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 Post subject: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 1:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 1114
Here’s some personal experience on great ways to save an extra buck. I'd love to hear your tips! I hope you enjoy!

1) Car Insurance

1a) If you haven’t quoted your car insurance in over six months to a year it may be time to do so. People can often save $200-600 by switching companies. These savings can be greater if you have home insurance/ life insurance bundled. We switched from Farmers to Progressive and cut our car insurance by half! Also we get a discount by paying 6 months up front.

2) Save money on gas

You can do 2 things easily:

2a) Buy a Wal-Mart Gift Card and use it at the pump. (NOTE: Must be disciplined not to buy anything else.) I did this and saved 10 cents per gallon last week.

2b) Use Credit Card rewards. This is a bit tricky but doable as long as you pay off your bill every month. Otherwise you are paying 15% interest or more in most cases. You can earn up to 5% (about once a year Discover offers 5% rewards for 1-4 months. Also on groceries, travel, etc. I used this accumulation of rewards this year to buy my wife a $50 gift card which I used only $40 worth of Discover reward points) on rewards offered by various companies. I know CitiBank and others offer similar rewards programs with cash back. This assumes you are responsible with your spending habits, pay the bill off every month, and have a decent credit score to qualify for the card.

3) Cell Phones/Landline

3a) Are you using up all your minutes? Do you have 4000 rollover minutes? Do you need unlimited data or can you do with 200 texts? Is your contract about to expire? You can usually transfer a number to another cell phone provider for free. Time to see what the competition has to offer?

3b) Do you really, really need your landline? We got rid of ours. We were paying $70 a month on phone/internet. We got rid of those 2 services and signed up for less than half the cost for just internet through a promotion for a year. Update: The promo ran out. I called and threatened to discontinue my service and was given a 6 month 50% off discount. (Note: We also have plenty of rollover minutes on our cell phone plan.)

3c) Check out alternatives to a landline or even cell phone. You can get Skype via your computer and actually see the other person. All for free! MagicJack is a landline hooked up to your computer using your internet connection. MagicJack is only $30 a year I believe. There is also MagicJack phone service that plugs into your telephone line now. You can get a local number and use it as much as you’d like!

4) Go Out to Eat or Make it Yourself?

4a) We realized that going out to eat once a week is a lot more special. We also save a lot of money this way. Currently I bring my meals from home to work. I brown bag it, eat leftovers, or bring a frozen meal. (An occasional meal out is not bad though for variety.)

4b) Of course now I’m married so life is even better! I make some mean egg/omelets and of course my wife is a fantastic cook! We save a ton by eating in.

4c) However, if you do go eat out check these three websites:

restaurant.com sells $25 restaurant gift cards for $2 to $10 to thousands of restaurants around the country. These are great gifts as well!
On groupon.com you can get discounts on a variety of things. We have gotten Groupons for 50% off or more at local restaurants. In fact restaurants are just one thing you can get discounts on. I’ve found massage offers, jet ski offers, family photo shoots, and more!
EntertainmentBook.com sells restaurants, shopping, attractions, and travel booklets for discounts!

5) Clip Coupons

5a) Last month I saved $25 on groceries and I’m not even that serious about it. Buy the Sunday paper! It is easy to save upwards of $50 a month if you enjoy it. Sometimes things can be bought for pennies or even free!

6) Groceries

6a) Write a list before you go shopping – and stick to it. There are people hired just to make sure the milk and eggs are in a section of the store… Or that you will have to go from groceries in the middle of all these clothes to get to your home goods or toiletries.

6b) Never shop while hungry! Don’t fall for it! Also don’t buy things at the checkout aisle. They are marked up usually and are impulse buys.

6c) Buy in bulk at wholesale box stores such as Sam’s Club or Costco. If buying in bulk for a smaller family or even singles makes wholesale unaffordable then get a shopping buddy! You can split the cost and the product with your buying buddy. Or even split the cost of membership! I do this with a relative. You are allowed two membership cards per account.

6d) Make a comparison shopping list. I made an excel version of this and compared basic items we buy every week. Basically compare your major stores for the items you buy over about a two month period.

You might be surprised to know that where you think is the best prices may not be. Walmart for example in our area is usually more expensive in many every day grocery items than Kroger or even Target. If you don’t mind generic, store brands Aldi’s is a great option as well on a variety of items.

You can also see the local adds online and shop before you go to the store.

7) Drink More Water

7a) Water is not only incredibly healthier for you but will also help with the waistline. Soft drinks, juice, energy drinks, coffee, and such are fun but they don’t usually help your pocket book.

