Monday, April 20, 2009

Found Money

We drive miles out of our way to save a few pennies on gas, then go around the corner and use an ATM that charges $2.50 for every withdrawal. There’s no doubt that saving a dollar on a fill-up is gratifying. Imagine how many gallons of fuel we could save if we watched ATM fees, bills and and other parts of life. Here are some easy ways to save money around the house.

Household Bills

  • Shop around. Compare service providers for things like phone and internet. When buying big ticket items compare the offers of at least three providers (make a sheet with the features and options of each so that you’re comparing apples to apples).
  • Cancel unused services. If you’re not watching cable, for instance, as much as you thought, then cut your cable bill down to the basic package, or cut it out of your life entirely.
  • Cut heating bills. Reduce energy costs by as much as 30% using Energy Star appliances and making sure your house is well insulated.
  • Put in some effort. Convenience can be expensive. You’ll spend about twice as much on items such as pre-washed mixed greens and a jar of pasta sauce versus a head of lettuce and the ingredients for marinara.
  • Go generic. Buying the store brand can save up to 50% according to Consumer Reports. And today’s store brands are typically very good quality.
  • Brown bag lunch. Take your lunch to work.
  1. Don’t pamper your car. Unless a high-octane gas is specifically recommended for your car, buy regular unleaded.
  2. Go slow. Improve fuel efficiency by 10% by observing the speed limit and accelerating slowly.
  3. Drive a smaller vehicle. Drive a sedan instead of an SUV or truck.

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