Congress will sneak into your bedroom tonight and steal a precious hour of sleep, but you don’t need to take the theft lying down. Get up tomorrow and use a few tips from Consumer Reports to steal back some hard-earned cash.
- Batteries: Toss new ones in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If your smoke detector is more than ten years old, replace it; same thing for any carbon monoxide detector more than five years old. If you rent, your landlord may be required to pay for new detectors.
- Vehicle Lights: “Inspect the entire lighting system in your car to ensure that all lights are working properly. Clean headlights and make sure they are correctly aligned according to the owner’s manual.”
- Update Your Family Disaster Plan: What, you don’t have one? Well write one! You need to know where you’ll meet and where you can find necessary supplies. 2009’s special edition disaster plan can also include likely locations for bread lines and tin can fires.
- Adjust Your Thermostats: Taking advantage of the extra sunlight can shave up to 20% off your heating and cooling costs. Lower the thermostat by a few degrees at night, and if nobody’s home during the day, take advantage of your thermostat’s scheduling features for even greater savings.
- Replace Old Bulbs With Compact Fluorescents: Yeah, yeah, we know you think their light is too harsh and they take too long to warm up. Those might have been valid objections back when people had money to burn, but now the bulbs are better and passing up the chance to save more than 25% on your lighting bill just seems dim.