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5 Easy Ways to Save Money in 2016

Save Money

As a new year begins, many folks are making resolutions about how this year will be different than last year.  One of the popular resolutions each year is to save money.

What’s important about saving money to you?  Thinking about a vacation, a new car, or buying a home?  No matter what’s important to you, these tips can help with the savings.

So let’s look at the top five easy ways to save money in the new year:

  1.  Smoke AlarmChange your smoke alarm and CO detector batteries.  The generally accepted advice was to do this task when switching two and from Daylight Savings time.  That would have you changing the batteries twice each year.  Current batteries typically last 18 months, so by changing them once each year you save several dollars and some time.  If you are disciplined enough you could even set a calendar reminder to do it every 14 months or so and save even more.
    • Keep in mind that newly purchased smoke alarms will most likely be of the 10 year non-replaceable battery type.  That means the task of changing batteries for those devices won’t even exist.
  2. Change your lightbulbs.  If you’re still using old-fashioned incandescent bulbs — those are the ones that Thomas Edison invented — it’s time to mlightbulbake a change!  Those bulbs are the most expensive kind to operate.  Consider replacing them with CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs) or LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes).
    • CFLs are less expensive to purchase, but they don’t provide full brightness immediately when you turn them on.
    • LEDs cost more to purchase but virtually never need to be replaced and are the least expensive to operate.  LEDs provide full brightness as soon as you turn them on.
  3. Adjust the temperature on your water heater.  Setting the water heater to a lower temperature reduces the amount of time the water heatHW Heaterer has to run in order to maintain the temperature in the tank.
    • A 10℉ reduction in temperature can save 3 to 5% on your water heating costs.  It will also reduce the likelihood of scalding injuries.
  4. Wash your clothes on cold.  Not only does this save money because you are not paying to heat the water for washing, it saves wear on the hot water heater and on your clothing fibers.  It’s a win-win-win for savings.
  5. Get rid of cable.  Cut the cable cord and save money on entertainment.  Consider using streaming services to watch only what you want.  Use the time saved to do something fun or educational.
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Want to get rid of that white film on your dishes?

So dirty dishes don’t make a glamorous topic of discussion do they?  But lots of people are having trouble with that nasty white film that coats your dishes and the inside of your dishwasher.

About a year ago I wrote about a solution to the problem, but it turned out not to be a permanent solution.  Since the recommendation to run the dishes through on a vinegar only cycle does work, I can’t say the solution failed.  But, I’m not willing to run every load of dishes through twice.  That’s way too big a waste of time and energy!

So here we are a year later and trying again.  Check out the short video to see what seems to be a workable day to day solution.

We’ve had major improvement in less than a week.  With any luck it will continue that way.  I’ll keep you posted.

For more information about  available property, or homes for sale , call Sally Lawrence, “Home Sales Sally” at 661.375.7325 or email Sally@HomeSalesSally.com

As always, thanks for reading!  Please share your experience or questions regarding dishwasher chalky residue by leaving a comment below.  And if you found something useful here, please share, forward etc.

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Is Water Availability an Elemental Concern?

Sally Lawrence REALTOR®, http://yourrealadvantage.com, 661.375.7325I’ve written before about what a great place Stallion Springs is to live. I’ll stand by all my previous praise.

One of the things that makes Stallion Springs such a great place is the willingness of its residents to join together and fight for what they believe to be right.  Here’s another one of those opportunities that is galvanizing folks on both sides of the issue.

Stallion Springs is in danger of losing its water supply. Perhaps that sounds a bit overly dramatic, but read on to see what’s going on.

Where does Stallion Springs water come from?  Stallion Springs draws most of its water from the Cummings Valley basin.  In addition to Stallion Springs, Bear Valley Springs, Fairview Ranches, CCI (California Corrections Institute) and a number of agricultural users also draw their water from the Cummings Valley Basin.

In recent years the water usage within the basin has approached the published “safe yield.”  In at least one year, usage has exceeded the safe yield.

Why does it matter?  Users within the basin are able to draw water without having to recharge the basin.  Stallion Springs and Bear Valley Springs have to recharge the basin for the water that they draw out.

As a result of the virtually unrestricted pumping allowed within the basin, the water table has dropped by 50 feet in the last decade.

If things continue unabated, it is possible that Stallion Springs could indeed lose its affordable water supply.

Sally Lawrence REALTOR®, HomeSalesSally, http://homeSalesSally.com, 661.375.7325What is an alternative?  Recurrent Energy had proposed a solar project for 300 acres within the Cummings Valley.  That project would reduce the ground water pumping for those 300 acres to an insignificant amount.  Even better for Stallion Springs, the proposed solar project is located near the wells that Stallion Springs owns in Cummings Valley.

My personal take as a Stallion Springs resident is that I would prefer to see the Cummings Valley left pretty much as-is.  Unfortunately, I don’t see that as a reality.  It seems to me that the valley will continue to change and that a solar project may actually be a better use of those 300 acres than unrestricted water pumping by an agricultural user as we had before.

What can you do?  If you are a resident, or just interested in the outcome of this important issue, please contact Zack Scrivener, the 2nd District Supervisor by scrivnerz@co.kern.ca.us, phone his office at 661-868-3660 or fax 661-868-3666. Let him know that keeping water available in Stallion Springs is important to you.

Please forward this to everyone you know.  If you like the content, subscribe for free on the right.

Finally, I’d appreciate it if you would copy me at Water@HomeSalesSally.com on any correspondence to Mr. Scrivner so that I can keep track of the interest level.

As always, thanks for reading.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at 661.375.REAL

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New Year, New Batteries, New Water Filters

New year, new batteries, new water filters.

There are lots of things you can do on New Year’s day.   Consider going for a nature walk, starting (or finishing) a project, park in front of the TV and watch football, etc.  I started a tradition a few years ago that I wanted to share with everyone else.

Do things that are time sensitive. What kind of things?  How about changing water filters and batteries?  How many of these need to be changed depends on your circumstances.  Do you have any or all of these?

  • whole house water filter
  • a reverse osmosis system
  • a filtered water pitcher
  • smoke detectors
  • CO2 detectors
  • others?

How often are changes required? That depends on the item.  Some only require a change once a year, some may need a change monthly, bimonthly or on some other schedule.  For example, most reverse osmosis filters only need to be changed once a year, but the filter in my water pitcher needs to be changed bimonthly.

Smoke detector batteries need to be changed annually. The conventional advice has been to change smoke detector batteries twice a year.  I don’t believe it’s necessary to do it that often.  Modern batteries have a very long shelf life.  In fact, I could never bring my self to schedule it for twice a year, so it never used to get done on a schedule at all.

Startled from sleep by a shrieking smoke detector at 3:00 am is not the best time to deal with maintenance! I didn’t need to learn that lesson too many times before I decided to get it on a schedule.

The easiest schedule to remember is January 1. New year, new batteries, new water filters.  Give it a try.  You may decide to make this your tradition too.  Let me know how it works out for you.

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