50 Ways to Save Money

By | April 14, 2006

The key to finding ways is to be creative and to think about what works for you!

50 Ways To Save Money

Fifty money saving tips you can use everyday on everything from long distance service to laundry.

Make certain that any new appliances you purchase, especially air conditioners and furnaces, are energy-efficient to save on electricity.

Enrolling in load management programs and off-hour rate programs offered by your electric utility may save you up to $100 a year in electricity costs.
At least once a year review your phone bills for the previous three months to see what local, local toll, long distance, and international calls you normally make. Call several phone companies, including wireless companies, to find an inexpensive calling plan that meets your needs.
If you make very few toll or long distance calls, avoid calling plans with monthly fees or minimums.
Check your phone bill to see if you have optional calling services you don’t use. Dropping one option could save up to $40 a year.

Compare per minute rates and surcharges for different prepaid phone cards and calling card plans to find the one that saves you the most money.
Dial your long distance calls directly instead of using the operator.
If you use a wireless phone, make sure your wireless calling plan covers the calls you typically make.
Shop at the lower-priced food stores. Convenience and specialty stores often charge the highest prices.
Compare price-per-ounce or other unit prices on shelf labels. Stock up on those items with low per-unit costs.
Ask your physician and pharmacist for generic drugs whenever appropriate.
Since pharmacies may charge widely different prices for the same medicine, call several.
When taking a drug for a long time, consider calling mail-order or online pharmacies, which often charge lower prices.
Select a checking account with a little or no minimum balance requirement that you can meet.
Banking institutions often will drop or lower checking fees if paychecks are directly deposited by your employer
To earn the highest return on savings with little or no risk, consider certificates of deposit (CDs) or U.S. Savings Bonds (Series I or EE).
Once you select a type of savings or investment product, compare rates and fees offered by different institutions. These rates can vary a lot and, over time, can significantly affect interest earnings.
If you have significant savings earning a low interest rate, consider making a large down payment or even paying for the car in cash. This could save you as much as several thousand dollars in finance charges.
Shop for the cheapest loan. Contact several banks, your credit union, and the auto manufacturer’s own finance company to find rates.
Although your monthly payment may be higher, you can save in interest charges by shopping for the shortest-term mortgage you can afford.
Shop for the lowest-rate mortgage with the fewest points. On a 15-year $100,000 fixed-rate mortgage, just lowering the APR from 7% to 6.5% can save you more than $5,000 in interest charges, and paying two points instead of three would save you an additional $1,000.
Be aware that the interest rate on most adjustable rate mortgage loans can vary a great deal over the lifetime of the mortgage. An increase of several percentage points might raise payments by hundreds of dollars per month.
Consider refinancing your mortgage if you can get a rate that is at least one percentage point lower than your existing mortgage rate and plan to keep the new mortgage for several years or more.
Be cautious in taking out home equity loans. The loans reduce or may even eliminate the equity that you have built up in your home.
You may lower the price of a round trip air fare by as much as two-thirds by making certain your trip includes a Saturday evening stay over, and by purchasing the ticket in advance.
To make certain you have a cheap fare, even if you use a travel agent, contact all the airlines that fly where you want to go and ask what the lowest fare to your destination is.
Be flexible, if possible. Consider using low fare carriers or alternative airports and keep an eye out for fare wars.
Since car rental rates can vary greatly, shop around for the best basic rates. Ask about any additional charges (extra driver, gas, drop-off fees) and special offers.
Rental car companies offer various insurance and waiver options. Check with your automobile insurance agent and credit card company in advance to avoid duplicating any coverage you may already have.
Compare gas prices at different stations, pump gas yourself, and using the lowest-octane called for in your owner’s manual.
You can save up to $100 a year on gas by keeping your engine tuned and your tires inflated to their proper pressure.
Trade things you don’t want with friends, neighbors, relatives.
Restrict family between-meal snacks to inexpensive and healthful in-season fruit and vegetables, home-popped corn, raisins, etc.
Become a “brown bagger”. Take your lunch to work.
Paper towels are expensive. Use washable cloth dish towels instead.
Organize a baby-sitting club with friends & neighbors. Take turns.

Think in terms of doing it yourself rather than hiring someone to do it, such as home repairs, painting, garden work, cutting the lawn, etc.

Garage sales and flea markets are excellent for both selling and buying.
Buy things out of season for big savings, such as after Christmas.
Learn about auto upkeep and how to do minor repairs yourself.
Use coupons for routine purchases.
Plan meals in advance of your shopping trip, then make a shopping list and stick to it.
Soft drinks can really take the fizz out of your wallet! Save over $200 a year by avoiding single drink purchases at vending machines, convenience stores and fast-food restaurants.
Use the public library to borrow CDs, movies, and magazines instead of buying them.
Attend free events in the area rather than pay. During the summer, there are often free outdoor concerts and ice skating in the winter.
Trade in your health club membership for a home workout or jog.
Order water with meals out and prevent impulse eating out by having a snack before you go.
For children’s immunizations, use free clinics and research services offered by the health department.

Find out when local grocery stores and drug stores are offering free flu shots and health screenings.
Consider getting a roommate to share housing costs.
Hang clothes on a clothesline instead of using a dryer.

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