Money Saving Tips

money saving tips - daily emailThe following money savings tips all come from the daily, free Inspired Savings newsletter. These money saving tips are meant to help you gain control over your life and your personal finances one day at a time. After all, money saving tips don’t have to be huge because small savings add up — and they help establish healthy financial habits. You don’t need to follow all of these easy ways to save money, but trying a few of these money saving tips can be a great start.

  1. Many people save hundreds of dollars by ordering their eyeglasses online. If you want to try it, ask your optometrist to record your PD (the distance between your pupils) and, if you need bifocals, ask for that measurement as well. Some online sites let you upload your picture and see how the glasses will look on your face. It’s probably best if you already know the style and type of lenses that work best for you. You can try it out by ordering a very inexpensive pair first to see if it works for you. Make sure you can get a refund if you’re not satisfied.
  2. Weigh prepackaged fruits & veggies when shopping. You can get extra for free!
  3. It’s not just about price, read labels so you know what you’re getting. Containers of juice, boxes of cereal, cans of soup or packages of ice cream may look the same but the one that costs a few cents less may have corn syrup, fillers and artificial everything. You’re not really saving if you’re not getting quality food. Also check how much is in the container and the unit price. Sometimes the same size boxes will have different weights or a smaller container may actually have more than a larger one.
  4. This might take 30-60 minutes to check out, but if you qualify it could mean huge savings. You may qualify for insurance discounts if you:
    1. Had no at-fault accidents or moving violations in the past 3-5 years.
    2. Drive less than 7500 miles a year.
    3. Drive differently by using a carpool or are now retired.
    4. Take a defensive driving course if you’re over 55 or a driver’s ed class if you’re under 25.
    5. Own several cars and insure them with one insurer.
    6. Use the same insurer to insure your car, home, boat, motorcycle, life, rental, etc.
  5. More and more stores are offering discounts to seniors (which may start as young as 55) and to the military. Always ask—many times they do not advertise it but will happily tell you and honor their policy. Take a minute to Google “senior discounts” and “military discounts” to check out if your favorite stores, restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues, etc. are on the list.
  6. TURN THE TV OFF! Leaving the television on is the number one electricity waster in the world! Many homes have multiple televisions and they are left on all day. When no one is watching and when you go to sleep at night, turn off the TV(s). On average, it costs three cents an hour to run your TV. If two TVs are running ten hours a day, that’s $.60/day or $218 a year.
  7. The most common cause of financial stress is trauma like: losing a job, health problems, death or illness of a loved one, abuse, relocation and unexpected expenses. Common responses are denial, feeling overwhelmed and feeling hopeless. Dealing with money is the last thing most people want to do. This can make an already bad situation much worse with dire long-term consequences. If you cannot face paying bills, ask someone to help you do this to get you through it. If you know someone having a terrible time, offer to help them stay on top of paying their bills or contacting lenders if necessary to work out a payment agreement.
  8. What riders do you have on your life insurance? Riders, such as waiver of premiums, accidental death benefits, and additional purchase options, are costly and are often not worth the extra money. Make sure whatever riders you do have still make sense. We discovered we were paying extra for expensive cameras we no longer owned.
  9. Service your furnace every two years and change the filters as recommended. Those two steps can cut costs by 10% plus it may prevent a bigger and more expensive problem later on. And if you have window air conditioners, cover them in the winter for more savings on your heating bill.
  10. List everything that you are currently spending money on. Go through your bank statements and your credit card bills to be sure you include everything. Then carefully consider each item starting with the most expensive ones. If you have a timeshare you never use, or pay rent to store items that have little value to you, or otherwise spend money for no good reason other than that’s what you’ve always done, learn from that and determine how to move on. Then look at other expenses and consider where you can cut back or minimize.
  11. Save energy and wear and tear on your hardware by shutting down your computer at night. You’ll save an average of $90 of electricity a year.