7b) Give up your Coke or Starbucks for a week and see how much you could save. Try it for a month or a year. Dave Ramsey talks about cutting back on smoking, Starbucks, etc. and putting the money instead in a mutual fund.

8) Shop Right After the Holidays

8a) Yes Black Friday is fantastic. If you can get up early enough that is and stand the lines. I’ve done it for the last 6 or 7 years. However, often the same deals are available online or are still on sale after the big day. Great time for good deals on appliances and electronics! Also keep in mind there are some great sales after Christmas. Save up your money throughout the year and buy on Holidays or the day after.

9) Save Energy

9a) Turn off the lights when you leave your home! Don’t leave lights on throughout the night unnecessarily. Replace your standard light bulbs with HE (high efficiency) bulbs. Turn down your thermostat when your away from home. Only run your dishwasher when it is full.

10) Keep an Idea Book in your pocket

10a) It is easy to waste time and money because we forget the ideas in our head. Also, making random to do lists that disappear makes it difficult to track tasks. One idea my Dad always gave me was to buy an agenda and keep tabs on tasks. Another idea is to use your smart phone to keep track of things. Whatever works for you.

10) Instead of using my memory I have a little book I put ideas down. I’ve used this for the past few months and seem to be a lot more productive.

11) Get RID of your Cable/Satellite Bill

11a) Yes, you pay too much for TV. I have friends and family that pay $140 a month for HDTV services. Try switching and getting promo's from your current providers competitors. In the summer especially guys get rid of your bill please. The only sports worth watching in the summer is baseball which many local games are televised on free TV. The news is too depressing and sitcoms are a bit of a waste of time. Try it at least for a couple of months to see how much you can save. If there is some final or championship game that is vital to watch try a local sports bar or watch it at a friends/family's place.

12) Be Smart With Your Movie Rentals

12a) Netflix.com (yes, the rates went up to $8 a month for 1 movie and $8 a month for streaming but this is still the best deal out there.) and we watch movies on occasion.

12b) If the need arises we can always get a movie at your local Redbox or Redbox.com. DVD movie rentals are about $1.00 or $1.20 so a night. It is only $1.50 for Bluray DVD’s. Also, come to find out if you sign up for the Redbox texts you get a free rental every week or two sent to your phone! We get to watch a movie for free at least 1-2 times per month!

12c) Hulu.com is also a great option. Or if you sign up for Amazon Prime they also offer free streaming content.

12d) The local library has movie rentals for free! In our area you can check out 10 movies a week. Or your local church library might have a good family selection as well.

13) Buy a Deep Freezer

13a) After the initial investment this can be a great bargain. Buy all sorts of foods in bulk and store them. You can even store meals in advance.

14) Plan a Budget and Stick to it!

14a) Plan a budget. Spend all your income in your budget. Plan for tithing, saving, bills, and then for fun stuff. If you don’t have it don’t spend it!

15) Have an Emergency Fund

15a) My Dad always told me to “Save for a rainy day.” Well around where I live it rains at least a few times a year. The best thing to do is to have an umbrella on hand. An umbrella in finances is like an emergency fund. A good goal is to save up an emergency fund. This is not that hard once you get it going.

15b) If you make less than 24 thousand a year start with a goal of $500. If you make over 24 thousand a year your goal should be initially $1000 in your emergency fund. Emergencies always will happen. The frig will need to be replaced. The car will break down. The kids will need to go to the doctor. Credit cards are not a way to pay for an emergency! Be prepared ahead of time!

16) Pay Off Debt

16a) Save money by not paying interest on products and by becoming debt free. Make a list of all your debts. Pay off your smallest debt first. Pay the minimum payments on the rest. Then apply that payment to the next lowest. Keep doing this until all your debt is paid! This is called a debt snowball strategy.

16b) Be intentional

I know of a friend of ours who paid off $15,000 in just a few months. He and his wife spent about five or six months working their tails off. They sold some things. He got extra jobs and they pinched the pennies. The result is they were debt free! Dave Ramsey often says “You have to live like no one else (now), so that you can live like no one else (in the future).” It’s all about changing your mindset.

16c) Spend less than you earn! If you have two incomes try to live off of one. If you make $3000 a month don’t spend $4000. The three biggest stresses in marriage are money, sex, and in-laws. Having an emergency fund setup and paying off your debt will eliminate stress. Save money, tithe, give, and have money left over for fun stuff.

Your thoughts/suggestions?

