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Everyday Savings Tips
Saving money is largely a matter of getting into the habit of making considered and wise spending choices. Most people understand the need to do that with big purchases. But smaller savings on the things you buy and use every day can add up to big savings over time.
Money experts say that you might be surprised at how much you can save by using some often-overlooked tips:
Never shop without a list. You probably already know that a list can help you save big at the supermarket, but it also can help you avoid impulse purchases wherever you shop. Your list should include everything you might need to know, such as the size of the item and the amount you expect to spend.
Check before you shop. Go online to price an item at a few different stores, so you have an idea of how much the price might vary among area merchants.
Compare apples and apples. For example, if you are deciding whether to buy an item online or in a local store, make sure you consider the cost of gas, parking and time to go to the store, compared with the cost of shipping to buy online. You also might realize a sales tax savings if you buy online, although many online retailers now charge sales tax in many states.
Check online for coupons. Search for “coupons for” either the merchant or the item. It only takes a minute, and you can realize some significant savings.
Sign up for sales alerts and coupons at stores where you shop regularly.
Sign up for emails from online savings companies such as Groupon, or buy a discount entertainment coupon book.
Pay your bills online. This saves you the cost of stamps and, since the bank can tell you when a payment will be delivered – often overnight – you can avoid late fees.
If you want something that you don’t necessarily need, make yourself wait awhile – a month or even a week -- before you buy. You might find that, when the waiting period is over, you don’t really want the item after all.
Don’t waste gift cards. Many people put the cards in their wallet or drawer and then forget about them. Set up a system that lets you take advantage of any gift cards you receive.
Periodically get new bids on car and home insurance. Sometimes the best rates go to new customers.
Consider a “no spend” day – or week – when you don’t make any non-essential purchases.