Yet Another List of Money-Saving Tips…

by heather

Ok, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a sucker for money-saving tips. Especially money-saving tips that are compiled into long lists, where I scroll down and munch, munch, munch them into my brain for future use.

Yes, I love lists.

So, I decided to start compiling my own list for The Greenest Dollar. I’ve got mounds of bookmarked sites that have a tip or two that I’ve found useful, and figured that in the interests of saving time (at least in my own life) that I’d write them up in one spot here.

The Master List of Money Saving Tips

  • Save money by raising your insurance deductibles. I can’t remember what mine are off-hand, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got them set as high as they’ll go. I’ve only ever made a claim once, so I figure I’m saving big by doing this.
  • Listen to Internet Radio. What? Yes, you heard me. I rarely buy music anymore because there is so much great free music online. If you have iTunes, then use the Radio function. You wouldn’t believe all the great tunes that are constantly streaming off the ‘Net. It’s glorious.
  • Cancel your magazines. You can read them for free at the library, which you’re paying for with your property taxes anyway. Might as well get your money’s worth, right?
  • Stop buying bottled water. Bottled water costs, on average, over 1,000% higher than tap water. And in many cases, it’s the same thing. Get yourself a BPA-free water bottle and start saving.
  • Buy your next car online. Ok, admittedly I haven’t done this one myself. But my dad has, and he got a really incredible deal on a Volvo. Next time I have to buy a car, I’m definitely going online first.
  • Use less laundry detergent. Seriously, you don’t need near as much laundry detergent as you think you need, thanks in large part by the cleaning companies. I wrote an entire article on “How To Save Money On Laundry Day” that examines this very issue.
  • Cancel your cell phone. I did it, and for one month completely went without a cell phone. I ended up getting a GoPhone (one of those pay-as-you-go affairs). It was $20 with a mail-in rebate, for a final cost of $10, and I spent $25 in minutes, for a final investment of $35. I was paying $50 a month for my old cell phone (that I never used), and am planning on using this one minimally. So, I’m definitely saving money with this GoPhone.
  • Skip the movie theater. Until I recently became obsessed with the new “Twilight” movie (which I’ve seen twice and plan on seeing again this week before it leaves theaters) I hadn’t been to the movies in over a year. The only reason why I splurged and saw the same movie twice (well, er, three times if you count this week’s upcoming jaunt) was because I need help when it comes to Rob Pattinson (is there a support group for this?). That being said, however, I’ve saved a ton of money skipping the theater and using Netflix instead. I really do love watching movies at home: it’s cozy, you don’t have to worry about germs or loud children, and you don’t have to pay a small Turkish fortune for that popcorn smell they pump through the ventilation system.
  • Rent out a room. If you’re facing a financial catastrophe due to job loss, or you’re just trying to trim costs and boost your income, then renting out space in your home can be a smart move. But, proceed cautiously. Do a thorough background check on anyone you’re not comfortable with. Opening up your home can be a weird feeling if you’ve never done it before, but in the Great Depression people did it all the time. I believe that, at heart, most people are good and trustworthy. Believe in them first and they just might surprise you.
  • Go on a “Staycation”. Yep, it’s a vacation at home! These can actually be incredibly relaxing (because you don’t feel pressured to run around and “see” everything) and they’re way, way cheaper than hitting Disneyworld with three kids. Scary.
  • Simplify your bathroom mojo. By that I mean, do you really need $15 mascara? $20 shampoo? Er, probably not. There are tons of ways to make your own beauty products at home using natural, healthy ingredients. These are not only better for you, but they’re way cheaper than buying store brands.
  • Stop drinking soda. It’s bad for your teeth, your pocketbook, and your waistline. Enough said.
  • Learn to roll with the punches. For instance, if you’ve got your mind or heart set on one thing, then it’s easy to miss an opportunity for something that’s just a little bit different. Learn to be flexible. Learn how to give and take, and make one thing do for something else. Life will be more fun, and you’ll probably save more money as a result.
  • Visit SmartHealthBuyer.com to price local healthcare providers in your area. For instance, how do you know your dentist is the cheapest one in your town? What about your chiropractor?
  • Focus on portion control when you cook. I’ll admit I have a real problem with this. I always end up cooking too much food, and I still haven’t gotten the knack of learning how trim this down. But, I’m working on it. I don’t like wasting food because it’s just like wasting money. Not good.
  • Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Most of the time I try and go after I’ve had a snack or meal. Last time I was in there was a last-minute affair, I was starving, and I came home with three extra “things” (Oreo’s, Ginger Snaps, and a container of kalamata olives). These were unplanned; they looked delicious and I bought them because I was hungry. Oops.
  • Visit Amazon.com’s new grocery store. Yeah, I stumbled onto this one by accident, and couldn’t believe some of the great deals that are on the site. And what’s even cooler is that thanks to their Super Saver Shipping, you don’t pay a thing to get those groceries to your door. Click here to go directly to their grocery store. Be careful, though; box sizes seem to be different than those at the grocery store, and you can only buy products in bulk (packages of 4 or 6). So, you’ll have to calculate carefully to make sure that everything you buy truly is a good deal.

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