BOSTON (CBS) – The unofficial last day of summer is here! Labor Day implies that summer is over and the school year is about to start. And for many of us this feels more like the beginning of a new year than January first.

Folks have been shopping for school supplies and school clothes for weeks. And many adults have begun to buy their fall and winter wardrobes. We begin to mentally change over the seasons.

Kids go from the carefree summer activities to settling down in school. I think that carries over to adulthood. Then we have kids of our own and the tradition continues.

So over the weekend I began my fall chore list for garden and house projects and then I thought about the personal things I have put off over the summer. Maybe I needed to return to Weight Watchers for a fall tune up. So my list grew.

I was creating New Year’s resolutions. First on my list was painting and putting away the porch furniture. Then I went looking for the Weight Watchers meeting schedule.

My list grew after the temperature hit 54 the other night. Our house was cold in the morning and I went looking for something warm to wear to church.

Added to the list was continuing to work on energy efficiency. We have done a lot but there is still more we can do. We have replaced all of our light bulbs with florescent and now my husband is considering LED lights.

When we built our home, we super insulated it with 6-inch walls but at times, the wind in January seems to whip through those walls. Saving money on fuel is going to be a priority as we head into winter.

According to the Farmer’s Almanac, our winter will be colder and drier than normal, with below-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be from Christmas through early January and in mid-January and early, mid, and late February. The snowiest periods will be in mid-November, mid-to-late December, mid-to-late February, and early March.

You can do some things now to save money on energy this winter. Check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s website on how to begin. (Yes we have a department of energy!)

You need a plan and the first thing you need to look at is how much are you spending on utilities. So what can you do to use less energy? I don’t want you to be cold this winter but I don’t want you to be broke either.

Is your attic insulated? Simply laying insulation up there can reduce your heat loss. How about your windows? Are they tight? Can you caulk them yourself? Do you need storm windows or new windows? Weather stripping? Check the doors. Do you need a storm door? Most of our energy loss is through our attics, windows and doors.

But even little things make a difference. A window AC that you leave installed all year should be covered and some weather stripping used. You might want to consider taking it out for the winter and re-installing it come next May.

Get an automatic thermostat that turns the heat up and down for you. Down at night and when you are gone during the day and up right before you wake up in the morning or get home to make it warm and toasty.

Check what you can do this fall to save on energy costs this winter.


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.


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