  12. Although the color of olive oil is not an indicator of quality, check to be sure you are buying real olive oil. “Extra virgin” labels are usually pure olive oil but when “pure”, “light” oil, “olive oil” or “olive pomace oil” are on the label it usually indicates a mixture other oils (such as canola) or having undergone a chemical process. Also, don’t pay extra for “first pressed” or “cold pressed”. True extra virgin oil only comes from the first processing and most olive oils now are not pressed. (Tom Mueller, Extra Virginity: The sublime and scandalous world of olive oil)
  13. Before buying something on credit or getting a loan, consider the wait and save strategy. Determine how much will it actually cost you with interest and what the monthly payment will be. If it’s something you want but don’t absolutely need immediately, take the amount of money you would be paying monthly if you took out a loan or bought it on credit and put it in a separate account to save up until you can pay cash for the item. You may find that by the time you can afford it, you really don’t want or need it any more, and you can use that money toward something with more lasting value. Or you will be able to pay cash and avoid paying interest.
  14. Reduce your taxes by taking all the deductions you are entitled to take. Here are a few that are frequently overlooked:
    1. Deduct state sales tax including taxes on vehicles, boats and airplanes. (Probably not eligible if deducting state income tax.)
    2. If your mutual funds dividends are automatically reinvested, that should be subtracted from your taxable capital gains to avoid double taxation.
    3. Deduct out-of-pocket contributions to charities like buying food for a soup kitchen, stamps or supplies for a mailing campaign, mileage when driving for a non-profit. Keep your receipts and, if it’s more than $250, you’ll need a letter from the charity acknowledging the service you provided.
  15. When the weather turns cold, set your ceiling fan to reverse, put it on low and let it run. Since hot air rises it will help the warmer air circulate to keep you more comfortable without setting the thermostat higher. This is particularly efficient if you have high ceilings.
  16. Doesn’t it sound like fun to get a great facial or use one of the very expensive exfoliating systems that sound so exotic? Don’t despair. You can do this yourself for just a few dollars. Simply buy a baby hairbrush and use a facial cleanser to brush your face to stimulate blood flow and remove dead cells without any irritation. Inexpensive cleansers are available in drug stores and do a great job. Look for one that is a soap-free, oil-free liquid. It will lather away dirt, makeup and oil without leaving the skin so dry.
  17. Check your car and life insurance policies to see if you can save money by paying quarterly or semi-annually instead of annually.
  18. You can still have filtered water bottles to go. Trent Hamm of the Simple Dollar recommends Katadyn Exstream Personal Water Bottle Purifier as one example. You can fill it from any water tap and the internal filtering device will eliminate viruses and bacteria. Price: $39.95 + $32.95 cartridge refills. Time to Break Even: 180 days if you use it daily.
  19. Did you buy a big ticket item on an introductory credit card with 0% interest? After the introductory time period these cards usually jump up to very high interest rates. Be sure to pay off the item before that happens or consider switching it to another card with lower rates. Even better, save up for the item and pay cash to avoid extra charges.
  20. Save on postage when shipping packages. Go to usps.com to order free flat rate priority shipping boxes, envelopes and more. Flat rate boxes come in different sizes and each size costs the same regardless of weight. When you go online and print out the label with the barcode you actually are charged less than if you went to the post office. Your carrier will also drop off your order and pick up your packages at no extra cost. Saves gas, time, energy and money.
  21. How much do your hobbies cost? Hobbies are a great way to learn new things and stay actively engaged in a rewarding activity. However, if you have to scrimp to pay the bills and are not saving for the future, look to see how you can scale back your hobby related expenses without sacrificing the skills or camaraderie. If you’re starting a hobby, consider all the costs involved including those for clothes, travel, equipment, training and potential fees before you make a commitment.
  22. If you’re thinking of joining a gym, start with a month-to-month membership to make sure you will stick with it. Don’t sign a year’s agreement to have money automatically deducted from your account. Those agreements can be very difficult to stop even if you decide you aren’t using your membership.
  23. Preheating an oven isn’t necessary for slow cooking casseroles. When you do preheat it for baking, don’t let the oven sit empty for longer than necessary. Use the light instead of opening the oven door to check on food. It loses 25% of its heat every time the door is opened.
  24. Credit card companies can charge a lot of different fees. If you are a customer in good standing, try calling to politely ask to have a fee waived if you don’t feel it is justified. It’s not unusual for companies to waive fees once a year for a valued client. They want to keep your business!
  25. Always comparison shop for big items like major appliances, furniture, cars, lawnmowers and home renovations. Ask questions to be sure you are comparing the same features, warranties, delivery, set-up costs, etc. Don’t hesitate to call back when you have more questions.