------------------- Edited & Added June 2, 2012 --------------------------

Also would like to add to the list:

17) Buy a Used Car

17a) The value of vehicles depreciates the greatest during the first two years of ownership. Let someone else take the hit and buy a used vehicle. Always get the Carfax report for any vehicle you buy.

18) Go Out to the Movie Theatre for Matinees/Weekdays & Don’t Get Snacks.

18a) A Matinee can be anywhere from half the price or a couple bucks off the regular price. Avoid 3D (except on a rare occasion) especially for prime time. 2D is still great. Also always take your student ID for a student discount for movies during the week.

18b) Eat a good meal before you go to the movies and don’t buy any concessions.

19) Amazon Mom (also for Dad’s)

19a) For people with newborns… We found that saving 20% extra (about $5 to $10 per box) on diapers saves a ton of money. You can sign up for a year and get free shipping as long as you purchase $25 worth of product every month. That’s like one purchase of 200 diapers a month – so easy to use and save!

20) Free Babysitting

20a) If you have family that lives around you they often will jump at the suggestion of the opportunity to take the kids for an evening or weekend. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, & sisters are a good place to start.

21) Don’t Own A Car

21a) If you live in cities like NYC, Boston, Washington D.C., etc. public transportation is often cheaper than gas/insurance/maintenance plus you don’t have to battle every time you need to find a parking space.

22) Cancel your Magazine Subscriptions/Newspaper

22a) Last year we made it a point to go to Barnes & Noble and the local library about twice a month. We were able to save a ton by getting our news online and reading free magazines at these locations. Not to mention getting a good book and reading at B&N is a great date night if you’re into that thing 

23) Cancel Your Gym Membership For A Few Months

23a) There are lots of Fitness DVD’s out there. Amazon has plenty to choose from for $20 or less.

23b) Another option is to exercise outside. We tried it last spring for a couple of months. It was actually very romantic, fun, and saved us $70 a month on memberships.

24) Christmas Gift Giving

24a) Assuming you celbrate this holiday save tissue paper & re-use gift bags. We stopped using wrapping paper a few years back. Tissue and bags are a lot easier (especially for us guys) to use. Plus they can be recycled/re-used as long as the bag is in good condition!

24b) Have a contest to see who can buy the nicest gifts (including brand name stuff) for the best (lowest) price. A friend of ours does this every year with his family. There is voting by each family member. The winner of the contest gets a great prize!

25) Buy Gift Cards at discounts

25a) Times are tough. Often at the end of the year companies will have promotions: Subway had $5.00 off your next sub with the purchase of a gift card. We bought two gift cards ($25 each) and each had a free sub. Plus we had enough for going out on very inexpensive date for the next couple of months.

26) Haircuts

26a) For guys a simple home hair cutting kit ($20-30 usually) can save a ton over time. I bought a kit last summer to buzz my hair and saved an average of $15 every two weeks for four months. We saved about $100 over the course of that time. Plus anytime I want an inexpensive haircut it can be convenient.

26b) For women try going to a cosmetology school (In the Dallas are there are several Ogle Beauty Schools). Instead of paying $30 you might pay $10 for a good (hopefully) haircut. Plan on spending double the time at the hair stylist as they are just learning! My wife did this our first year of marriage and we saved about $100 for the year.

------------------- Edited & Added June 15, 2012 --------------------------

27) Live in a smaller home

27a) I have a (now single as his wife passed away) great uncle who recently moved from a 3 story home to a 1 story home. He saved on utility bills, maintenance, and cleaning. If the kids have moved out do you really need a four room three bathroom home?

28) Use the Barter System

28a) Have a skill? Are you a great photographer and need a plumber? Why not exchange a family photo shoot for a couple of hours of plumbing work. Or how about music lessons in say piano or guitar?

29) Start a Side Business or Get a Part-time Job

29a) Blogging is a good option or being a free-lance writer. Even perhaps starting up your own photography business or baking business might be a fun/good idea.

30) When you buy food, make sure to eat it!

30a) Wasting food can add up quick. If we don’t eat our fresh food and vegetables they can go to waste.

------------------- Edited & Added To List June 20, 2012 --------------------------

32) First Time Customers & Store Rewards

32a) Buy Buy Baby (Owned in part by Bed, Bath, & Beyond) offers 20% off to first time customers via a text message. This is great for people with smart phones who find out about this at the store. Or sign up at home before you go and print of your coupon. You can also use Bed Bath & Beyond Coupons at Buy Buy Baby.

