100 easy ways to save money

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Saving Money your way

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  • 100 Easy Ways to Save Money

    Jim Wang

    Bargaineering.com

  • Need a few ideas on how to save some extra cash? When I first wrote this list, it was November and we were ramping up to the holiday spending binge that we all love so much, but these tips can help you save money at any time in the year. Why wait until our consumer driven society gets all whipped up into a fervor? We can save whenever! (I see nothing wrong with getting whipped up, to be honest!). This year, with the economy so weak and with so many people concerned about their financial future, it makes sense to cut back on the things that arent important so we can spend it on the things that are.

    Here are a hundred tips on how to save some quick money:

    Eat, Drink, Being Merry

    1. Cook your own meals: The number one tip, echoed almost anywhere you look, is to cook your own meals. Cooking is a fun way to reduce your costs, provide entertainment, and eat healthier.

    2. Eat less meat: Veggies are cheap per pound compared to meat, so try going with a heavier vegetable diet. If you like meat, skip beef and go more often with chicken and pork. Pork isnt as healthy as beef but chicken is a pretty good option.

    3. Meat as a side dish: If you dont want to eat less meat, heres a trick - use meat as a side dish and something else as the headliner. You still get your meat, but you eat less of it. We like eating eggplant and ground pork, the eggplant is the headliner and the ground pork makes up the supporting cast.

    4. Eat slower: The faster you eat, the more you eat. It takes time for your stomach to tell your brain youre full.

    5. Bring your lunch: Brown bagging lunch is a great way to take a $5-$10 expense every day and bring it in under $2-3. Heck, if youre a cold cut sub kind of person, your lunches could be under a dollar or two and still be jam-packed with goodness.

    6. If you like eating out, eat out for lunch and cook for dinner: Dinner at a restaurant is far more expensive than lunch at a restaurant, so always go with lunch if youre deciding between the two

  • 7. Check for restaurant coupons: If you do eat out, check online or in the local circulars for coupons. At worst, you can always hit up Restaurant.com and get $25 gift certificates for $10 (or even less when they have deals). The only warning about Restaurant.com is that their selection is very limited around where I live, so it may also be the case for you.

    8. Skip the vending machine: If you really like an afternoon snack, bring your own. You can usually buy them for much much cheaper at the grocery store.

    9. Grow your own herbs: Herbs are really easy to grow, they just need some dirt, some light, and theyll grow like crazy. Vegetables are a little tougher so start off with herbs and grow the ones you use the most. Fresh herbs will taste better and you wont have to pay McCormick & Company $5 for a container of basil.

    10. Make one of those lunches a cold cut sandwich: Im a fan of hot lunches but if you want to trim your expenses even more, make it a real budget lunch once a week for extra savings. Two slices of bread, a couple slices of your favorite cold cut, some lettuce, maybe a slice of tomato that is some good eating with a great price.

    11. Cut one (or more) dining out meal a week (or month): Think of it as a reason to test drive recipes for any holiday dinners or potlucks youll be attending this year. You can save big money by cutting out dinners in restaurants and it will help your waistline too. Leftovers make great lunches.

    12. Make a grocery store list and stick to it: To help reduce impulse buying whenever youre in the supermarket, make a list before you go in and stick with it. Ignore the pretty displays showing discounts on things you dont need and go straight for what you have listed. Not only will you save money, but youll save time.

    13. Always buy generics: I cant think of any instances where the generic brand of something is worse than the brand name. Many companies actually produce both the brand name and the generic, they just stick the product in a different box - check the manufacturer, youll see what I mean.

    14. Bring your own reusable bag: Or any bag for that matter, many places now will give you a nickel off your grocery store bill if you bring your resusable bag. You save money, use fewer plastic bags, and save the world in the process!

    15. Water is cheaper than soda, beer, juice, coffee, tea, etc: Thirsty? Hit the water fountain. Let the cold water hit your lips and quench your thirst. Water is far cheaper than any other beverage and it has the least amount of calories.

