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How To Save Money On Just About Everything

Welcome to My Saving Place where you will find an abundance of tips, tricks and good advice on how to save money on just about everything.

Happy Savings,
The Saving Lady

Holiday Savings ‘Round the Web

The holiday shopping season is at last upon us. Another year and again we will fight the temptation to overspend. It doesn’t have to be that way. Take a time out, sit down and digest some of the better ways to save this year.

For those of you that still enjoy the hunt for gifts at bricks-and-mortar stores, be sure you take a very good look at the price tags. They hold more information than you might imagine.  Learn how price tag codes tell you when you’re getting the best buy.

Be smart and use your smart phone to help you snag great deals. With these smart phone apps, you could end up saving hundreds of dollars this holiday season.

Gift cards aren’t just little pieces of plastic that make convenient gifts. You can use gift cards to save money.

Thanksgiving and Christmas make up back-to-back feasts that can destroy anyone’s well-intentioned budget.  Check out these 8 ideas to save money on your Christmas dinner.

How To Beat The High Cost of Holiday Travel

During the next eight weeks, millions of Americans will be gearing up for holiday travel. Some will go by car; others will fight the throngs at the nation’s airports. No matter how you plan to travel, there is a wealth of ideas out ther to help you keep those travel costs at a minimum.

Travel by car is certainly cheaper for families that flying, but it can be more expensive than necessary and stressful as well. The Dallas Daily News offers several different ways to save money on a road trip.

For those of you travelling by air, Kiplinger — always finding ways to save money — offers 7 ways to cut the costs on tickets and baggage.

Whoever thought that social media could play a big part in travel savings? Well, Woman’s Day has 7 savvy ways to save on travel and using social media is only one of them.

8 Simple Ways To Save On Winter Heating Bills

Home in WinterJack Frost will soon be nipping at your heels if he isn’t already. Parts of the country have experienced the full effects of winter sooner than expected. With colder weather brings higher energy bills and the colder it gets, the higher the bills. Here are five ways to cut your energy costs this year and every year hereafter.

1.  Install low-flow aerators on you faucets. Hot water heaters are one of the biggest energy drainers. Low-flow aerators lets half the amount of water flow from faucets. Using less hot water means the hot water heater is not running as often, thus saving money. This fix is both simple and cheap.

2. Always wash full loads of dishes in your dishwasher. Many small loads is much more expensive than one large load. Again, you’re using less hot water, and your hot water heater is working as often.

3. Dial down the thermostat. This is a no brainer. The lower the temperature of your home, the less energy you use. As little as 2 degrees can make a significant difference in your energy bill. Dial it down 4 – 5 degrees when you’re away from home and when you’re sleeping. Try to keep it no higher than 70 degrees when you’re home. A programmable thermostat is one of the best investments you can make to do this without thinking. Turning the thermostat down on your water heater can also make a significant difference. Reducing the water temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees will save you money and you won’t even notice the difference.

4. Replace filters in your furnace as frequently as needed. Furnaces need to breathe. Dirty filters prevent proper air circulation causing your furnace to work harder using more energy.

5. Clean your air ducts. Dirty air ducts block air flow causing the furnace to work harder to push air through your home, again using more energy.

6. Close flu dampers on fireplaces. Open dampers will suck all the warm air out of your home.

7. Reverse the direction of ceiling fans. Ceiling fans have both a winter mode and a summer mode. Warm air rises. Winter mode turns the blades clockwise, directing the flow of warm air back into the room.

8. Open drapes and blinds on the south side of your home allowing the sun to come through windows helping to bring heat into the rooms.

These simple and inexpensive steps may not cut your energy costs in half this winter, but all tolled, they should add up to a few hundred dollars.

Is Food Waste Costing You Money?

Did you know that Americans waste approximately 25% of their food every year?  And Americans spend a lot of money on food. Depending on the size and age of your family, the USDA estimates that you could be spending over $1200 per month on food.  The average single man or woman can spend well over $350 per month on food. How do you feel about throwing 25% of that amount – $88 to $300 – into the garbage can every month?

We Americans like to eat out a lot as well to the average tune of $238 per month. If you’re leaving 25 % of your food on your plate at a restaurant, that’s an additional $60 per month you’re tossing into the garbage.

No matter how you look at it, that’s a lot of money, money that could be going towards your retirement savings or your rainy day fund or paying off credit card bills. One hundred dollars per month saved and compounded over a period of even 20 years at a modest interest rate of 5% would amount to over $40,000. Over 30 years it grows to nearly $84,000. That’s not chump change.

So how can we prevent this kind of waste? Check out 20 ways to reduce food waste. You might just find that your grocery bill has gone down, that you’re eating healthier, that you’re shedding pounds, that you save on your garbage bill and a lot more plusses that you never thought of just because you’re no longer wasting food.

Is ther a right way and a wrong way to save money?

