Debtless & Cheap Save $2400/Year

In the spring of 2013 I took a good hard look at our bills. You know the ones, basic hydro, gas and internet.

The hydro bill was o.k. in terms of the monthly amount we were spending. We did manage to cut it back by 10% using common sense tips. Turning off unnecessary lights and switching to energy efficient bulbs etc.

Next came the gas bill. After speaking with neighbors and others I discovered we were paying twice as much for gas as others. Our furnace and water heater were comparable and efficient. What the heck was going on?

I carefully scanned the bill. There was a whole home warranty package and a water heater rental charge, as well as our rates were much higher per cubic metre than our local gas company was currently charging.

I called up our current supplier and told them two things. First I want to buy out the water heater and second I want to cancel my contract with them. After some huffing and puffing both requests were granted. Oh and the water heater buy out was a whopping 25 dollars. I can live with that.

We moved our business back to the local gas supplier who’s rates, while they will fluctuate,  are a few cents cheaper per cubic metre right now. With these changes made I cut our gas bill in half.

My final act was to call up the internet provider. Having been a valued customer for many years I couldn’t understand why my internet charge was so high. After negotiationg with them we got the monthly charged knocked down by 35%. Again I was satisfied with this, although it did take months before they charged me the correct amount. It was still worth those all the calls
I had to make to get it right.

Oh, almost forgot there was one final bill I received while all this was going on, the car insurance. They had raised the yearly rate by 35%. While there had been no claims or tickets the amount went up, why? Anyway I didn’t bother questioning the insurance company I talked around found a reputable company that offered the best rates and switched.  This needs to be done at renewal time to avoid cancellation charges.

By pulling my head out of the sand and doing the work, I managed to save us a total of $2400 for the year.

I am excited and you betcha we are looking for more and more ways to save. Call me a cheapskate if you like. I call it some of the best work of my life.

I have been reading great tips and tricks on how to cut your grocery bill. This weeks challenge, cut the amount I spend on groceries by 50%. If anyone reading this has I’m all ears, er eyes.

A final question. I was watching extreme cheapskates last night. A family is living by lantern to save money on electricity. Is this too extreme for you? Where do you draw the line between frugal and crazy?


8 thoughts on “Debtless & Cheap Save $2400/Year

  1. Fabio

    It’s frugal when you’re cutting corners but they don’t really change your lifestyle (coupon cutting, turning off all lights, price comparing, etc. It’s crazy when it disrupts everyone’s day to day life (separating the layers in 2 ply toilet paper so that you get twice as much). Another indication that you’re crazy is when people CALL you insane.

  2. pobept

    By best money saver was when I replaced my old 40 gallon electric hot water heater with a under sink on demand hot water heater. I have endless hot water, on demand costing about the same to install as a new 40 gallon system and costing way less than 1/2 as much to operate as a 40 gallon tank heater.

    1. ariescottrell Post author

      Hey, pobept welcome to the blog and thanks for commenting. I researched tankless water heaters. They sound promising, although the reviews are mixed. Sounds like it’s saving you $$$’s fantastic! I did check into them when searching for ways to save money. My home will need considerable upgrades to the plumbing etc. to install. Not great when your looking to decrease and not increase debt. Still happy to hear it is saving you money.
      Thanks again!

    1. ariescottrell Post author

      Hi jmlol, welcome to the blog.

      Yep, lanterns, washing clothes when you shower, living without heat, all for the extreme cheapskate, not me, LOL When my wise guru started talking about bills I was shocked at how much money we were… ya hate to say it, wasting! Hope this helps your family save some money


  3. Jon

    Negotiating with your internet provider is a great tactic! I haggle the price once a year and always get a break. When I call I ask for the customer retention department.

    1. ariescottrell Post author

      Hi Jon, glad to hear you enjoy negotiating with internet providers. Honestly our provider is a pain. Their automated system just can’t seem to get things right. My calls to get the amount reduced by a 1/3 was a 7 month process. Although I did finally get what I wanted and also credited back for the 7 months I paid too much. Sounds like you’re have great fun with!


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