32b) At Lifeway I asked for a discount and got a 10% discount through a text. You can also get discounts as you purchase 10 times there with a coupon the use a hole punch for.

32c) First time we opened a Khol’s charge account (which we paid off the same month) we got an additional 30% off our purchases. I had just switched jobs and needed new clothes for work. My wife also was able to get a few things. I know it’s all about perspective but the items were already on sale 50% off. So we got an additional 30% off of that. The “value” of our products was in the $500 range and we paid only $170. The items were 4 pairs of men’s business casual pants, 8 men’s business casual shirts, 6 men’s pairs of socks, 2 men’s belts, 2 women’s blouses, 1 dress, 1 pair of women’s pants, and a few other things. We were tickled to death.

32d) At Target you can get a Target Card and get 5% off on all purchases. Since we shopped there anyway that seemed to be a good offer.

33) Wedding & Gift Registration:

33a) Target
Registry is somewhat easy to use. Kiosks can be a bit of a pain at times as they are self-service. Keyboards often stick and logging in can be a pain. Guns are fun to use so don’t get carried away. Returns are relatively easy. They allow two returns for unlimited products without receipts. There is also a 10% discount on everything remaining on your registry mailed out 4-8 weeks before your Life Changing Happy Event.

33b) Bed Bath & Beyond ( & Buy Buy Baby)
Registry is really easy to use. The list is printed off by associates. They have consultants readily available for questions and a tour. This was by far the best experience. Returns are really easy and are done at the registry. They allow unlimited returns without receipts in most instances with the assistance of a manager. There is also a 10% discount coupon on everything remaining on your registry mailed out 4-8 weeks before your Life Changing Happy Event.

33c) Dillard’s
Registry is somewhat easy to use. The list is printed off by associates at a kiosk. They have consultants available for questions a majority of the time. While employees are cordial they weren’t always helpful. In fact many of them ignored us as we weren’t actually buying anything. This was somewhat of a disappointing experience. Returns were not always easy. You have to go a specific customer service department and there was often a wait. They allow returns with receipts. Refunds are in the same amount as the tender paid or as gift cards. There is also a 10% discount on everything remaining on your registry after your Life Changing Happy Event.

33d) My advice? Sign up for things you will use throughout the year not just what people would think of “traditional” wedding gifts (specifically at Target & BBB) and you can still get a 10% discount on items up to 1-2 years after your Life Changing Happy Event. Toilette Paper, Cleaning Supplies, Formula, Baby Food, Baby Wipes, or Diapers anyone? See store exclusions for details.

33e) I’d love to hear from people who have had experiences with registry’s with Sears, Macey’s, Walmart, JCPenney’s, etc.

34) OpenOffice

Why pay for Microsoft Office when you can get a similar set of programs for free? Try Openoffice.org it includes programs that are compatible with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. Did I mention this was FREE? Forget spending $100+ on Microsoft Office. Try it out for a few weeks at the very least.

------------------- Edited & Added To List June 25, 2012 --------------------------

35) Negotiate Your Bills – Make the Call

35a) Call Cable/Satellite
If this is not something you can give up at least consider giving your local provider a call and ask for a better deal. “Do you have any deals or promotions at a better rate?” – Linda Sherry

35b) Call Disconnection Department
Call your phone, internet, TV service provider and tell them you’re considering closing your account. Ask to speak to the cancellation department. I did this for our internet provider, AT&T, and saved over half the bill for 6 months. Never hurts to ask.

35c) Call Your Insurance Company
When was the last time you got a quote? Call and ask for a better rate on your insurance. Consolidate from two car (assuming multiple vehicles in your family) insurance providers to one.

35d) Call and Demand Better Service from Your Bank
Sometimes you can get better interest from your bank just by asking. Also, ask about getting interest on your checking account. Remember the bank is getting your money and lending it out to people for 3-20% interest to other customers. It’s all about perspective.

35e) Call and Ask For A Fee To Be Waved
If you’re not a regular offender this can save money. I had a check someone wrote me bounce a few months back. I called and spoke to the branch manager. I explained my account never went below $X thousand dollars and requested the favor that the fee be waived. He was happy to comply.

Edit to remove #31 about Perk Street Financial as the company is no longer in business...

_________________
~ Eagle


Last edited by Eagle on Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:44 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 5:57 pm 

Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:19 am
Posts: 80
You can do a different version of an envelope system by buying gift cards for the stores/gas stations you will use and then if you buy them at the grocery store often times they will tie in some extra fuel points. I saved $1 a gallon for 6 tanks of gas.

