Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ways to save money!

As You Shop:

*Give your cart a second look

Before you head to the checkout line, look through the items in your cart to determine whether or not there are a few impulse items in your cart that you can discard. (You know, the candy bars, high priced make-up, the extra toy for your niece that you thought you'd get just because..) Cutting back even $5 a week can really add up!

*Bring a Calculator

Use a calculator to determine the best deal. Figure out the price per can of soda, the price of diapers per diaper. Don't always assume that the bigger package is always the better deal.

*Don't shop hungry!

This is a big no-no. When you're hungry everything sounds good, try to eat before you shop and possibly even chew a piece of gum or sip on a drink with a straw to keep cravings at bay. This will lower your chance of impulse shopping!

*Compare prices

Call your stores ahead of time, look over weekly ads and search online for the best prices before you head out. This can save you from making unnecessary trips and gas money!

*Make a list

If you have a list to follow, you'll be much less likely to impulse shop. A list will help keep you on track when you "just know there's something you're forgetting but you can't quite put your finger on what that item is."

When you have free time:

*Examine your bills

You can likely decrease your cellphone bill by dropping your storage data by 2GB if you don't use as much as you thought you might on your unlimited data plan. Call each utility about your bill and see if you can reduce the amount you are paying. (Hint:sometimes speaking with the cancellation department will bring you better luck) Eliminate all of the channels you don't watch on your cable/satellite plan. Call the phone company and see if you are eligible for any additional discounts. We receive 10% off because I'm a student!

*Research competing car insurance companies

Compare costs online or call an agent to see if you may qualify for new discounts. Try calling 3 different companies and letting your current agent know that other companies are offering lower payments. (Hint: Sometimes raising the deductible up the next level can really make a huge difference)


With gas prices rising, it's no secret that a lot of our spending money is going towards gas. Use your car only for trips that are further than a mile when necessary. We also try to leave only every other day, at most. If you eliminate a few trips a week, not only will you spend less on gas, but you're less likely to make an impulse stop at a store. When you're stopping at a store every night, you're much more likely to end up spending $20 or more at a stop that you intended to only purchase milk!

*Make your car appointments on time

Check out your car's manual to determine suggested maintenance dates and schedule them in advance for the whole year. This will help avoid expensive repairs, plus properly inflated tires and regular oil changes can save you up to $100 a year in gas!

*Consider banking for less

Call your bank and ask about switching to a free checking account that includes no minimum balance. If your bank doesn't offer those options, consider signing up for a free, interest-bearing checking account at an online bank such as ING.

*Cancel overdraft protection

Overdraft fees average almost $27. To avoid that trap, track your spending or even contact your bank. My bank offers the option to decline payment if you use your debit card for an amount higher than the amount of money you have in your checking account!

*Use only the ATM at your bank

Using an ATM that doesn't belong to your bank can cost up to $4 per transaction (almost $200 a year if you withdraw funds at least once a week!)

*Look for "found money"

Found money is money that belongs to you, that you never knew existed. It only takes a few moments to check for missing money to find out if you have any unclaimed accounts, refunds or uncashed checks in your name. Try it out here!

Around the house:

*Install a dimmer switch

Installing dimmer switches could save you hundreds of dollars in electricity costs!

*Check for drips

Turn off all water fixtures in your house and check the water meter-if the flow indicator rotates, you have a leak! You can waste gallons of water a day from even the smallest leak.

*Change the furnace filter

This is a project that can save on repairs by allowing your furnace to run more efficiently, as well as heating and cooling costs!

*Seal drafts

Purchase draft stops to slide under doors and windows and possibly even consider insulating your attic door. These projects will end up paying for themselves in a matter of months. estimates that proper insulation could possibly cut heating and cooling costs by 20%!

*Turn off lights and electronics

This seems like such an easy task, but everyone forgets to turn off lights or unplug appliances when they're finished using them. Use sticky notes to remind yourself to close the blinds, turn off lights and water and to unplug as many electronics as possible at the end of the night or when you leave the house.

*Make your own home cleaning products

See my post here on ways to create your own home cleaning products. Today's home cleaning products, including detergents are powerful and can be hard on clothing and skin.

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