NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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More Ways to Save Dollars

More Ways to Save Dollars


          The online magazine, “Money”, has taken the concept of saving money with small steps to a new level.  In their latest online postings, the editors of “Money” share some of the following ideas
          Shop once a week. The more trips you make to the store, the likelier you are to buy on impulse because you see more tempting items. About two-thirds of purchases are unplanned; cut that in half to save $143 a month (if you spend $100 a week on groceries).
          Give up water bottles. Stop drinking bottled water and instead buy a filter for your faucet (about $34, plus $25 for replacements). If your family consumes 12 gallons a month, you'll save about $15.
          Eat what's ripe. Out-of-season produce costs 20% to 50% more than it does when it's in season

          Ditch your second (or third) car.  Americans have a long established love of the open road but “Money” recommends owning and maintaining fewer vehicles per family. You’ll save on gas, insurance, maintenance and gain on family time with more carpooling time with other family members.
          Locate a shoe repair shop.  Cobblers are not just for nursery rhymes.  Rather than pay for a new pair of good shoes, clean up last year's purchase. A typical repair of replacing worn-out heel tips on women’s shoes or the rubber heel and sole on men’s shoes will gain you another year of wear.

          Buy ahead of your need.- Buy that air conditioner in January, not July, and get it for nearly half the price. You can save 25% to 40% or more if you plan ahead to purchase major appliances.

          Go from four wheels to two. Buy a good commuter bike and cycle to work as the weather permits.

          Drive sensibly. Aggressive driving on the highway -- speeding, rapid acceleration and braking -- can lower your mileage by 33%.
          Empty the trunk. Don't carry around unnecessary items, especially in small cars. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your miles-per-gallon by up to 2%.

          Continue clipping those coupons.  Check the following websites for “print your own” coupons.

Groceries: CouponMom.com
Online shopping: CouponCabin.com
Free shipping: FreeShipping.org
Cash back: Extrabux.com

          Write it down.  Making your spending limits concrete by writing them down or even telling them to other people.  When you go into a grocery store with a list in hand, you're far less likely to stray and end up with a package of two dozen seasonally appropriate cupcakes.

          Making shopping work. The more convenient it is for you to shop, the more convenient it is for you to overspend.  Unless you're stocking up on supplies, use a basket instead of a cart; if you're planning to buy only a few small items, do without the basket altogether.

          Skip “mall therapy”. Don't go to the mall when you're in a lousy mood. A study by Harvard management professor Jennifer Lerner has found that people who were feeling depressed when they shopped were willing to spend 30% more than consumers who were in a better frame of mind.

          Look for wattage leaks. Many electronic devices (TVs, DVD players, and computers) draw a lot of power even when they're off. A PC in sleep mode can use a third as much electricity as it does when on. Cut the waste by putting as many of these hidden energy taps on the same power strip as you can; then flip the strip off at night.




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