Dear Savvy Consumer:
As much as I love the holidays, I don’t love the excesses we’re prone to at this time of year—too many late nights, too much of our favorite once-a-year foods, and too much of everthing! So, I’ve been thinking of ways I can be a savvy consumer even now, when time is tight and there are a million reasons to open my wallet.
First, I’ll be sending e-gift cards instead of mailing packages to friends and family outside the Bay Area. There are so many advantages to e-gift cards—no wrapping, no shipping, and the recipients get to pick out exactly what they want.
Also, when I’m doing my online shopping, I’ll be using a credit card instead of a debit card. While I like the idea of not getting a big bill in January, I value the safety a credit card offers—a $50 limit on my liability for unauthorized charges, and no possibility of a thief temporarily wiping out my checking account.
I’m also thinking of replacing my old holiday lighting with LED lights. They’re safer, longer-lasting, and use up to 90 percent less energy than standard incandescent lights. That’s a significant savings when you consider our holiday lights glow for hours every evening of the month.
I realize that spending more during the holidays may be inevitable, but I’m determined to make savvy choices whenever I have options. That includes choosing service providers that offer the highest quality and satisfaction during the holidays and year-round.
Wishing you and yours the very best of the season.
The Savvy Consumer
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Old Holiday Lights:
Recycle Them for a Good Cause
As I mentioned in my letter, this year I’m planning to replace my old Christmas tree lights this year with energy saving LED lights. Besides using more energy than necessary, old lights are a tangled mess. So what can I do with all the old ones and the burned out bulbs too?
The good news is they can be recycled for a good cause. A nonprofit called Lights for Life has partnered with Ace Hardware stores to collect old holiday string lights. The electrical cords, which contain valuable copper, are sold to a copper recycling company and all the proceeds are donated to families that have a child with cancer. You can drop off your old sets anytime between now and February 15th. Get more details at www.lightsforlifeinc.com.
Kudos from Diamond Certified Consumers
Re: Mister Sparky (formerly Alive Electric)
We want to share an incredible experience we had with Mister Sparky, a Diamond Certified company. Words cannot describe the extremely positive experience we had with the electrician named Paul. He did an outstanding job explaining residential electrical, costs involved, suggestions for electrical maintenance, etc. When he came into our home, he wore shoe covers to protect our flooring. He really cared about doing the best possible job for us. Paul said he's a "pre-fireman," making sure electrical service in homes is as safe as possible. In today's age, when do you ever hear of a company not only stating it, but demonstrating it throughout the service call in so many ways? We have now located our lifetime electrician!
We thought you would want to know our feedback on this outstanding company!
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