Is there a right way or wrong way to save money? There certainly are mistakes to avoid.  Making these mistakes is obviously the wrong way to save. Adhering to them will set you up for the right way to save.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal seems like an unlikely place for an article on how to save money, and yet it perfectly outlines 10 major mistakes to avoid when trying to save.  Simple concepts like using a budget and setting goals are but two tools that, if avoided, will almost surely set your savings plan up for failure.  The article provides a blueprint to help you put your savings plan on the right course.

The Only Real Way To Save Money

What happens when you get in your car and leave the house? If you’re like me, it means only one thing. You’re going to spend money. Think about it. Unless you’re just picking up the kids from school, every time you drive (or walk) away from the house, you are probably headed to a store be it at a shopping mall, the super market, a 7-Eleven or a gas station.  With the exception of the gas station and the super market, is anything else really necessary?

Check out the wisdom of Eric Ravenscraft. I couldn’t put any better myself.

Savings Round The Net

If, after looking through this site, you’re still looking for ways to save money, you might want to head over to Pinterest for 94 more ways to save.  These include getting your hair cut at a beauty school for little or no money, getting your teeth cleaned at a dental hygiene school for a small fee, taking a hot water bottle to bed with you instead of turning up the heat.

Did you ever stop to think that every time you leave the house chances are you end up spending money somewhere on something?  Maybe you need a spending-free weekend. Get 6 tips for planning a weekend that doesn’t include spening money.

Now if you’re really trying to save money, you might want to try the minimalist life style. It’s really not as hard or depriving as it may sound. Discover how to save money  with minimalism.

What does having a BBQ grill, a storage unit and a Costco or Sam’s Club membership have to do with saving money? Believe it or not, these are all items that can be shared. It’s called “collaborative consumption,” and it’s really starting to catch on as a way of saving thousands of dollars a year. This can be done with neighbors, family, friends or just about any group willing to participate.  Here’s a list of 36 things you can share and some helpful ideas to make sharing a successful way to save money.

Planning to travel by air anytime soon? By now we have all heard that in order to save money on airfare you should purchase your tickets 3 months in advance at 3pm on Tuesdays. At least this is what has been in the news lately. Well, here are 5 other tricks you can use to find the cheapest air fares as well.

5 Ways To Save On Utilities

Fall is knocking on the door. That means that pretty soon we’ll be turning on the heat. Early sunsets mean that we will be using more electricity.  Less outdoor activity means that our utility bills will rise substantially. How can you best hold down some of these rising costs? Here are some ways to save on utilities.

1.  If you don’t already have one, invest in a programmable thermostat. For all you techies, they now make a wi-fi model that can be controlled from anywhere  as well as the standard 7-day  hard-wired one. For less than $100, you will make up the cost in energy savings within the first year.  Set temperatures higher for the times when you are home – 68 degrees for maximum benefit — and lower when you are away or asleep.

2.  Most gas or electric companies will perform an energy audit free of charge. This will tell you where your energy costs are disappearing to.  Sometimes it’s as simple as putting weather stripping around doors to the outside. Sometimes the fix is more expensive, but at least you will know what you need to do to shore up the energy losses.

3.  If you’re still burning incandescent bulbs, switch to the new LED’s or at the least the CFL’s or saving on your electric bill.

4.  Buy smart surge protectors that automatically turn off appliances when they’re not in use. This helps reduce the loss of electricity called “phantom load,” power that is used by appliances even when they are turned off but still plugged in.

5.  Turn your water heater down to 120 degrees. Water heaters are one of the big power users in your home. By decreasing the temperature, it reduces the amount of energy used saving you money. Chances are you won’t even notice the difference between 120 degrees and 140 degrees.

5 Best Apps For Grocery Savings

A smart phone is one of the most expensive gadgets you own. Put it to good use by letting it help you save money wherever and whenever it can. Apps are the solution to this, and here are 5 apps that can help you save money on your groceries.

1.  Checkout51 shows you a weekly list of offers that allows you to get cash back on both grocery and non-grocery items. It takes a little bit of work on your part, but it does have its rewards. Examples are: $1.00 back on Oreo Cookies, $2.00 back on Special K Cereal. These savings mount up. When your total reaches $20, the company sends you a check (which you can then deposit in your savings account).

2. Favado notifies you when your favorite items are on sale. It also provides the sales price, secret sales and links to coupons you can print out.  It’s a little more cumbersome to use since you can’t print coupons from your phone., but it’s a great planning tool.

3. iBotta is another app that gets you cash back on items that you already buy. It’s a little quirky since you have to perform a task (take a survey, watch a video, play trivia, etc.) in order to get your rebate. Once you’ve gone through all the requirements, your savings are held until they reach $5.00 and then deposited into your Paypal or Venmo account.

4. Substitutions doesn’t save you money like the other apps do, but it can save you from pulling your hair out as it gives you food items you can substitute in place of a missing food item or the wrong food item. An example is: What can you substitute for baking powder in a recipe? This is a must-have app for all of you wannabe gourmet cooks.

5. GroceryIQ is perhaps the tops grocery shopping app. It is also available online. It has millions of items in its database. You can customize your list for the way you do your shopping at one store or multiple stores. If you divide your shopping between different family members, you can share the shopping list or lists and sync between devices. There’s more to this app than meets the eye.