Archive for the ‘Cost-cutting’ Category

With the energy-efficiency tax-free weekend approaching

October 27, 2008

energystar.jpgIt’s nearly upon us — it’s next weekend, from 12:01 a.m. Friday to 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

I’ve written several times about this new sales-tax holiday for purchases of certain energy-efficient appliances, including qualified clothes washers, freezers and refrigerators, central air conditioners and room air conditioners, air-source heat pumps and geothermal heat pumps, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers and programmable thermostats.

You can read about the specifics of it here and a bit more about it here.

A couple of readers didn’t really believe me on all this. All I can say is: It’s for real. The N.C. Department of Revenue has its summary of the holiday here.

central_ac.jpgMeanwhile, you may save even more money on purchases of heating and cooling equipment through a federal tax-credit program.

In a press release, the Alliance to Save Energy says tax credits are available for certain investments in making your home more energy efficient.

They include a credit of up to $300 on the purchase and installation of a central air conditioner, heat pump, water heater, or bio gas (e.g. corn) stove. But, ASE notes, the equipment must meet stringent efficiency requirements. Not even all Energy Star products will qualify.

ASE says there is also a separate credit, through 2016, for qualified geothermal heat pumps – 30 percent of the cost, up to $2,000.

I haven’t had time to check how these federal tax-credit requirements square up with the state’s tax-holiday requirements but, if you’re making one of these purchases this weekend, you may want to. Meanwhile, if you’ve already invested in this equipment this year, you’ll want to know about the tax credit. ASE has information about it here.

energy-star-windows.jpgThere are also other federal tax credits available for certain energy-efficiency-related home improvements, which aren’t covered in the upcoming sales tax holiday.

They’re for purchases (and sometimes installation costs) of such things as insulation, exterior doors, or roofs; exterior windows, including skylights and storm windows; and a furnace or boiler. See the ASE Web site for all the details.


FYI: coupon source

July 15, 2008

Just passing along a coupon Web site I read about in passing in ShopSmart magazine, coupon1.GIFwhich is published by Consumer Reports.

It’s and it posts all kinds of coupon info, including coupon codes that can save you money on online purchases, links to printable coupons and other info related to online deals, sales, clearances and so forth for a huge variety of retailers.

Want an extra $500 a month?

July 2, 2008

No, I’m not peddling an envelope-stuffing scheme or some other scam — er, sounds-so-good-it-just-has-to-be-true-right?! idea.

dollar-06-june.gifInstead, this is per a story in the August issue of Consumer Reports about how to save money on everyday (or every-month) expenditures. As with diets, results will vary depending upon the individual.

For the tips, go to the next page.