Don't think cheaper is necessarily better. You have to be conscious about what you're putting your money toward but there also becomes a point you're just being cheap. If you have a data plan through your cell plan you might not need cable interenet at home (we use clearwire, which is portable.)

See if you can just flat out cut land line and cell phone. With clearwire we are able to make phone calls through ipod touch for free. Haven't cancelled cells yet, but I'm looking to before the end of next month once I work the kinks out of the system.

Eat vegetarian.

Remember that in capitalism every dollar you spend is a 'vote' for a product or a service. If a company is incompetent they don't deserve your 'vote.' I am in the processing of fighting Budget Rent-A-Car because during a recent rental they were completely across the board incompetent: I booked an economy car they gave me an SUV. then tried to charge me $200 for the 'upgrade' I didn't want. Then they didn't give me any help finding things on the car nor did they give me the owners manual to reference. Nobody could help me when I called them. I also rented XM radio for our trip, the XM radio stopped working 3 hours into the trip. When I called XM they told me Budget had not paid for the radio. Despite saying they would waive several fees (including the upgrade and the XM Radio) Budget charged me anyway. That's the basic synopsis. Do you think I'm going to deal with them ever again?

Buy food at farmers markets. Better quality and you don't need to use gimmicks like clipping coupons.

Don't answer your phone when you don't recognize the number. This will avoid sales calls.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 9:53 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
Posts: 5398
potatoslayer wrote:
Don't think cheaper is necessarily better...

Eat vegetarian.

I am in the processing of fighting Budget Rent-A-Car...Buy food at farmers markets. Better quality and you don't need to use gimmicks like clipping coupons.


That's the problem I have when people brag about how much they save on this and that. They always ignore the extra costs they incur later.

In the rental car case, I used to pay $50 a year to be in Hertz's Gold club (Actually I only had to pay that once in over 10 years.) But, even though they don't advertise "no hassle" as a benefit, the few times I run into issues they are very quick to resolve them and really bend over backwards to help. Do I pay more for that? Maybe but I'm simply not convinced I do because whenever I compare prices on open sources like Expedia Hertz is usually 20% more or so. But I get a 20% discount through an unrelated discount program and get the Gold fee waived.

With regard to car insurance, well, you can shop around but I know from experience that claims service is far more important than premium. Some idiot rear ended my wife a few years ago at a traffic light. I was in a minor incident in a rental car once. In both cases State Farm was super aggressive and competent at resolving things quickly on our behalf. I have heard horror stories about some of the cheaper companies including one mentioned here as being a god deal. Remember, with insurance you are always paying for good coverage after an incident. Yet few people base their purchase decisions on that.

And ditto to eating vegetarian. We eat nearly vegetarian, just chicken and fish once or twice a week. You will be healthier! And you'll save a huge amount of money in food and health care costs over your lifetime. A little exercise is also enormously beneficial.

Another benefit of farmer's markets is that you will be more in touch with REALITY of our food supply. Everything you eat has a season. You pay a big premium for ignoring or being ignorant of that. When you go to farmer's markets you buy what is in season and then eat based on what is available to you rather than supporting a huge, wasteful agriculture industry.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 6:09 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:47 pm
Posts: 2
Eagle wrote:
Here’s some personal experience on great ways to save an extra buck. I'd love to hear your tips! I hope you enjoy!
 

 
11)  Get RID of your Cable/Satellite Bill
 
11a) Yes, you pay too much for TV. I have friends and family that pay $140 a month for HDTV services. Try switching and getting promo's from your current providers competitors. In the summer especially guys get rid of your bill please. The only sports worth watching in the summer is baseball which many local games are televised on free TV. The news is too depressing and sitcoms are a bit of a waste of time. Try it at least for a couple of months to see how much you can save. If there is some final or championship game that is vital to watch try a local sports bar or watch it at a friends/family's place.

~ Eagle



We cut the cable and thus are saving $110 a month. We went with a home theater pc with a tv tuner card. So we are able to record live tv over an antenna just like TIVO or DVR'ing, we can stream hundreds of shows already available on the net.

Edit


Last edited by Deschain on Wed May 23, 2012 6:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 7:44 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 1114
potatoslayer wrote:
You can do a different version of an envelope system by buying gift cards for the stores/gas stations you will use and then if you buy them at the grocery store often times they will tie in some extra fuel points. I saved $1 a gallon for 6 tanks of gas.

Don't think cheaper is necessarily better. You have to be conscious about what you're putting your money toward but there also becomes a point you're just being cheap. If you have a data plan through your cell plan you might not need cable internet at home (we use clearwire, which is portable.)