  26. Use eggshell halves to start tomato and other plants. You’ll save on buying the little peat starter pots and you can plant them directly into the ground. The bonus? Your plants get an extra calcium boost! And mix eggshells into your garden. They add nutrients and help keep slugs away! (Jeff Yeager, Don’t Throw That Away)
  27. What do you spend money on without thinking twice? Smoking? Coffee? Snow globes or funny cards? Lottery tickets? Gifts? Chocolate? Eating out? Are you making an intentional choice or doing it out of habit? When you look back over the past six months are you glad that you spent your money the way you did? If the answer is “no” guesstimate how much it has cost you and how you could choose to spend or save that money going forward. Is it worth it to make the choice to spend more intentionally? If so, you can do it!
  28. Take the elevator in department stores. If you take the escalator, you see more items displayed. Consequently, many interesting things will catch your eye as you scan the floor and you’ll be tempted to buy more.
  29. Post-holiday chocolates are typically drastically discounted. Chocolates don’t go bad, so this is an opportunity to buy them for when you are entertaining, or to give them (not in a holiday box!) for future gifts. (Hint: If you are a chocoholic, don’t try this! Keeping extra chocolates in the house could be dangerous!)
  30. If you have a mortgage on your house and now have 20% equity in it, it may be time to stop paying private mortgage insurance. According to the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America, the PMI for a median priced home of $159,000 costs $50-80 a month but could cost as much as $150. If it is no longer required, you can cancel it. (And if you use that money to pay your principal down you’ll get your mortgage paid off more quickly, which can be a huge savings!)
  31. Do you have a gym membership you’re not using but you signed a long-term contract and now you’re stuck? Or are you looking to join a gym at a discounted rate? Check the fine print to see if your gym membership can be transferred. Put an ad on Craigslist or check out websites that let you buy or sell your membership.
  32. Skip temptation. Get yourself removed from unnecessary catalog and email lists.
  33. Honey has many health advantages, especially when it is local and the bees have feasted on local pollen. However, check the label when you’re buying inexpensive honey. Often it is mixed with corn syrup and health advantages are lost.
  34. Want to stay current with the latest trends? Spend your money on well-made clothes that will last for all your basic pants, skirts, blouses, jackets and jewelry that you will wear all the time. Then purchase a couple of trendy items per season, as inexpensively as possible. Think about how many times you may wear that chartreuse top with huge turquoise flowers the season it is “in.” If it’s only once or twice, find the best deal you can!
  35. Have you ever looked at spices in the stores and couldn’t remember what you needed? Chances are you ended up with duplicates. Line your spices up (I keep them in alphabetical order) and take a picture! If it’s not on your cell phone, print out the picture and take it with you. No more duplicates! Bonus, no needless spending or clutter!
  36. How’s your smile? You’ll look better, feel better and make a better impression on others if you take really good care of your teeth. Plus, you’ll have fewer dental and doctor bills!
    1. Floss, floss, floss every day. Brushing alone is only 65% effective. Flossing gets your teeth 35% cleaner! You’ll have healthier gums and that can decrease your risk of heart disease!
    2. Change your toothbrush every three months. If you have periodontal problems then change every 4-6 weeks. Been sick with the flu, a cold, a sore throat or a mouth infection? Changing your toothbrush decreases the risk of getting re-infected.
    3. After each brushing rinse your brush well, shake it vigorously a few times and let it air dry in a holder so it isn’t touching anything else to prevent it from being a breeding ground for germs, bacteria and fungus.
  37. Choose one day to routinely do your food shopping for the week. Once you’ve gotten in the habit of getting the right amount for the week, you will be able to avoid stopping between regular shopping trips. It will save time and, usually, people who shop less spend less because there are fewer opportunities for impulse buying.
  38. Paying for insurance you don’t need? You may already be covered for damage when you rent a car using a major credit card. Your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy may already cover stolen items when you’re traveling. Read the fine print. It could easily save you money every time you travel.
  39. Need something repaired? Take on a challenge! Now you can find great tutorials on youtube.com and elsewhere online to help you do simple repairs yourself. Save money and become more confident in your abilities!
  40. What are you using as a price point when comparing? Dan Ariely, behavioral economist at Duke, says people will pay $3000 to upgrade to leather seats when paying $25,000 for a new car because it seems like a small increase in the total price, but they wouldn’t pay $3000 for a new sofa they would use every day.
