Tips for Cutting Costs
Buy in Bulk. Costco, BJ's and Sam's club offer great discounts on common items. Bring a notepad and compare prices on the items you buy the most. Find the unit price and compare. If a 10 lb bag of chicken at Costco costs $13.99 then it's per unit cost is $1.39 per pound. If a 5 lb bag of chicken at the supermarket costs $7.99 then it's per unit cost is $1.59. Costco is the better deal.
Get competing quotes. One example is car insurance. Call multiple companies and get a better rate. In addition, if you insure multiple cars or a house and a car with one insurance company, they will usually give you a better rate. Get a written quote and bring it back to your original insurance company. Many times they will match the price rather than lose you as a customer.
Consider changing cell phone companies. There are many companies that offer unlimited minutes, text messaging, and other features. Compare plans from Virgin Mobile and Metro PCS. Are you locked in a contract? Find out the cost of breaking one. It may make sense to break a contract if the savings starts only a few months down the road.
Eliminate any extra phone lines. Most Americans have a cell phone. Make that your primary phone. Inform all regular callers to reach you on your cell phone. If you call long distance, try www.skype.com. You can call all over the world at ridiculously low prices.
Cut down on your electric costs. Do not leave your computer or TV on all night. Dry your clothes outside like the old days. Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Contact your local electric company for an efficiency evaluation. Most times it's free.
Make your gifts instead of buying them. You can make food mixes, candles, bread, cookies, and soap from basic materials. Just use www.google.com to find instructions. Be creative.
Make a list before you go grocery shopping and stick to it. Never go grocery shopping when you're hungry, you will always buy things that you do not need.
Invite friends over instead of going out. Have a cookout or potluck meal. Play cards or board games. Have a few drinks. Everyone will have fun, the cost will be low, and they will likely reciprocate.
Use your money wisely when out on a date. Control eating out. It can be expensive, especially when you factor in drinks, appetizers, and desserts. Consider sharing a meal. Many restaurants serve you too much food anyways. Share a dessert. It's more intimate and less bad calories for you. Have a picnic date. Go bike riding together.
Maintain your car. Tire pressure directly affects your fuel mileage and tire life. Make sure you check it at least once a week. Get your oil changed regularly. This increases your vehicles life.
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