I was already thinking about what I wanted to include in my money-saving blog this week when I had to spend some time waiting at a bank for assistance.
As it turned out, they had a TV in the branch and the Clark Howard show was on. I had never heard of Mr. Howard, but LOVED his show! Some absolutely fantastic advice was given! And I’d like to share some of it with you this week.
One of the things Mr. Howard suggested was to have a home energy audit done. If you’re in the S. Florida area, you probably have FPL as your electrical provider. They have a home energy survey you can take to see where your home’s energy is being used. This can help you pinpoint areas to conserve.
I was really surprised by the fact that appliance use was my largest portion of the bill. It gave me a new incentive to make sure we turn more appliances completely off when they are not in use. Keep in mind that anything that can be operated via remote is still using power even when turned off. We purchased some power strips where we could plug multiple items into it and then turn them all off with just one switch.
Take a few minutes to look around your doorways and windows to see if your weather stripping is properly in place. I noticed very quickly when the cold weather was here that we had a big gap in weather stripping around our front door. If that much cold air was coming in, then I know the hot air is coming in as well. I’m anxious to see how much we can save by getting that one small detail fixed! You can actually hire someone to come and do a full audit on your home if you feel it might help. But, do your research first!
The other topic on the show had to do with unpaid medical debt. In the case Mr. Howard was referring to, the person had unpaid medical expenses and did not have insurance. Mr. Howard suggested offering the hospital or medical facility a payoff amount starting at 20 cents on the dollar.
So, if your bill came to $1,000, find out if they would accept $200 for it. Apparently, insurance companies pay approximately 20 cents on the dollar and, therefore, many hospitals or medical facilities are willing to settle for that same percentage with those who are uninsured. I am not sure if the same option would work on the patient responsibility portion after insurance, but it certainly couldn’t hurt to ask.
I had medical debt I was paying on for almost 6 years when the hospital took it upon itself to write the remainder of the bill off, with no reflection on my credit. Apparently the administrative costs were no longer worth maintaining that account. Also, many hospitals have “scholarship” type programs that you can apply for as well. So, don’t just assume you are stuck with the medical debt. Call the facility and see what options you can work with.
Looking at Mr. Howard’s website, it is truly a wealth of information and I encourage you to go check it out.
Now, on to the local deals!
New club for pet owners! Publix has started a new Pet Club. Register now to receive tips, valuable coupons and advance notice of special events. And, if you register before March 31, 2011, you will be entered into a sweepstakes to win free food for you and your pet. You can find all the details and/or register here. And don’t forget they have other clubs and programs that can save you money. You can find all of them here.
Now, on to the deals this week!
Know the Lingo
BOGO – Buy one, get one free
SS – Smart Source (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
RP – Red Plum (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
PG – Proctor & Gamble (coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
GM – General Mills (occasional coupon inserts in Sunday’s papers)
Blinkie – coupon dispensers in stores
Peelie – coupons found on products that you peel off
Hangtag – coupons found hanging on bottles
All You – Magazine sold at Walmart or via subscription
Whole Foods: Click here for their coupons. If you prefer to shop at Publix, they should accept these as competitor coupons.
Publix Greenwise: Click here for their weekly ads.
Many thanks to IHeartPublix.com for their great tips on shopping at Publix!
For Publix “Super Deals” for 2/10-2/16, please click here.
For Publix full sale list with coupon match-ups for 2/10-2/16, please click here.
For Publix Advantage Buy Flyer sales, please click here.
Renita’s Favorite Money-Saving Sites
E-Book now available!
I’m excited to tell you that my book is now available as an e-book! So, you can save money while you learn to save even more money by purchasing an e-book instead of a traditionally bound book! For more information, please clickhere.
My book will soon be available for the Kindle! Watch for details!
Renita is a resident of Palm Beach County, and author of “Wow! You Saved How Much?” For more information, visit her website athttp://wowyousavedhowmuch.com.
“Copyright © Renita R. Perrone All rights reserved. Permission granted to reprint this article on your website without alteration (excluding the weekly deals) if you include this copyright statement and leave the hyperlinks live and in place.” http://wowyousavedhowmuch.com