  41. Do you sometimes find yourself buying things you already have? Go shopping in your closet to remind yourself what you have, what goes together (look for new combinations) and reorganize by color, purpose, etc. Mount a tie rack in your closet for necklaces, belts or scarves. Put hair accessories (ties and scrunchies) around a paper towel roll and stick clips and bobby pins to the ends.
  42. Instead of spending 15 minutes clipping coupons or watching the news, take those 15 minutes to review your homeowners insurance and call the company. You may be able to lower your premium by raising your deductible, removing items that no longer need extra coverage, or adding safety features like smoke detectors and dead bolt locks. Those fifteen minutes may save you BIG bucks!
  43. Cover bowls of food in the refrigerator to keep them fresh and avoid waste. If your bowls don’t have covers, use shower caps from hotels or the dollar store instead of wasting aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  44. Today’s tip is a bit different: how to help others and make a difference with little effort and no money. Simply go to www.charityusa.com and select an international organization you want to support (hunger, children, animals, women’s issues, the environment, health issues, etc.) and click on that link. On the left, click on the link to Register and receive a free gift. You can just check the box to receive a daily reminder and every day when you click on it a donation will be made to that cause by the sponsors. I did not check the box to receive the newsletter and did not register for a free gift and have never received any additional emails.
  45. Are you wasting fruit and veggies in spite of planning to eat more of them? The trick is to store them, already washed and cut up, in clear containers on the middle shelf in the fridge. Women ate 230% more produce when it was easily visible and ready to eat, according to a study at Cornell University Food and Brand Lab. (And although it costs more, you may eat more and have less waste if you buy prepared fruits and veggies.)
  46. Are you cleaning out closets and drawers as part of your new year’s de-cluttering resolution? If you’re planning to put things aside for a yard sale, get some masking tape and a marker to put a price on each item as you put it in the box. Also consider different boxes for different rooms of the house and display them that way. Yard sales are more successful and easier when they are orderly. You’ll be all set to put out your items with no hassle and you’ll make more money too!
  47. The typical household of four throws away food costing about $2275 each year! That’s nearly about $190 each month. The average food waste for all families is about $40/month or nearly $500/year. You don’t save on buying larger quantities if it gets thrown out! Only buy what you need and use them up before buying more. (Natural Resource Defense Council study.)
  48. Get in the habit of only using your own bank’s ATMs or getting cash back with your debit card at the supermarket. Between your bank’s charge and the other bank’s ATM charge, you can pay $3 to $7 for each transaction. If you have no option, take out enough cash to cover your expenses so you don’t have to use the ATM multiple times and get charged each time. $3/week = $150+/year.
  49. Buy a local newspaper when you’re traveling. You’ll see restaurant ads, local events (many free!) and articles about interesting sites that would not show up on travel sites.
  50. Although cooking usually accounts for only 3% of your utility bill, you’ll burn about 40% less energy using the microwave oven instead of a conventional electric oven. The biggest savings is heating small quantities of food. So if your utility bill averages $150 that may only add up to only $2 savings/month ($240/ten years), but it saves energy and you don’t sacrifice anything.
  51. Do you spend $2 each weekday buying something to drink? If you make the choice to bring your own thermos/cup of coffee or tea, water bottle or soda just one day a week, you will save $104/year. Do it everyday and you are making the choice to save $10/week, $40/month and $520/year for something you value more than stopping at the store for a quick drink! Put the amount you save each day in a jar and watch your money grow.
  52. Shopping for a mortgage or other loan? If you are speaking to a live person, most of the time you are not really doing business personally with that person. He or she is a salesperson for a company and, once your transaction is completed, you will never speak to him or her again. Call six potential lenders, ask the questions and write down the answers. Then make your decision. Do not pay even a slightly higher interest rate or fees for a loan because you like the salesperson.
  53. Have you noticed that in most supermarkets you have to walk past all the fruits and veggies sold by the pound at a higher price before you get to the lower-priced 3, 5, and 10 pound bags of apples, oranges, potatoes, onions, etc. that are priced a bit less? How much would you save by buying by the bag? On the other hand, if you can’t use that much and end up throwing food away, how much will you save by just buying a few items at the higher price?
