Yesterday Adam at Lifehacker unearthed a Bankrate article in which extreme savers share their secrets. While the tips profiled in this story aren’t as radical as some I’ve shared, they’re much more applicable to average people like you and me. Author Elaine Appleman Grant writes:
These days, as the cost of food and gas skyrockets, credit becomes more difficult to get and consumer confidence reaches an all-time low, saving has become a must…There’s a whole group of people who are passionate about saving without living a Spartan life.
Grant profiles a wide range of savings techniques, from the simple to the elaborate. In exploring ways to save on retail, she draws lessons from Michele Carter, a CPA who always claims price match and price protection guarantees from the stores she frequents. (You can track price drops online using PriceProtectr.)
Many of the savvy savers make use of services like:
- Freecycle, for giving away stuff you no longer need (and taking free stuff from people who no longer need it)
- Craigslist, for all sorts of free and inexpensive stuff
- PaperBackSwap, for trading books online
- SwapaCD and SwapaDVD, for trading your other media online
Other suggestions include buying meat in bulk, joining a food co-op, shopping smart when buying a car, and obtaining a home energy audit. Some of those surveyed prefer to focus on the big things, like looking for ways to save on their home mortgage. (This approach echoes the one promoted by Elizabeth Warren in her book, All Your Worth.)
Grant’s article is a treasure-trove of ideas and resources. It demonstrates that you can find new ways to save money if you’re willing to think creatively and then take action.