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How to save money and energy this summer

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Jeff Kaplan is a lifelong couponer who began looking for creative ways to save money when he was a child. He comes from a family of coupon clippers which include his dad, brother and now his son. Jeff does most of the grocery shopping for his wife and three kids (with coupons, of course) and is a regular at Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, and CVS in the New Jersey suburbs.

LOZO has found more than $4 million in savings for shoppers providing coupons for groceries as well as tips for cutting down on expenses across a variety of categories including entertainment, utilities and travel. Started as a family business, LOZO.com is now a privately held company based in New Jersey.

Here, the founder and CEO of LOZO.com, a free, online destination for finding money-saving coupons, services, advice and more has come up with five money tips for this summer.

  1. Turn off the air conditioning. This doesn’t mean you have to suffer through sweltering heat, but you should be aware of the weather so that you can maximize efficiency and save money by using it only when needed. For example, if it is going to be a cool night, turn off the air before heading to bed and open a few windows.
  2. Cook outside. Using the stove or baking in the oven can create a lot of excess heat that has nowhere to go except in your house. Consider taking meal plans to the barbecue grill outside so that you can keep your cool inside.
  3. Let your laundry dry outside. If you have the ability to hang up laundry outside, let the sun and warm summer breeze do the drying for you. Even if you can’t hang up clothes outside, try using your dryer on a lower heat setting or only partially drying your shirts and letting them air dry the rest of the way.
  4. Replace your air conditioner filters. This can be easy to overlook, but a dirty filter can increase cooling costs. Dirty filters restrict the airflow and the efficiency of the air conditioner, which translates into more run time and higher cooling costs. Filters are cheap, so replace them regularly.
  5. Plan ahead for future home and garden projects. As summer begins to wind down, it is a perfect time to be on the lookout for season ending sales. Landscape plants, tools, and other outdoor project materials tend to go on sale as people begin to look toward autumn and spending less time outside.