  54. To save money, if you need a medical outpatient procedure, ask your doctor if you can have it done in an ambulatory surgical center instead of at the hospital. Beside the rate for the procedure itself, you may also check the facility fee if you have a choice of centers—they can be very different. Ask your doctor why one center may be preferable to the other instead of just choosing by price if you have options.
  55. Hiring someone to repair or renovate something in your home? Go online first and read up on it so you will be better informed. Learning some options, the words that are used and some red flags means you are less likely to get taken. Plus, if you can talk the contractor’s lingo you may get a better deal! (And always get a few quotes and ask the same questions so you can compare prices and answers!)
  56. Make a copy of the front and back of everything important in your wallet: all credit cards, license, insurance cards, club cards, emergency contact card, medical cards, etc. and keep the copies with your important papers. It will save you time and money if your wallet or any card is lost or stolen.
  57. When you are at the supermarket, are you sometimes confused about what you need or the pricing on items? Massage your hand and fingers for five-minutes before you shop or plan your shopping list. Research at the University of Miami shows that it releases dopamine which is energizing and makes it easier to manage confusing information.
  58. Prepare to start next year with no holiday debt! Open a holiday account today at your bank or credit union with as little as $10 (and no fees unless there is an early withdrawal). If you contribute just $10 a week from January through October you’ll have $400+ for presents next year. Usually, you can have this automatically deducted from your savings or checking account. If you never see the money, you won’t miss it.
  59. Adjust your thermostat for an eight-hour period of time. You save as much as 1% on your heating bill for every degree difference over an eight hour period of time. Setting it 10°-15° lower in cold weather, and higher in warm weather, can save you 5%-15% on your bills each year. Reset it before you leave or at night when you go to bed for those long stretches and save $1-5 each day! If you do that, put that savings in your jar and note it! It will add up!
  60. Make smarter spending choices by thinking of three other ways you can use your money before you decide to buy something. Which choice will give you the most satisfaction when you look back on it?
  61. Do you need to change your oil every 3000 miles? Since 2010, cars average 7800 miles between oil changes. That can be $1000 saved over five years! Some cars will now alert you when it’s time for an oil change. (Edmunds.com) However, make sure you read your owner’s manual to have your car checked as required to maintain your warranty and to have your other systems well-maintained.
  62. Find yourself replacing oversized sunglasses because you lost the case and they got scratched? Take an old tie (or buy one for 25 cents at a thrift shop). Measure enough from the wide end (about 8 inches) to fit your glasses and cut off the remainder. Glue or sew the cut end shut and you’ll have a great glass case for free or just pennies.
  63. Check out prices on the highest and lowest shelves when shopping in the supermarket. The most expensive items are usually at eye level! Lower prices may mean reaching up or squatting down to check out the competition but it can pay off!
  64. Have you been meaning to organize your bills? Right now, designate two drawers or get two boxes, bags or big envelopes and put them in one place that’s easy to get to. Mark one “bills” and the other “paid”. Every time a bill comes in, put it in the containers marked “bills”. Pay your bills immediately or twice a month so you don’t miss any due dates. No more paying late fees and/or more interest. As soon as you’ve paid a bill, put it in the “paid” container. Paying your bills on time will help your credit score and that could mean lower interest rates on loans in the future? Maybe some day you’ll have the time and energy to organize them in a filing system with fancy tabs or individual envelopes, but don’t let that stop you from having an organized place for them right now!
  65. Is exercising one of your new year’s resolutions? Don’t let it sabotage your savings plan! Borrow exercise DVDs from the library, trade them among your friends, rent them from Netflix, or workout with the TV exercise programs (which you can record and do on your own time schedule). Workout clothes and expensive equipment are not necessary for a good workout! Check out community exercise classes and facilities offered through local adult education programs, universities, YMCAs and YWCAs. Going to a private gym? Sign up for a month at a time, or ask if you can pay by the class, to try it out before making a financial commitment for a year’s membership. Many gyms require monthly fees to be automatically deducted from your checking account and the contracts are very difficult to cancel.
  66. Do you live in an area where hurricanes, tornadoes, storms, floods or other natural disasters are likely to happen? Even if a situation is not life threatening, being prepared will make life easier and save you money. If you store gallons of water, batteries for flashlights and a radio and food now you will not be competing for those sought after items along with everyone else who did not prepare. As the items are more demand, the prices go up. Be smart; buy what you need now to be prepared.