See if you can just flat out cut land line and cell phone. With clearwire we are able to make phone calls through iPod touch for free. Haven't cancelled cells yet, but I'm looking to before the end of next month once I work the kinks out of the system.

Eat vegetarian.

Remember that in capitalism every dollar you spend is a 'vote' for a product or a service. If a company is incompetent they don't deserve your 'vote.' I am in the processing of fighting Budget Rent-A-Car because during a recent rental they were completely across the board incompetent: I booked an economy car they gave me an SUV. Then tried to charge me $200 for the 'upgrade' I didn't want. Then they didn't give me any help finding things on the car nor did they give me the owner’s manual to reference. Nobody could help me when I called them. I also rented XM radio for our trip, the XM radio stopped working 3 hours into the trip. When I called XM they told me Budget had not paid for the radio. Despite saying they would waive several fees (including the upgrade and the XM Radio) Budget charged me anyway. That's the basic synopsis. Do you think I'm going to deal with them ever again?

Buy food at farmers markets. Better quality and you don't need to use gimmicks like clipping coupons.

Don't answer your phone when you don't recognize the number. This will avoid sales calls.


Interesting, so instead of an envelope system you use gift cards. Makes sense to me. Thanks for sharing!

Yes on certain products it is sometimes better to go more natural. On some products we buy organic. In the long run it pays off.

I understand what you're saying about cutting out the cell phone period. However, we have a family plan that includes my wife, me, grandparents, and an aunt. Plus we have a newborn so at this point if I need to get ahold of my wife don't want to face the off chance the network/internet isn't working.

That happened to us re: car rental a little while back with Hertz. I booked everything through Travelocity including the rental. When we got to our destination they upsold us to buy their insurance and gas. Big mistake. I now fly for work and allow my coverage from my company/personal insurance. And we always fill up before headed back to the car rental place. In any case they gave us a car that had clearly been smoked in. My wife was 5 months pregnant and we specifically requested a smoke free vehicle. What should've taken 5 minutes to pick up the vehicle ended up taking Hertz 45 minutes to fix. They gave us a "free" upgrade to a larger vehicle which was nice. However, the cost of the gas and insurance more than made up for the upgrade. This was our first time renting a car. It was our last with Hertz.

I now use Avis and have the frequent customer program. It's free and my car is ready when I arrive at the airport.

As far as eating vegetarian and using a farmers market I'm not sure we could do that. We really like having spaghetti with ground beef. However, we have recently starting using turkey ground beef instead. We also have begun eating fish and chicken more.

I believe I put our phones on the do not call list a few years back. We rarely get sales calls.

Thanks again for your thoughts and input! These are things to consider.

_________________
~ Eagle


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 7:54 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am
Posts: 1114
DoingHomework wrote:

In the rental car case, I used to pay $50 a year to be in Hertz's Gold club (Actually I only had to pay that once in over 10 years.) But, even though they don't advertise "no hassle" as a benefit, the few times I run into issues they are very quick to resolve them and really bend over backwards to help. Do I pay more for that? Maybe but I'm simply not convinced I do because whenever I compare prices on open sources like Expedia Hertz is usually 20% more or so. But I get a 20% discount through an unrelated discount program and get the Gold fee waived.

With regard to car insurance, well, you can shop around but I know from experience that claims service is far more important than premium. Some idiot rear ended my wife a few years ago at a traffic light. I was in a minor incident in a rental car once. In both cases State Farm was super aggressive and competent at resolving things quickly on our behalf. I have heard horror stories about some of the cheaper companies including one mentioned here as being a god deal. Remember, with insurance you are always paying for good coverage after an incident. Yet few people base their purchase decisions on that.

And ditto to eating vegetarian. We eat nearly vegetarian, just chicken and fish once or twice a week. You will be healthier! And you'll save a huge amount of money in food and health care costs over your lifetime. A little exercise is also enormously beneficial.

Another benefit of farmer's markets is that you will be more in touch with REALITY of our food supply. Everything you eat has a season. You pay a big premium for ignoring or being ignorant of that. When you go to farmer's markets you buy what is in season and then eat based on what is available to you rather than supporting a huge, wasteful agriculture industry.


See previous post in response to potatoslayer regarding our experience with Hertz. I guess it's really sometimes luck of the draw. Avis is probably more expensive but I know the kind of service we'll get.

I will say this, when we had Farmers the premium's were more expensive but when I was involved in two accidents. (One little old lady hit me in a parking lot - minor accident. And another middle aged lady failed to yield to me as she took a left turn from the right lane at a stoplight. She was on her cell phone...) We have no history of accidents with Progressive. Any words of advice?

