Prices are rising on EVERYTHING and we are trying to find ways to save cash. It's getting colder and your thinking about keeping warm at home. According to the Department of Energy, heating (and cooling) can account for over half of your home's energy costs. Here are some things that you can do to save on your bills.

How To Get Your Monthly Energy Bills Down.

Install a programmable thermostat to stop the heater from running while your away. I was just having that conversation with Traci and she said that was one of the best monetary decisions that they've made.

They bought a digital programmable thermostat and they found out that their old one was calibrated wrong. It was off by 10 degrees so their furnace was running longer then it needed to.

Seal your windows and doors to stop air leaks. If you can feel the cold air coming in then you know that your hard-earned money is going out.

Water Heating. Did you know that having hot water on demand can be 18% of your total energy bill. Long, hot showers is the biggest culprit but washing your clothes in hot water doesn't help either.

It's not a bad idea to get rid of your old washing machine and get an Energy Star washer. It uses less water and that will save you energy which will save you in money too.

Large kitchen appliances. Your cooking and refrigeration accounts for almost 10% of your household energy usage. Here's a fairly easy thing that you can do to help. Keep your freezer stocked and your refrigerator moderately filled.

All the frozen goods will help keep the freezer cold but if you overstuff the fridge, that actually uses up more energy.

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Electronics. It seems like everything in your house used electricity. Plugged-in electronics that aren't in use can cost you 5% of your total home energy bill. Unplug appliances that aren't in use or plug them into a power strip so you can flip the "off" switch.

15 Signs That Winter Will be Bad

These are apparently signs that tell us to expect a rough winter. Yes, they are wrapped in much folklore but who's to say they aren't true. I say we spend the next few weeks in the Hudson Valley seeing if we can predict our winter weather based on these 15 signs from nature.

TIPS: Here's how you can prepare for power outages

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