  67. Buying frozen fruits and vegetables when they are out of season can be a good deal. They are usually cheaper than the fresh produce that is imported and may taste better and have more nutrients because they are frozen right after picking.
  68. Start with a clean slate. Clear up any bills that can be reported to a collection agency! If they show up as unresolved collections they can lower your credit score. It may be small stuff like overdue library book fees, unpaid parking tickets and other small bills you’re ignoring. Pay them or resolve the issues as soon as possible to keep your score as high as possible.
  69. Beware and check for quality when shopping at outlet stores selling brand name merchandise. Often that merchandise is manufactured especially for them and is not the same item found in retail stores.
  70. Feeling pressured or rushed? If so, you’re more likely to spend impulsively. Infomercials capitalize on this phenomenon by saying you must call within the next few minutes or be one of the first 25 callers to take advantage of this great offer. Time-share and car salespeople often use this psychological advantage to get you to sign the deal right away. Realtors may say another buyer is interested in the house you’re looking at. There are new deals every day. Don’t fall for it—take your time and wait until the next day or week before you order. Farnoosh Torabi, Pysch Yourself Rich
  71.  Many health care plans now have partnerships with gyms and other wellness facilities which can mean big savings for you—free or discounted memberships and class fees.
  72.  Feeling pressured or rushed? Watch out! You’re more likely to spend impulsively. Infomercials capitalize on this by saying you must call within the next few minutes or be one of the first 25 callers to take advantage or this great deal. Time-share and car salespeople often use this psychological advantage to get you to sign the deal right away. Realtors may say another buyer is interested in the house you’re looking at. There are new deals every day. Don’t fall for it—take your time and wait until the next day or week before you order. Farnoosh Torabi, Pysch Yourself Rich
  73. Is exercising one of your new year’s resolutions? Don’t let it sabotage your savings plan! Borrow exercise DVDs from the library, trade them among your friends, rent them from Netflix, or workout with the TV exercise programs (which you can record and do on your own time schedule). Workout clothes and expensive equipment are not necessary for a good workout! Check out community exercise classes and facilities offered through local adult education programs, universities, YMCAs and YWCAs. Going to a private gym? Sign up for a month at a time, or ask if you can pay by the class, to try it out before making a financial commitment for a year’s membership. Many gyms require monthly fees to be automatically deducted from your checking account and the contracts are very difficult to cancel.
  74. Start off the new year with a smile and can-do attitude. You will reap rewards that are good for your life and your bottom line! Happy New Year!
  75. Freeze leftovers from parties and meals before you get tired of eating them.
  76. If you have a glass cook top, avoid using cookware made of porcelain, stone, ceramic and traditional cast iron because they can scratch and damage the surface over time. Also, don’t place a hot pan (like from the microwave) on a cold glass cook top as it could cause it to crack.
  77. Frequently merchants such as car rental companies and hotels put a hold on your credit card for the amount they anticipate you will be charging. That means the amount you have available to charge can be significantly less so be careful not to exceed your limit.
  78. Check with the American Dental Association to locate the nearest dental school where you can get routine preventive care and even more extensive work at greatly reduced fees. Also check out dental insurance. The annual premiums for you and your family may more than cover the cost of your dental care while preventing serious problems in the future.
  79. Provide endless free entertainment by placing a bird feeder where you can easily see it. Get the right food for the birds you want to attract and enjoy!
  80. Invest in some fun things and keep them within reach to add some play into your thinking process. I keep a kaleidoscope on my desk. The dollar stores are great places to find markers, Slinkies, tops and bubbles. A box of magnets or different plastic contraptions that can be reshaped and manipulated are fun. You never know where your next creative idea may come from when you play.
  81. Try going meatless a few days a week to save money. Meat is frequently the most expensive item on the shopping list. Beans, grains and veggies can provide delicious healthy meals that are easier on you budget. Try Meatless Mondays, Fishless Fridays and Dairy-only Days.
  82. Used items may be cheaper, but beware. Avoid buying used child car seats and helmets. If they’ve been in an accident they may no longer provide adequate protection. Used tires that were in an accident may not be safe. Used mattresses, cushioned furniture and pet beds can introduce new bugs into your home.
  83. Whenever possible, pay for your car in cash. Buy the best used car you can for the money you have. Then every month add the amount you would have spent on a car loan to an account for a new car. It will add up to pay for all or most of your next car in cash. Why pay all those interest charges to a lender? Pay yourself!
