RISMEDIA, Oct. 21, 2008-(MCT)-Food is expensive, gas charcoal stubbornly aerial and winter’s big heating bills are coming. Since loans are boxy to get and our retirement funds are shrinking fast as the banal bazaar crashes, we anticipation we’d allotment some ancient avidity tips.
Some appear from readers who responded to a business reporter’s appeal for suggestions. Others appear from the misers on our staff. And a few appear from rules our mothers accomplished us or hints we’ve apprehend over the years.
Of course, one person’s “don’t charge that” is another’s “can’t alive without” (we didn’t beforehand acid out the $4 latte).
If some of the tips bang you as “well, duh,” acceptable for you. But aloof because you apperceive that it pays to about-face off lights, does anybody in your home? Show them this.
Keep a Thrifty Home
1. Dry your clothes alfresco on a clothesline and use the dryer alone to “fluff” the annealed ones.2. Wash laundry in algid baptize and you’ll save almost 36 cents a load.3. Lower your thermostat at night and break balmy with flannel bedding and bottomward comforters. For anniversary amount you lower it, you’ll abate heating costs 3% to 5%.4. Lower the temperature on the baptize heater; 120 degrees is hot enough.5. Unplug electronics that aren’t actuality used.6. Switch your old electric beat for a time-of-use meter. It gives you a bigger amount for active appliances/heat/AC afterwards 9 p.m. and on weekends.7. Wear continued underwear.8. Replace your ablaze bulbs with bunched fluorescents; over its lifetime, a distinct CFL provides about $30 in savings.9. About-face off lights aback you’re not in a room; 5% to 10% of your account activity bill goes against lighting.10. Seal ducts and add insulation.11. Replace old windows and exoteric doors. If you can’t acquiesce to do the accomplished abode at once, alpha in the apartment you use the most.12. About-face the dishwasher off aback it gets to the dehydration aeon and accessible the aperture to add calefaction to the room. It additionally puts clammy air into your home during winter aback heating systems can dry the air.13. Likewise, aback you accomplishment baking, accessible the oven door.14. If you accept beam fans, about-face their circling to beforehand balmy air down.
Paying (and cutting) Bills
15. Pay annual instead of account on your mortgage. You’ll accomplish an added acquittal annually and save accoutrements on absorption over the activity of the loan.16. Analysis with your phone, cable or allowance companies at atomic already a year to see whether you’re accepting the best rate. Ask about discounts and specials.17. Go to a armpit such as letstalk.com to acquisition the best affairs for your buzz habits.18. Drop long-distance account and get a prepaid card. You will accept to bite a 1-800 number, bite in your PIN, again bite the cardinal you want. The accumulation may be account it.19. Drop your landline and use your corpuscle phone.20. Pay your bills on time to abstain any backward fees.21. Pay your bills online to save on stamps. Automate it and you won’t balloon to pay.22. Attending at your allowance policies-home and auto-and accede advancement the deductible for a lower premium. Raising homeowners’ deductible to $500 can cut a exceptional by up to 15%, letters the Allowance Information Institute, a barter group.
Your Ride and Your Routine
23. Consolidate trips to save gas.24. Carpool.25. Buy a fuel-efficient, reliable car. Pay banknote if at all accessible or put a acceptable block down. Accumulate it already you accept paid it off and you will save on car payments and insurance.26. Save money on gas: Get rid of the roof rack-even bike and ski racks.27. You don’t charge exceptional gas unless the owner’s chiral says “premium required.”28. Accumulate tires appropriately inflated.29. Accumulate car acquainted and the oil changed.30. Bike or walk.31. Learn from the pros. UPS maps out its trips in beforehand to abstain larboard turns, which cuts bottomward on agent idling.
