Whether you need to pinch some pennies to save up for your summer holiday, or are ever concerned about the amount of energy you consume, here are 10 clever tricks you may not have known that will shave some money off your bills (well hopefully):

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1. Install dimmer switches & energy efficient halogen bulbs & save on electricity.

You should be able to purchase energy efficient bulbs from most electrical stores in Barbados, as well as PriceSmart.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Use Energy saving light bulbs[/twocol_one_last]

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2. Make your own cleaning solutions & save on commercial cleaners.

We found a really cool site here with steps to making your very own non-toxic cleaning kit from 5 household products: Baking soda, washing soda, white distilled vinegar, a good liquid soap or detergent and tea tree oil.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Make your own cleaning solutions[/twocol_one_last]

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3. Replace air conditioning filters and regularly service your unit.

Servicing your A/C unit regularly increases its efficiency. Clogged air ducts make the motor work twice as hard which increases energy usage. We’d recommend the fellas at Knights to look after your cooling devices.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Regularly service your air con unit[/twocol_one_last]
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4. Buy a laptop!

Or at least make it your short term goal. Laptops pull 80% less energy than desktop computers. Being an Apple fan, I’d recommend the purchase of a shiny new Apple laptop, which you can get at Electric Avenue or the Smart Store.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Laptops use 80% less energy[/twocol_one_last]
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5. Choose a light coloured roof.

Select a lighter coloured roofing material to help reflect the sun’s rays, to regulate the temperature in your home (which decreases your need to run the air conditioner). Or invest in a greener solution to generate energy (and maybe sell back to BLP). Click here for roofing contractors in Barbados and here for green energy solutions for your home.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Lighter coloured roofs reflect the sun's rays more effectively[/twocol_one_last]
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6. Turn your computer to sleep.

Changing the mode of your computer to ‘sleep’ when not in use highly increases its lifespan, AND decreases the amount of energy it uses.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Switch your computer to sleep to extend lifespan[/twocol_one_last]
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7. Invest in a battery recharging station.

Stop spending so much money on disposable batteries, especially in Barbados where a pack of AA will cost you a pretty penny. You can usually pick up a battery recharging station from PriceSmart.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Invest in a battery recharging station [/twocol_one_last]
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8. Check your appliances.

Regular check-ups of your household appliances help to avoid inefficient energy consumption, which converts to wasted hard earned money. The older the appliance, the more likely it is sucking up way too much electricity to run. Your electrician should be able to check this for you with ease.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Get rid of old appliances that are using too much energy to run[/twocol_one_last]
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9. Buy a shower timer for the bathroom.

This one is my favourite and I wonder if you can even purchase this water-saving tool in Barbados? Although water bills on the whole seem manageable on island, this gadget would help the household to conserve our ever precious H2O.[/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]No more dilly-dallying at bath time[/twocol_one_last]
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10. Buy a magicJack.

Say goodbye to overseas calling with LIME… You can pick up your magicJack from A&B Soundz at Sheraton Mall. [/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last]Say goodbye to expensive telephone bills when calling overseas with MagicJack[/twocol_one_last]

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