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Some Easy Ways to Save Money


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 included.

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 to you.

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 too.

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.

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