May 11th, 2015
The month of April is over and it is time for our usual monthly wrap-up when we look back at what happened during the past month, announce our contest winners, and also give you a heads up at what is coming.
Monthly Contest Results
CouponNut finishes first this month followed by clover and mdshopper1 in the seconds and third place. Congratulations guys! Here is the complete list of this month’s winners and prizes:
1. CouponNut (412 Points): $70
2. clover (338 Points): $50
3. mdshopper1 (337 Points): $50
4. anand (334 Points): $35
5. laaya (321 Points): $35
6. bemicmom (317 Points): $35
7. djhciskoski (315 Points): $35
8. siggy38 (303 Points): $25
9. 2kidsnuts (294 Points): $25
10. psplove (288 Points): $25
11. Version (274 Points): $25
12. lootango (272 Points): $10
13. roxytang (257 Points): $10
14. gabyperu (241 Points): $10
15. mommy25 (230 Points): $10
May 4th, 2015
Recent Earth Day 2015 activities increased my awareness of many environmental issues and inspired me to look for more ways to recycle the products I use. Since sponsored recycling events associated with Earth Day are held only once a year, some of those items have just been accumulating in the garage to avoid putting them in the regular trash and sending them to a landfill. So I did a little online research and discovered that it was surprisingly easy to find information about it, from tips to repurpose many items to resources that accept and even pay for recycled materials.
Among other benefits, recycling conserves natural resources, reduces pollution, and creates jobs. If your community doesn’t have an organized recycling program with curbside pickup, you can find nearby businesses and recycling centers to drop off your items.
April 27th, 2015
If you’re like many pet lovers, you consider your pets to be part of your family and you’re willing to spend more to keep them happy and healthy. In 2014, Americans spent $58 billion on their 397 million pets, about 5 times more than they spent on movie tickets for themselves in the same year! Specialized premium foods and preventive care medications that can add quality years to their lives are getting so expensive that it’s worthwhile looking for ways to cut costs.
Normally prescriptions are dispensed directly by veterinarians during your pet’s diagnostic examination, and these are quite expensive. After several costly visits to the vet with long-term prescriptions, I found myself fantasizing about claiming the furry beasts as dependents on my medical insurance (read this discussion for details). While that’s not possible, it inspired me to research my options and I discovered that there were indeed ways to save. We’ve already explored the cost of true pet insurance in a previous blog post, but this time I just wanted to reduce the drug charges without paying any extra premiums. If your pet’s medications are the same ones that would also be used to treat human conditions, you can ask your veterinarian for a written prescription to use at a participating pharmacy instead, along with a free prescription discount card. This is really a big help if your pets need the medicine for chronic conditions. You’ll pay 40%-75% less for generic equivalents of medications prescribed for infections, allergies, pain relief, diabetes and even anti-depressants for behavioral disorders in animals.
April 20th, 2015