August 26, 2008
A friend of mine just asked me this question: “How do you save money?” Being that I love to bargain hunt, here are some tips I use (I live in the Orlando, Florida area, so please use my local recommendations in a general sense.)
1) Fill your gas tank as slowly as possible to reduce air filling the tank instead of gas. Turn off the car (if it isn’t too hot or cold) when waiting in line for a minute or more — don’t idle your gas away!
2) Go to the thrift stores in town, especially on “off days” for better pickings. (Winter Park is fabulous for high fashion, super cheap — I have a designer purse I bought at Salvation Army for $20 — it was at least $200 initially. I’ve spent $50 and gotten a trunkload of clothes for everyone in the family. I just got a fabulous new pair of heeled comfortable slip-on sandals that actually fit my fat feet for $2 at another small thrift store — how fun is that?)
3) Remember Publix will take any other grocery stores’ coupons! Take advantage of their “loss leaders,” those buy one get one free deals they have at the front of the store, and sometimes the other discount areas have good bargains. Also consider joining a price club — I like BJ’s myself (they take coupons, too), but Costco and Sam’s can be equally great.
4) Buy coupon books for fundraisers, especially if there are three or more places you go to. The book will likely pay itself off within a week or two if you shop and go out like I do. (Check carefully for the coupons online — they don’t always work.)
5) At the 660AM website http://worl.mediawebconnect.com/ offers 50% off deals on local North Orlando restaurants on their website.
6) Sign up for Skype — I just called Korea for 2 cents a minute — I’m not kidding!!! It is usually free for calls within the US. We don’t use long distance phones anymore internationally or domestically. The service and connections are excellent!
7) Compare travel rates with www.ytbtravel.com/ against Expedia, Orbitz, AAA and others. You may save a few ten dollar bills or much more! My husband Ben not only booked his flight to Korea the day his father passed away last week, he still got a cheaper rate with YTB than the airlines offered for “emergency situations,” using YTB. Also, if you are going to book online, stay up and book between midnight and 2am — rates for airfare often drop a bit during this window.
Most importantly, just ask! Very often sales people will work a discount in just because you asked or offer a referral. One tip I’ve gotten from Dave Ramsey that I like is to respond with a sales price by saying, “That’s not good enough,” especially if you are able to pay in wonderful cold, hard, cash for a high ticket item (car, appliance, etc.). As an example, if you want the nowhere-else-to-be-found, portable, lightweight Redema Ottoman Footrest, at www.redema.us because it is great for working those long hours with feet under your desk at the computer and traveling, just e-mail me and ask for what the specials are. Well, since you asked, I’d tell you if you buy two and type in “Oviedo” in the coupon code you’ll get an automatic 15% off. But, if “that’s not good enough” — contact me at email@example.com. I’d love to discuss getting you an even better deal if you can help me promote the product
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