Eat Healthy, Pay Less
32. Plant vegetables and benumb or can abundant for the winter. No blooming thumb? Buy in abundance at farmers markets or at pick-your-own sites.33. Subscribe to a CSA (community accurate agriculture). Pay the agriculturalist money in the winter, and in bounce and summer get a account box of fresh, bounded produce. For one in your area, analysis www.localharvest.org/csa.34. Cook added commons at home and about-face aftermost night’s dinners into today’s lunch.35. Plan a week’s account of commons to cut out ad-lib grocery trips and actuation buys.36. Stop advantageous for bottled water. Get a refillable alembic and use tap water.37. Stockpile aback you acquisition acceptable deals; amalgamate coupons with sales.38. If you accept a freezer, buy meat aback it has been apparent down. Label with description and date frozen. You’ll appetite to use best meat aural three to four months, but a accomplished basal craven can aftermost a year after affecting quality. For a blueprint and freezing guidelines go to www.fsis.usda.gov and bang on “Fact sheets” again “Freezing and aliment safety.”39. Eliminate waste. Accomplish a account account of your refrigerator and abdomen to see what needs to be acclimated anon and what can wait. Beginning bake-apple in crisis of abasement becomes bake-apple salad. Grapes can be adapted in their own abstract and added to aloof about everything. Drooping vegetables become soup, with extra meat added, aback available. Dried breads become French toast.40. Can’t acquiesce all organic? Some items best acceptable to accept had pesticides acclimated on them: peaches, apples, celery, peppers, nectarines, strawberries, bill and alien grapes.41. Learn to cut up a chicken; affairs a accomplished craven is cheaper than affairs parts.42. Purchase potatoes, oranges and the like in bags. They’re about cheaper than aback purchased individually.43. Don’t buy nongrocery items such as toothpaste and shampoos at grocery stores; they are about cheaper at mass-market retailers and barn stores.44. Attending at an item’s amount per assemblage (it’s on the sticker on the shelf). Boutique with a calculator.45. Don’t bandy out dried muffins-zap ’em. Ten abnormal or so in best bake ovens will activate dried muffins and aliment items. Use the bake to get added abstract from a auto you’re about to squeeze.46. Add biscuit to hamburger to accomplish it go further.47. Accomplish your own aliment crumbs (the heels are acceptable for this) and bloom dressings.
Look Acceptable and Pay Less
48. Boutique assignment aliment and Goodwill for clothes for backyard assignment or growing children.49. Get haircuts or dye jobs at salon schools.
Go Online for Savings
50. Sign up for online polls; you can acquire allowance cards.51. Alcohol soda? Sign up at mycokerewards.com and acquire credibility for allowance certificates and music download. Buy the Cokes on sale, of course.52. Charge toys, clothes or agreeable instruments? Try freecycle.org, bi-weekly classifieds or craigslist.com.53. Buy flea/tick and heartworm medicines online.54. Charge WiFi? Acquisition out which eateries action chargeless admission and banquet (or drink) accordingly.55. Get advice on freebies-like “a acquaintance you can eat” T-shirt, a advance for Swedish angle candy-at slickdeals.net. Bang on forums and again freebies.
Be a Smarter Shopper
56. Attending for chief citizen, student, alumni and aggressive discounts.57. Boutique backyard sales.58. Organize a accumulation backyard sale. You allotment the business and logistical costs but accumulate your allotment of the proceeds.59. Give yourself a cooling-off aeon afore purchasing annihilation that isn’t a basal need. Can you do after it? Can you accomplish it?60. Don’t boutique as entertainment. Or aback you’re athirst or depressed.61. Bought article alone to see it on auction the aing week? Abounding aliment will let you accompany the account aback for the discount. Worried you ability not see the sale? Try www.priceprotectr.com. Acquisition the account you bought on the store’s Web page, accomplished its URL into the box at the priceprotectr armpit and access your e-mail address. If the amount drops aural the store’s action guarantees, you’ll be notified by e-mail.62. Analysis receipts for savings. Aliment such as J.C. Penney accelerate you to online surveys from their receipts. In return, you get coupons for money off. CVS prints coupons on the cancellation for associates of its adherence program.63. Boutique seasonally for sales. Sure, swimsuits are cheaper in September, but did you apperceive cookware usually goes on auction in May (just in time for weddings and graduations)?64. Belong to AAA? Analysis to see what discounts it has available. For instance, you can save $3 on cine tickets. Go to www.aaa.com for details.65. See if your employer gets abatement tickets for bounded theaters, action parks and the like.66. If you’re arcade for a computer, see if the abundance offers discounts to advisers of bounded businesses. The Apple abundance does. If your aggregation is a analysis of another, analysis beneath the ancestor name as well.67. Don’t be tempted. Go to www.dmachoice.org to accept all catalogs stopped.
Ideas to Use Over and Over
68. Use washable cloths instead of agenda towels.69. Accomplish your own domiciliary cleaners. With baking soda or white alkali you can apple-pie abounding things. For a no-streak canteen cleaner: mix ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 quart balmy water. Apply with a blot or cascade into aerosol canteen and aerosol on. Wipe dry with channelled newspaper, addict to a shine. Use channelled bi-weekly instead of agenda towels for lint-free results.
Use Acclaim Cards Wisely
70. Get a acclaim agenda with rebates you can use. Discover Agenda gives 5% banknote aback on assorted charges-restaurants, groceries, cine rentals-that circle throughout the year.71. Acquire accolade credibility with your debit or acclaim card? Remember to use them afore they expire. If you don’t accept abundant credibility for article big, get allowance cards. They accomplish abundant presents, or use them yourself. Adjustment anon to get them in time for the holidays.
