Archive for August, 2015

Chevy Volt Updates

The new Chevy Volt for 2016 will allow consumers to drive 53 miles on electric power before the engine kicks in and begins generating electricity to drive the power train. This is a 40% improvement over older models. This upgrade provides consumers with the ability to do most of their daily driving on electric power. The batteries can be recharged at home. Or they can be recharged by the engine. Either way the consumer is saving money and will  not need to fill their gas tanks as often. In fact some consumers report with the existing Chevy Volt that they go for months without needing to refill the gas tank. Over the next few years there will be more improvements in efficiency as well as battery technology.

Chevy Volt Updates

This improvement means that consumers can expect an average of 42 miles per gallon when powered by the engine compared to 38 for the current model. In addition there is no cost other than the cost of electricity.

The Chevy Bolt will also be upgraded. It will be available with electric power only in 2017. It will run approximately 200 miles before needing to be recharged. The volt has won awards and the new models are expected to continue this tradition. With lighter materials and better drive systems, consumers who commute to work short distances may seldom need to refill their gas tanks with gasoline.

We happen to think that the next five years more and more improvements will be introduced. They will make it so tempting to purchase an electric car. In fact the writer feels that their next car will be a volt model. Our current vehicle gets good mileage and has a few more years to run before it should be exchanged for another vehicle.

Money Saving: Buying the cheapest of everything

Buying the cheapest of everythingBuying the cheapest of everything can save you a great deal of money in the short-term, but not always in the long-term. There is usually a reason that something is cheap. That usually means it is not made very well and will not last very long! No problem if you do not need it to last long. But if a particular item is to last several years or receive a lot of wear and tear, then you may want to spend a little more money and get a better quality product. Often there are sales of various goods for a variety or reasons.

Consumers can really save a great deal of money. The mantra that our family follows is that we never pay full price for anything we purchase. We always look for sales. If something is not on sale we either negotiate or we wait until the item goes on sale.

Buying the cheapest of everything

Following this approach of always waiting for a sale item usually means we are buying items at a lower price and save ourselves quite a bit of money. We also watch for sales that save us even more money.

For example several times we have purchased something on sale during the week. We know we are already ahead, however on the weekends some stores will have additional sales. They might have a tax-free holiday and whether an item is at full price or on sale, you still save on the tax. All we do is go back to the store with our receipt and ask them for a credit for the additional savings. All large department stores and chains usually honor this approach.

By following the sales and by staying alert for sales you can really follow the Buying the cheapest of everything approach!


Money Saving: Buying more online to qualify for free shipping

qualify for free shippingBuying more online to qualify for free shipping is one way to save money, however consumers do have to be careful of overspending. There are other ways as well to save money. Let’s assume that you need to buy a large item that cannot be picked up. You will need to have it delivered to your home or rent a truck to pick up the item. Either way there is a shipping cost of some kind to be considered. There are multiple ways to deal with this and we will cover some of them in the following paragraphs.

Qualify for free shipping – Negotiate

If you find the best price at a regular store, but need delivery, most stores are going to charge a fee for delivery. The fee can range from $50 to $100 or even more depending on the size of the item and how far they have to travel. However your options include negotiating before you finalize the purchase for free shipping! Sometimes to close the deal a store will throw in free shipping! Otherwise you need to rely on a friend or rent a truck to pick up and bring your item home.

Many online stores allow their customers to qualify for free shipping if they spend over a specified amount. This is a great deal in most situations provided you are getting a good deal on the purchase price.

When comparing options, don’t forget to include the full price you are paying, plus fees, plus taxes and whatever your shipping cost will be including the free pizza and beer you may have to provide to your friends for their help. Comparing apples to apples is the only way to make sure that you really do get the best price overall.

One last point to consider is your time. You may not save any real dollars, if you spend a lot less time driving to the store. Buying something online may be the deciding factor. For money saving ideas, click here.



AC Unit Size for My Home

upgrade aging air conditionersMost AC sales people will ask you how many square feet your home is and whether it is two story or single story. Magically they will come up with the size of air conditioner that you need for your home. It should be the most efficient and provide adequate cooling at the same time. There is actually a little bit more to the decision that needs to be considered before you decide the AC unit size for my home. Most people would be surprised to find out that two identical sized homes could have different sized AC units. There are a number of reasons for this and we will cover these in the following paragraphs.

AC Unit Size for My Home – Orientation

For example if your home has windows on two sides of your home, lets say the front and back. The orientation of your home is really going to matter. A north south facing home will need a smaller AC unit than one that faces east west. That afternoon sun poring heat into your home through the windows will require a great deal more AC capacity. Much more than one that is facing south and does not have the afternoon sun to deal with. The heat impact can be mitigated to some degree by having blinds that cover the windows. They reduce the amount of infrared heating that takes place! Energy conscious consumers will want to invest in high quality blinds that help control the heat factor.

Sky lights are another major issue re how much AC is required. Of course the direction the sky lights face is also important. A south western roof with a sky light will allow a great deal more heat in the home and necessitate a larger AC unit. Again appropriate window shades for a sky light can be installed.

If you have a lot of shade trees on your property that provide shade for the home, your AC could be sized a little smaller as long as there is no plan to cut these tress down. Take these factors into account to not only save yourself some money but also to ensure you are comfortable as well during prime air conditioning periods.


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