Saturday, August 13, 2011

Save money with a bagless vacuum cleaner

For many, many years I've had a traditional vacuum cleaner which took bags. I would often find myself buying bags (which come in a 2 pack) every 4-6 weeks or so. Eventually that vacuum started losing power, and wasn't picking up dirt like it used to, so I started looking around for a new one. I noticed that both the bagless and the type which take bags were about the same price, so I took a chance and got a bagless vacuum about 2 years ago. I have thoroughly enjoyed not having to purchase vacuum bags these last two years!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Think about this next time you want to rent a movie

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I wanted to watch the first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before going to the theater to watch part 2. Yes, I know, going to a theater to watch a movie isn't exactly frugal. But we had been planning for this. Anyway, we were fully prepared to go out to a video rental store and rent the DVD. That's when we realized that the nearest place to rent a DVD was just under 4 miles away (or almost 8 miles round trip), plus the cost of renting it (usually a couple of dollars), and the time to return it (another 8 miles). I have a 15 inch Macbook screen, so I suggested to her that we could rent it online for $0.99 (from iTunes). I rented the movie, and let it start downloading for about 10 minutes before watching. Once we started the movie there was no problem! Not only did we save money on the rental (we rarely, if ever rent a movie), but because the movie viewing period expires automatically we saved about 16 miles of driving (at almost $4/gallon).

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Extreme Couponing has inspired me

Have you seen the TLC show "Extreme Couponing" yet? I've seen a bunch of the episodes, and it had reminded me that I started this blog a while back and haven't posted in a while. I like the philosophy of trying to use a coupon for everything, but I don't see the need to stockpile years upon years worth of grocery items. However, as I come across a good coupon I've used, or a good deal, or good tip, I'll try to remember to post it here and not let this blog go dormant again.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Get rid of your land line telephone & save money

Last month I finally made the decision to get rid of my land line phone and go with only cell phones. I had been thinking about doing this for some time, since I would always grab my cell phone to make any calls. The only time I was really using my home phone was on the rare occasion that someone was calling me, and even then most people were calling my cell phone. Since I wasn't making any outgoing calls, I didn't notice that I've had voicemails just sitting there for months (yes, for months). I finally picked up my landline phone to make a call, and heard the beeps that I had voicemail. I had over 30 voicemails, dating back to November 2009! I listened to 3, and just gave up. If it really was that important for people to reach me, they probably already called me on my cell phone. That was when I realized it was time to just call and cancel this service.

I've now been cell phone only for just about a month, and have no complaints. That extra savings will come in handy when my grad school student loans come due this month.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How to put mail in rebates to work for you

Two weeks ago Staples was having a promotion for a ream of paper which would be free after rebate. Being one who doesn't like to pass up on anything I can get for free I went and picked up the paper (as well as a couple of other items I've been meaning to get). The rebate process was actually quite easy. The cashier highlighted all the info needed, as well as the website to go to where I could submit for my rebate. When I got home I entered my information, and was sent an e-mail to monitor the status of the rebate.

I'm still waiting on receiving my rebate check, but according to the link it was sent out a few days ago. When I get the check it will feel like found money (well, about $5), since I have already paid for the paper.

I haven't yet decided what I will do when I get the check. But I can tell you that I'm not going to turn around and spend the money immediately. My options include putting the money into a savings account; transferring the money to an investment account, or applying it to my mortgage. It may only be $5, but in my mind I've already spent it, so I'm going to try to put it somewhere it can help me.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

How to save money the next time you feel like playing the lottery

There is a certain lure that the lottery brings. The jackpots are so large, maybe, just maybe, I'll win some of it. But what happens more often than not is you don't win a thing, and worst, have just wasted your dollar. If you play regularly, you've probably lost a lot of dollars along the way, which far exceeds any modest win you may experience.

So, next time you feel like playing the lottery you need to pay yourself first and put that dollar into a savings account. Imagine if you transferred one dollar a day into your savings account -- you would have an extra $365 in savings at the end of the year. And the best part is you probably won't even miss that dollar.

Even if you don't play the lottery this is good practice. And if you don't want to do it every day, you can deposit $7 per week, or $14 every two weeks, depending on when you get paid. It will pay off in the long run!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Save ink by not printing every e-mail

I like to sign up to receive discounts via e-mail from some of my favorite restaurants. No need to pay full price when you know that discounts exist. But most of the time I get many more coupons via e-mail than I will ever use. So, what do you do?

What I've found works for me is to save the e-mail as a PDF and place it into a coupon folder on my computer. As I'm saving it I'll make sure the file name includes the restaurant as well as the expiration date. This way I'll have my coupons handy and can print on demand, rather than printing each e-mail that comes through. This tip saves both ink, and paper. And if you sign up for discounts you can save the next time you dine out.