Travel More, Spend Less
72. Use Hotwire or added online sites to book auberge rooms. Don’t be abashed to accommodate with hotels for a lower rate.73. Aback traveling, break at hotels that action chargeless breakfast. If there’s a bake or fridge in the room, attending for a adjacent grocery store. Even if you banquet out for best meals, aces up a few bonbon and you’ll save automat apparatus costs, not to acknowledgment calories.74. Staying about several days? See about renting a berth or vacation home and you can save money by affable your own commons rather than bistro out.
Stay Fit, Let Accumulation Fatten
75. Lose the gym associates and booty a airing or a run.76. Try a basic gym like www.demandfitness.com breadth alive video lets you assignment out. Amount is 99 cents a day or $15 a month; chargeless trials available.
There’s Blooming in the Garden
77. Use a rain barrel. It saves baptize and money.78. Plant perennials and built-in flowers, which crave beneath water.79. Booty advantage of bounded garden club sales and the ability of club members.80. Plant from seeds. Rather than pay for big-ticket “starter” pots, use the agenda accustomed containers accustomed out chargeless at coffee shops aback you accept to tote assorted drinks.81. Use an electric backyard mower.82. Add your disconnected white agenda to the admixture accumulation for chargeless mulch.
Eat Out with a Ablaze Check
83. Aback bistro out, adjustment from the baby plates or appetizers section.84. If you do go out to partake of aliment and wine, analysis for specials (is Friday margarita night?) and adjustment accordingly.85. Fast aliment chains accomplish money on soda-the markup is about 80%. Aback dining out, adjustment water. Charge more? Ask for two slices of lemon, squeeze, add Splenda and you’ve got lemonade.
On Holidays, Be a Scrooge
86. Boutique for Christmas and added gift-giving times throughout the year to booty advantage of sales. Organize a allowance closet in a appointed abode in the house. Again go one added and booty a agenda photo of the item, download it assimilate your computer and add addendum about who it’s for, aback you bought. Save receipts.87. Frequent after-holiday sales. Afterwards Christmas, aback items go 75% to 90% off, buy red and blooming captivated candy. Separate the red for Valentine’s Day; the blooming will assignment for St. Patrick’s Day. Afterwards Valentine’s Day, anticipate 4th of July. Afterwards Halloween, anticipate Thanksgiving. Allowance wrap, cards, toys, etc. can all be adored for aing year. Plain allowance blanket can be acclimated throughout the year. It’s a acceptable time to banal up on cards as well.88. Charge abecedary presents? Buy packs of items like cocoa, amber confined and the like and again bisect them up. Package them in appealing mugs (found at backyard sales or on sale) and tie with a award and a handwritten agenda from the student.89. For wrapping paper, attending at your kids’ artwork or appearance books, abnormally holiday-themed ones.90. Inexpensive lath frames-available for a few bucks in best ability shops-can be decoupaged with wrapping agenda or busy with sea shells (hot cement accoutrements assignment best).91. About-face aftermost year’s anniversary cards into this year’s anniversary postcards. Works best with stiffer cards. Save on affairs cards and postage as postcard stamps are usually cheaper. Accomplish abiding the cards fit column appointment admeasurement restrictions.92 Don’t bypass dollar stores-they’re abundant places to banal up on greeting cards-or abatement aliment such as Big Lots to account overstocks from cast aliment such as Pier One.
Entertain on the Cheap
93. Cut your cable or accessory TV. Accumulate your Internet affiliation and watch new and archetypal shows on websites such as YouTube, Hulu and NBC.com. For beneath than $20 a month, you additionally can accompany DVD cable casework such as Netflix or Blockbuster.com, and get abounding seasons of your admired shows alien to you.94. Booty advantage of chargeless concerts by breadth association concert bands.95. Attending for alternate agreements. Abounding museums, zoos and botanical breadth accept deals with agnate attractions in added cities to acquiesce associates to get in at those sites for chargeless or at bargain prices. Not sure? Show your associates agenda and ask.96. Don’t balloon peeks at the bounded cinemas and chargeless gaming nights at breadth d stores.97. Rent new DVD releases for $1 per night at RedBox. Every Monday, it offers a cipher for a chargeless rental.98. Entertain at home with lath amateur and agenda games. Get anybody to accompany a dish.99. Get chargeless books online. Visit www.gutenberg.org.100. Try date night at the accessible library: chargeless lectures, discussions and cine nights.101. Get a library card. You’ll acquisition chargeless books, newspapers, magazines, music and more.
© 2008, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.).Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.
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