Some Easy Ways to Save Money
By Steve Gillman
This is one more in our continuing series of posts on how
to spend less for most of the things you buy in life. These easy
ways to save money are courtesy of the website http://www.everywaytosavemoney.com.
General Shopping - Write down what you want before
going shopping. This applies to the big things too, not just
groceries. If an ice maker isn't on the list of what you want
in a refrigerator, you're less likely to be sold the more expensive
model that has one.
Landscaping - To save money on the yard, try using
natural materials you can collect, like rocks or interesting
pieces of driftwood. You can also thin thick flower beds and
plant the flowers removed elsewhere instead of buying new ones.
Used Cars - If you know what the "bluebook"
value of a car is, you aren't likely to overpay. Also, if you
have the classifieds with you, with three ads for the same model
selling for much less, you can show that to the seller.
Appliances - Clean filters on air conditioners for
a longer life. Make sure the washing machine is level. "Walking"
can damage the wash barrel over time. Routinely check for problems
on appliances and correct them before they get expensive.
Art - Starving artists sales are a good way to get
real paintings at a steep discount. These events are usually
held in some hotel conference room, and you'll find real oil
paintings for $20 to $50, or under $100 with a good wooden frame
Car Maintenance - Watch for coupons. There are often
coupons for routine maintenance jobs, like oil changes, air conditioning
service, and tire rotation. You can often get an oil change for
half price during a promotion.
Clothing - Try closeout and wholesale stores. They
carry new clothes that are leftovers from other stores, factory-direct,
or with minor imperfections. We recently bought a dozen pairs
of socks for $1.99 at one of these stores.
Gifts - Try re-gifting. If you receive gifts that you
don't need nor want, set them aside to give away later. This
can save you the cost of a gift. Just be sure that the person
you give the gift to doesn't know the person who gave the gift
Mattresses - Buy an inflatable for company. If you
just need an occasional mattress for visitors, inflatables are
cheap and easy to store.
Restaurants - Use coupons. Many times restaurants will
put two-for-one promotional coupons in newspapers or mailings.
These are a great way to try a new restaurant and save money
Recreational Vehicles - Consider renting. Add costs
for the year (depreciation in value, gas, oil, equipment, maintenance,
repairs, licenses, insurance, etc). Divide by half the number
of days you will use the RV (because you'll never get to use
it as often as you think). This will give a cost-per-day figure.
For most people, this is way over $100. Hotels are usually cheaper,
so be sure you want to pay the extra for the lifestyle.
Winter Clothing - Buy in February, when stores are
trying to get rid of their winter clothing. Coats, for example,
are often 75% off.
Airfare - Try other airports. It might take two hours
to drive to a larger airport, but it could save you hundreds
of dollars. Search online for tickets from any airports within
a reasonable range.
Landscaping - Spread your flowers. Rather than buy
new flowers for the yard, you can dig up some from existing flower
beds and move them. Sometimes this thinning of the existing flowers
will also make them healthier.
Road Service - Skip the road service contract if your
car is relatively new. You will almost certainly spend more for
an emergency towing service (like AAA) than you would spend just
paying cash for the occasional problem.
Vacations - Look nearby first. When I lived in Michigan,
I was an hour from the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Interestingly, many people there had never been to the park,
even thought they had spent good money for vacations to far away
- and less interesting parks. Start by looking for the nearest
vacation spots that suit you. You'll save a lot of money on either
gasoline or plane tickets.
Carpet Cleaning - Ask if they will discount for just
doing the "traffic" areas. This means they won't move
anything, but just clean the visible areas (that's where the
dirt is anyhow). They will charge for the full square footage
of the room if you don't ask.
Movies - Look for discount theaters. When we lived
in Tucson we went to the movies on Tuesdays, at a theater which
charged just $1.50 per ticket. Most other people in town were
paying $8.75 a couple miles away. What were they getting by paying
five times as much? They got to see the movie six weeks earlier.
The movies didn't change in those six weeks, by the way, and
enough friends had seen them by then to let us know if they were
good or not.
Water - Adjust the ball-cock in the toilet to save
water. Some of these floats are made to be adjustable, others
can be simply bent downward to allow it to turn off with less
water in the tank. Test to see how much water you really need
for a decent flush.
Want more pages like this? See the index of pages on easy
ways to save.