Here's some tips to save money.
Target has their Red Card,
which saves you 5%
on just about everything (except prescriptions, which have their own
reward system). There's a credit card version, and a debit card version
tied to your checking. Target has very good prices on groceries,
although a limited selection.
back credit cards
are making a comeback. Chase, Capital One, Citi, and Discover are just
some of the banks that offer them. An extra 1% back (or more) is
nothing to sneeze at. CreditKarma.com
is an excellent site to understand your credit score. You can update
your credit score every day, without hurting your credit score. The
site will help you figure out how to improve your score. You can also
see what your odds are of getting approved on any given credit offer.
Some cards will have zero percent terms for the first year or so, which
use to pay off higher interest debt. The whole site is well laid
out. You can click on the "Credit Card" tab' then either "Cash Back" or "Balance Transfer" to find card offers.
Buy your next car through a credit union auto
buying service. You may save about $2,000 or more. This is meant to be a no hassle experience, with the
credit union acting on your behalf. You can see how good the pricing is
at Pentagon Federal's buying service
page . Remember, you'll need to meet the qualifications to join any
particular credit union, so you'll need to look around to find one that
you can join. But there's usually one based on where you live or work,
such as Fairfax County Federal Credit Union for folks that live in that
county. You can find a CU here.
canceling a gym membership. You can ride a bike, save gas, and
run errands all at once. Many bike shops have
good used bikes. Little carts an saddle bags are available to carry
groceries and stuff. There's a lot of electric bikes
How 'bout a
neighborhood yard sale?
window film on a bedroom window (and pulling drapes during the day)
can keep a bedroom from getting so warm by bedtime. Window film is
fairly inexpensive, and can be found at home improvement stores. Then
you won't have to run up such a big cooling bill.
How much do you
spend on lawn care? Isn't maintaining a perfect lawn a big
pain? Kids don't even play in their yard anymore. Why not make your
yard a low maintenance one. If you do it right, your home will
be cooler and less expensive to run the A/C in the summer.
Changing your car's
air filter and your home's furnace filter can end up saving you
money in reduced energy costs.
like BJ's and Costco can save you a lot. And if you haven't
checked out Target, their pricing is similar to Wal-Mart; and they have
a pretty good selection of groceries at very good prices.
If you have a PC
that isn't working you can probably install Linux, which is
free, on it. You can download a free install disc, and "Live" CD or DVD
discs let you boot from the disk before you install. Or just boot each
time from the optical disk. Linux Mint is a a good choice for
beginners, and Ubuntu is also excellent.
A used PC
may suit your needs. You should be able to find a used desktop for
about $100 and a used laptop for about $200. Try to ascertain the
condition of the battery on a used laptop; a lot of times they are
fine, but if it's failing, it might cost $80-100 to replace. Try
Computer Warehouse or Cedar PC for good values and knowledgeable advice.
You may want to turn
your water heater back to a setting of about 120 degrees. Lots of
people wash most of their clothes in cold water. Your dishwasher may
have a setting to let it heat the water, rather than have the water
heater heat 30-80 gallons of water. You can crack the door open to let
dishes dry, instead of using electricity to dry them in the dishwasher.
Instead of buying
new, hardback books, you can use the library. Or you can get an
e-book reader; new book releases are
usually much less this way than buying the actual book. Or, you can
peruse local used book stores.
often offer hair cuts for about 10 bucks. Usually, students are
supervised by an instructor.
You may be able
to save a lot of your cable bill. Netflix is pretty flexible;
you can watch a bunch of movies one month, then put your membership on
hold for a while. Then you can reactivate for one month and watch a
bunch more movies. Redbox lets you borrow a DVD for one dollar
for one night, so that's a good option, too. If you're not familiar
with it, there's some pretty good TV shows you can watch on your PC
using sites like Hulu.
Instead of being
a multiple car family, you might be able to get by with one less car.
Zipcar lets you use a car by the hour. So you could run all
your errands on the weekend with a Zipcar. When you add up car
insurance, maintenance, and if you car is a gas guzzler, the cost of
fuel, a little Zipcar might be a charm.
Consumers' Checkbook can save you a ton on eyeglasses,
hearing aids, home and car repairs, etc.
If you learn to cook just five healthy,
affordable meals, you could save a lot over eating out, or buying
expensive frozen dinners. and if you're not used to cooking, you might
find it's really a lot of fun.
Swapping time can be fun and rewarding.
You might fix a friend's PC and they cook you a ton of food. Or mend
some clothes. Or cut your grass. Or help you clean out junk out of your
attic. Or painting. Or grooming your friends cat or dog.
Similarly, why not trade stuff you no
longer need with some of your best friends? They get your old DVD
player, you get their extra chair. Or , whatever.
Here's great money saving tips for
your car from Curry's Auto Service.
Some libraries let you borrow a Kill-a-Watt.
These measure how much electricity a device uses. It's usually
surprising when you start figuring out how much some gadgets cost you
to run in a year's time.
On that note, cable boxes are usually huge
energy hogs. Feel how warm they are, 24 hours a day. You can
probably get basic cable channels bypassing the box. And you can return
the box and not have to pay the monthly box fee. For a second or third
set, this might work out fine. According to
this, some boxes use more electricity than a refrigerator.
When you replace car tires, low rolling
resistance tires can save 3-4 percent on fuel over regular tires.
If you have two
refrigerators running, think about all the electricity that old
monster is using. You can stop using it, but keep it and turn it on for
special times of year, like Super Bowl Sunday.
Visit your local farmer's markets. Find
one at localharvest.org.
You can buy in bulk (and generally save
food co-ops (scroll down in page).
Find local stores' sale flyers online.
on simple living
resources to help start a veggie garden at Organic
Matters Earth Institute start has discussion circles to share ideas