    16. Brew your own coffee: You can either pay $5 for a cup at Starbucks or brew your own for pennies. Heck, you can even get a free coffeemaker if you sign up for Gevalias coffee club (sticking with the program wont save you money though).

    17. Skip the after-work beer: Its easy to fall into the habit of having a beer after work just to take the edge off. Its extra calories consumed and extra dollars spent and you might not even enjoy it anymore.

    18. Stop smoking: Cigarettes are really expensive and can cost you big bucks down the road in medical costs. If you want a stress reliever, pick up a bottle of scotch instead.

  • Money Saving Car Tips

    19. Carpool just one day a week: You dont need to carpool every day, just carpool one day a week if thats possible and you can save yourself some green and do something kind for Mother Earth.

    20. Buy the type of gas your car calls for: If your car says it needs regular unleaded, dont go putting premium in the tank because it doesnt improve your mileage. If your car calls for premium, dont put in regular because the fuel will explode at the wrong pressure and thus cause that knock (and messes up timing, fuel efficiency).

    21. Drive the speed limit: Studied have shown that air drag above 55 reduces your fuel efficiency, take the highways at 80 and your fuel efficiency will suffer greatly.

    22. Keep your tires properly inflated: If your tires are over-inflated or under-inflated, your cars fuel efficiency, handling, and tire life are all worsened. Check the sidewall for the proper PSI and get your tires inflated to that range.

    23. Get routine maintenance done: Go to a trusted mechanic for your routine maintenance needs. The 30,000 mile one is regarded as almost unnecessary (but I would get it anyway) but the 60,000 is crucial as they replace worn parts that will likely improve performance. A trusted mechanic wont BS you on replacing things you dont need to have replaced, to find one like him or her, ask the people around you who have been there a while.

    24. Always try to find free parking: Sometimes you might need to walk a little farther to get where you want to be, but there should always be some free parking around somewhere.

    25. Shop around for auto insurance: It takes only a few minutes and could save you hundreds of dollars, consider shopping around for car insurance every year. Companies are constantly updating their actuarial tables so you might find yourself in a cheaper category (and it never hurts to look!).

    26. Consider dropping collision and comprehensive coverage: If you have an older car, dropping collision and comprehensive coverage can save you a bit of

  • money. This means you are now responsible for your own car in the event of an accident where you are at fault. Anytime you shift risk from the insurer to yourself, you will see your premiums fall.

    27. When buying a car, review total cost of ownership: The sticker price isnt the only thing that matters with a car - review its total cost of ownership at a site like Edmunds.com. Its the maintenance, fuel, and other costs that can get you.

  • Streamline Your Service Plans

    28. Shop around for a new cell phone plan, new cable television or internet plan, or new insurance policies: Every year, you should shop around to see if you can get the services you have now for less. Unless youre on a contract, you will almost always be able to find a plan thats cheaper as other companies try to win your business. Worst case, you get your existing service provider to match the newest offers and you still save money.

    29. Drop services you dont really need: How much television do you really watch? Maybe you dont need internet service at home? Consider dropping the services you think you need but you honestly dont really use that often.

    30. Replace your landline with Skype: Skype is a popular VOIP plan that runs your phone through your computers internet connection. Plans are cheap, you can call other Skype users for free, and there are devices you can use that let you use your homes existing telephone wiring too. One caveat, no 911 service.

    31. Consider a pay-as-you-go cell phone: How often do you really use your phone? Review your bills and you might find that of the 500 minutes you get, you use around 100. A pay as you go phone may be a more economical alternative.

    32. Put Netflix on hold: Did you know that you can put Netflix on hold for 90 day blocks? Why not put them on hold and save that money for gifts? Just restart it whenever the holidays end.

    33. Rent movies, dont buy them: How many times have you watched a movie more than twice? There are very few movies in that list. How many times have you watched a movie in your collection more than twice? Again, probably even less. You can rent movies from Blockbuster or through a mail service like Netflix for far less than it costs to buy them, go that route instead.

    34. Rent video games, dont buy them: The same rule applies for video games. Video games are usually $50-60 a piece (far more