  84. Watching a lot of TV may cost you! On TV people don’t pay bills or babysitters or make choices. They routinely meet in restaurants, bars and gyms, drive nice cars and go shopping. That expensive lifestyle begins to seem normal when you see it routinely and repeatedly depicted, but in reality it takes work and wise choices.
  85. Well-constructed scissors that can be sharpened are an investment that will last. Look for washable, dishwasher safe scissors for the kitchen and for small, very sharp scissors for sewing projects because they won’t fray material or thread. Generic scissors work fine for most for craft and household projects.
  86. Ever get frustrated when you find one price online and then it shoots up when you go to check out? When you shop online, retailers gather all kinds of information about you with cookies and then target which deals you will get. One way to foil them is to do comparison shopping on different browsers (including ones where you have disabled cookies) and leave items in a shopping cart for a few days. The retailer may offer you a better deal when you go back.
  87. Use glass or plastic containers to store food instead of paying for so many disposable plastic bags. Get rid of containers with no lids or that you don’t need. Replace them with stackable containers that require less space. Look for sets with interchangeable lids so that if one gets lost or ruined you can still use the container with another top.
  88. Always pay your credit card bills on time. If your monthly bills are not coordinated with your salary payment, call the credit card company and ask to have your billing cycle changed. You will avoid paying late fees or extra interest and the possibility having your credit score lowered.
  89. Comfy, grungy clothes can save you money. Identify those wonderful clothes you wouldn’t wear in public and keep them handy for when you’re cleaning, gardening, painting or doing other dirty jobs. Use and reuse. You’ll save ruining your casual clothes, have less laundry and will avoid needing to remove dirt and paint from good clothes.
  90. Always ask doctors what tests they are ordering and why. As a defensive tactic to avoid lawsuits, doctors will sometimes over test. Also, if you are seeing multiple doctors sometimes information is not well coordinated and you may have already had a test that is being ordered.
  91. Invest in yourself! What are your natural gifts? What will it take to develop them as a vocation, to incorporate them more intentionally in your current work, to develop a second income or to have an enjoyable hobby?
  92. Replace shoes that lose their mid-sole cushioning, have worn outsoles, have stretched heels or are uncomfortable. Only use exercise-specific (walking, running, tennis, etc.) shoes when you are exercising, not around the house. They will last longer.
  93. Potatoes are an inexpensive, filling and healthy veggie! They are rich in vitamin C and potassium, plus they’re a good source of vitamin B6, fiber and antioxidants. Want a quick, cheap and easy meal? Bake them and chop up your leftover veggies, meats or soup as a topping. Bon appétit!
  94. If you’re thinking of stopping at a restaurant or picking up fast food, stop at the supermarket food bar instead. You can make a great salad and get a main dish and veggies for less money and still have the convenience of not cooking and shopping.
  95. Know what you’re worth on the open market and negotiate your salary and benefits! Men are four times as likely to negotiate as women and women typically set their salary expectations 3% to 30% lower then men.
  96. Is going back to school a good investment? Getting a GED is always a good investment of your time and courses are typically available for free. Getting a college degree usually pays off in many ways. A graduate degree depends on the field you are in. Get a graduate degree if it’s required to enter or advance in your field or if you love the course of study, but don’t assume that it will automatically lead to a job and change your life.
  97. What if you could save $50-$100 a year by just using a little less? Just one container less a year of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, window cleaner and bathroom cleaners will add up.
  98. Inexpensive phone apps can be purchased for very little money and without a second thought…and that’s what’s happening. People are spending a couple of dollars here and there downloading new games and fun things. Stop and think. Those little expenses add up quickly.
  99. Hold companies accountable and avoid even small hidden charges. Look at your bills carefully each month especially if you have automatic payment plans. Are there any new or unexpected charges? If you see anything you don’t understand, take the time to call, ask for clarification and if it is not a legitimate charge have it removed.
  100. Look for ways to expose yourself to new ways of thinking. Right and wrong is not always an absolute. You may be surprised by how enriching the benefits can be!
  101. When it’s coming close to shopping time and your regular freezer isn’t full or your big freezer is getting low at the end of the season, fill it up with containers of frozen water. A full freezer functions more efficiently and will save you money.