How much can you save a month buying food at a farmer's market? We have one that is about the same distance from the two store's we shop at. Of course it is nice to have strawberries all year long for example. I'm sure we pay a high premium for groceres like that... Have you ever heard of Aldi's?

Thanks for your thoughts!

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:03 am 
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Deschain wrote:
Eagle wrote:
 
11)  Get RID of your Cable/Satellite Bill

 
We cut the cable and thus are saving $110 a month. We went with a home theater pc with a tv tuner card. So we are able to record live tv over an antenna just like TIVO or DVR'ing, we can stream hundreds of shows already available on the net. One thing we are taking advantage of is Netflix and not their streaming, but ripping and storing the dvd's on a hard drive. We sign up for Netflix a month at a time and then put the account on hold until our queue builds up again. We then get in discs, rip and compress them, send them back, was and repeat. We have built up quite the large library doing this and allows us to watch them at our leisure.


We don't actually own a TV. We use our laptops to watch Netflix. No commercials and no hassle. Plus we can watch a whole season of any TV show we like (granted they're older ones but they're still good). I've enjoyed watching Monk with my wife. Also gives me the opportunity to watch an episode of Star Trek Voyager or Battle Star Gallactica. Thinking about getting something bigger (an actual TV) come this Black Friday or Christmas. Or possibly a project for next year's income tax return ;)

Quick question: How legal is it to rip the disks you rent? If it isn't illegal might be worth looking into. How much space does the average move take up?

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:39 am 

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personally? i had some road debris hit my car and do all kinds of mechanical damage last summer. it took over 6 months and i had to take many, many days off work in order for progressive to get the job done. the auto shops were a factor, of course- but the way my first progressive claims rep handled the situation was so poor, and it took me hours on the phone with their claims center to reach anyone who would pretend to help (and i often had to call back and redo the entire process when that person never did anything). our deductible was $250, but we ended up paying almost $900 out of pocket for all the running around- plus the value of the time my spouse and i had to waste, which was far more than $900.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:51 am 
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Eagle wrote:
See previous post in response to potatoslayer regarding our experience with Hertz. I guess it's really sometimes luck of the draw. Avis is probably more expensive but I know the kind of service we'll get.

I will say this, when we had Farmers the premium's were more expensive but when I was involved in two accidents. (One little old lady hit me in a parking lot - minor accident. And another middle aged lady failed to yield to me as she took a left turn from the right lane at a stoplight. She was on her cell phone...) We have no history of accidents with Progressive. Any words of advice?

How much can you save a month buying food at a farmer's market? We have one that is about the same distance from the two store's we shop at. Of course it is nice to have strawberries all year long for example. I'm sure we pay a high premium for groceres like that... Have you ever heard of Aldi's?

Thanks for your thoughts!


I would put Hertz and Avis in the same class. Unfortunately, what happened to you at Hertz could happen anywhere. I'm also in the Avis presidents club or whatever they call it (the premium one, because I get it free) but have not rented from them in about 10 years because I don't get the same discount as Hertz. All car rental companies seem to take advantage of beginners! It's unfortunate but it was also avoidable. All you had to do was check with your own car insurance company before leaving (or just read your policy!). As for a "smoked in" car, well, again, it should not have happened.

I have heard Farmer's has good claims service. I've heard the opposite with Progressive! Plus, when I have gotten competitive quotes from Progressive they are not any cheaper! If they were then I would consider them but would certainly want to find out how they handle claims.

Eagle, in your case especially, you should do a little research on your car insurance. If you often rent a car for business you should realize that the FIRST insurance company to be contacted if you have an incident will be your personal one even if you are driving a company vehicle. Your employer should cover you but there is no guarantee of that. And most personal policies exclude business use. So you should be darned sure that you are covered if you're going to put your future, your future earnings, and your family's future on the line for your job. If you work for a large company it is likely not an issue but it could be if you are with a small company, especially if you are a contract employee or similar.

I'm not sure whether you save a lot at a farmer's market. You have to shop and compare like anywhere else. I live a few miles from the Mexican border. All over the US a large proportion of our vegetables come from Mexico. So, living close means enormous savings on transportation costs and relatively cheap vegetables from large agribusiness farms in Mexico. That means farmer's markets are not an especially good deal. If you live in the northeast though I would imagine you could get great deals at farmer's markets during the summer especially.

