A frugal lifestyle can mean many things to people, but ultimately it means you want to save money.
There are many lifestyle changes you can make to save money like not buying expensive coffee every day when you can make coffee at home or going out to dinner when you have something good to eat in your refrigerator.
But how do you save with the electric bill, gas bill or water bill? Now that we are heading into the winter months, heating bills can rise dramatically.
It's easy enough to get prepared before the cold weather creeps in. Kentucky Utilities offers many programs to help you reduce your bill. Visit the KU website, Lge-ku.com, to perform a home energy analysis. When complete, you'll receive a report that outlines areas of improvement for saving energy and money.
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You can request a free home energy checkup from Columbia Gas of Kentucky by calling 1-800-300-8709 or online at ColumbiaGasKY.com/checkup. Their home energy professional will call you to set up an appointment for a brief inspection of your home.
To get the maximum value from your heat pump keep it well maintained. An outdoor unit needs to be free of grass clippings, leaves, dirt and snow. If the coil becomes dirty, disconnect the electric power to both the indoor and outdoor units and wash the coil with a garden hose.
An indoor unit will get dirty, too. A clogged filter will make the unit work harder and longer. Inspect the filters at least once a month and clean or replace as needed. Never operate the unit without filters.
Spending a little money on an annual furnace check up will save you money throughout the year. October is National Energy Awareness Month. With that in mind, turn off lights that are not being used. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs, which will last longer and save energy. Turn off your computer overnight, or at least put your computer in energy-saving mode.
Remember, even if you turn off an appliance or device, they still draw energy. So unplug them when you're not using them. If you still have one of those avocado green refrigerators in your basements to store your purchases from Costco, it's probably a huge energy waster. According to Energy Star, appliance models manufactured 30 to 40 years ago use nearly two times the amount of energy each year compared to today's high efficient Energy Star certified refrigerators. KU will give you $50 for recycling your old refrigerator.
Another cost saver is to lower your water heater temperature. Start trying to find the optimal temperature by turning the water heater down in small increments. More than likely you will find that you get no complaints from those using the hot water until you have turned the water heater down several degrees. When you reach that point, tweak the water temperature up a bit.
The office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy says that for each 10 degrees you reduce your water heater temperature you will save about five percent on water heating energy.
If you want to see how much energy your appliances are using, check out a Home Energy Audit Kit from Lexington Public Library. The kit contains laser thermometer, food thermometer, refrigerator thermometer, foot candle light meter and kill-a-watt meter.
Now is the time to walk around your house and check your windows to see if they need caulking or if your doors need sealing strips. Both of these could help lower your winter heating bills.
■ Take yourself out for lunch Thursday and Friday at Olive Garden for just $5. Print out this coupon to receive a $5 lunch of unlimited breadsticks, famous house salad and homemade soup. http://bit.ly/1wi3tcQ
■ Get a free sample of Butterfly Body Liners at Butterfly.com/butterfly-pads-free-sample/
■ On the Bath & Body Facebook page if you click "get offer" you'll get a coupon in your inbox for a free Signature Collection Full Size Ultra-Shea Body Cream with any purchase. The offer is valid through Oct. 26 and is limited to one coupon per customer.
■ On October 31, go to a participating Krispy Kreme location wearing a costume and get a free doughnut of your choice. No purchase necessary
■ Treat or treating for candy and goodies will take place at Pax Christi Church, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. October 25. Kettlecorn, firetruck tours, games, crafts, and prizes plus $1 hotdogs. Celebrity judged costume contest benefiting Ronald McDonald House of the Bluegrass and Lexington Humane Society. Contest starts at 10 a.m.
■ Great Clips is giving military members (active/inactive/retired military member of any branch, including the National Guard) a free haircut on Nov. 11. Or pick up a card good for a free haircut through Dec. 31 at any of those locations. Proof of service is required.
■ Bring your kids into IHOP restaurant on Oct. 31 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. to receive free a scary face pancake for all kids 12 and younger. Check out the IHOP restaurant Facebook page for more information.