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      Lowering your utility bills by using every day items

      How can you save money on your utility bills using every day items?

      You may think you can't, but an Arizona family dubbed America's Cheapest Family knows you can.

      Steve Economides said lowering your utility bills is easy.

      "We'll start real simple- a programmable thermostat. Basically you can save about 10 to 20 percent by having this thing think for you, Arizona resident Steve Economides said.

      Before you do this, you may need to consult your power company for the off-peak rate plan that works best for your household.

      Here's another idea that might help.

      "Now I did something real crazy. I combined this (thermostat) with a timer. So I saved about 25 percent this summer, Economides said.

      Steve also protects his house from the hot rays of the sun.

      "For people who have flat roofs, make sure your roof is coated. It dropped our utility bill about 10 percent by painting it white, we had a beige roof before, Economides said.

      He said they planted shade trees and they used window coverings to try to keep the heat out.

      Steve also cuts back on water. He found that with five kids long showers add up fast.

      So we set a timer, especially for teens, for 10 minutes or so and we only had to turn the water off once, Economides said.

      Steve recommends one last tip, that is to put a bottle of water in your toilet.

      "It displaces the water so every flush you're using 32 ounces less and you still have enough head pressure to flush the toilet, Economides.

      The most money America TMs Cheapest Family has ever spent on their monthly utility bill was about $290, in the heat of the summer.

      If you know of any other ways to help lower the price of your utility bills please tell us.