I have heard of aldis but we don't have them here.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:03 am 
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galactic wrote:
personally? i had some road debris hit my car and do all kinds of mechanical damage last summer. it took over 6 months and i had to take many, many days off work in order for progressive to get the job done. the auto shops were a factor, of course- but the way my first progressive claims rep handled the situation was so poor, and it took me hours on the phone with their claims center to reach anyone who would pretend to help (and i often had to call back and redo the entire process when that person never did anything). our deductible was $250, but we ended up paying almost $900 out of pocket for all the running around- plus the value of the time my spouse and i had to waste, which was far more than $900.


Makes saving $100 a year sound less attractive doesn't it!

I honestly have nothing against Progressive. The fact is, I was thinking of switching from State Farm a few years ago just before the incident we had. My reason for switching was partly to save money by consolidating but I was also tired of our agent always trying to sell us life insurance! I was still gettiing quotes when teh first incident happened.

In any case, when we had the issue all we had to do was drop the car off at the dealer and go pick it up about 4 days later. State Farm even paid for overnight shipping of a new bumper assembly. We did not have to pay a dime even though the other driver was uninsured and we have a high deductible. We could have had a rental car during the 4 days I think but we declined. I think they might have paid for the faster repair and overnight shipping in exchange for us not taking the rental car.

Oh, and when I shopped around, Progressive was about $30 MORE per year than State Farm!

Galactic, I think your experience is fairly typical. The hassle, extra expenses, and everything associated with an accident are probably about $1000 at least. We've had 2 "accidents" in 20 years so they seem to happen about once a decade. Paying $100 extra a year to save $1000 a decade is worth it to me. I'd probably balk at $250 though...who knows.

I still stick by my statement above that when you buy insurance you are buying claims service and coverage. You should be shopping for those things rather than just the lowest price!


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:20 am 

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Here's a slightly off topic tip on rental cars...

Make a reservation ahead of time & be the last person to walk up to the rental counter after getting your luggage at baggage claim (if you're flying of course). Everyone likes to rush to get their cars while the plane is being unloaded & most of the time the rental companies will over book & all of the economy/mid size cars will be taken. Since they have to accomodate you, usually they will bump you up to a luxury model without charge. I used to do this all the time when I flew for my job. I've had big SUVs, convertible sports cars, Cadillacs, Jaguars, etc all for the price of a Ford Focus.


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 3:31 am 

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Location: Illinois
Eagle wrote:
Quick question: How legal is it to rip the disks you rent? If it isn't illegal might be worth looking into. How much space does the average move take up?

It's illegal. You'd be violating copyrights. Ever read the FBI Warning that appears before the feature on nearly every rental movie?


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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:07 am 
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bpgui wrote:
Eagle wrote:
Quick question: How legal is it to rip the disks you rent? If it isn't illegal might be worth looking into. How much space does the average move take up?


It's illegal. You'd be violating copyrights. Ever read the FBI Warning that appears before the feature on nearly every rental movie?


Kind of what I thought. Probably not the best way to build a library of movies. However, if you buy dvd's that have the digital copy you get the same result without the complications of fines or jail time. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 8:56 am 

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Just yesterday I called Direct TV and told them I was considering switching to the Roku box and just using internet options for TV like Hulu Plus. I was given about $50 in discounts for six months and which goes to $45 in discounts for the remaining year. I was also told if I called back in a year when my bill would go back to normal that they would be more than willing to work with me.

What they didn't know was that I had looked into the Roku and purchasing MLB TV. However I found out that I would be blacked out from all Astros and Rangers games. Therefore I was not going to make the switch. Just the "threat" will save me almost $700 in a year.

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 Post subject: Re: Tips to Save Money
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 2:22 am 

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DoingHomework wrote:
If you live in the northeast though I would imagine you could get great deals at farmer's markets during the summer especially.


Not so much, really. The prices are still higher for most things than what you'd get at the supermarket, but the point is that you wouldn't want to buy most of the veggies you see at the supermarket because they look like they were picked six weeks ago, dragged in the dirt behind a semi-trailer for 3,000 miles, and then revived with chemicals to make them look edible. And it's probably not too far from the truth. When I buy peaches at the supermarket they taste nothing like real peaches and the texture is mealy. I can't buy peaches at farmer's markets where I live now (we're too far north for peaches) but when I lived in New England a farmer's market peach was a joy to bite into, as good as any peach you'd get in Georgia.

There are many excellent reasons to buy at farmers' markets, but saving money isn't usually one of them. I've occasionally gotten great deals but it's more the exception than the rule.


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