Tuesday, January 8, 2008

New ideas to save money???

Bankrate.com just published an article titled: 7 Easy Steps to saving $1000.00 in 2008. Let's review:

Step 1 - Look for Discounted Dinner Entrees.

Hmmmm. I was thinking that I would limit my going out to eat, but I'm sure there are some restaurants that offer this. Cutting out at least half of the dinners would save quite a bit.

Estimated yearly savings: $120

Step 2 - Return unopened, unused items

This is a biggie for me. There are times when I lose receipts, or keep an item because I'm too lazy to return it. (This year it was the ingredients to make cookies that I bought way too much of. But can you return Vanilla, Almond Extract, Sugar?)

Estimated yearly savings: $90.00

Step 3 - Look for extra grocery savings

In my case, not sending my husband grocery shopping helps...:) (just kidding dear), although he does stick to a list which is more than I can say for myself.

Basically, this tells you to use coupons, match the sales, etc. This is all old stuff for me, but if I would follow it, I may not mess up my food budget.

The best thing that works for me is to plan a weekly menu. (By doing so, I can avoid the pizza, chinese takeout, or from step 1, going out to eat too much)
Approximate yearly savings: $208.00

Step 4 Check out materials form the library

Again, we have all heard this one. Instead of buying a book or video, borrow from the library. Some libraries have a bunch of videos and cds to choose from, mine does not.

Approximately yearly savings: $240.00

Step 5 Bundle cable, phone and internet services

This is one that I really want to look into. I believe we can save a couple of hundred dollars a year doing it. The only thing that bothers me is changing a cable provider. Verizon is in our area and probably offers the better bundle, but it would require them tearing up our lawn and changing over our internet service. (i.e. e-mail accounts, etc.)
But still worth looking into...

Estimated yearly savings: $240.00

Step 6 - Negotiate with monthly service providers

This one states that if the bundle idea from Step 5 does not save very much money, then it pays to call the companies and negotiate rates. You may be able to reduce the total fees by $20.00 a month.

Estimated yearly savings: $240.00

Step 7 Stash money for easier savings next year

This one is based on the savings from the above steps and stashing it into a high interest savings account or mutual fund.

When I first read this, I thought, well, duh, but then I thought about it. This is probably the most important step to "saving" $1000.00 a year.
When you "save" the money from doing the above steps, you should transfer to savings immediately over to a savings account. This is actually the step that I always leave out. I will certainly take note of any savings in the future, and remember to quickly send it off to my ING account.

I could use an extra $1000.00 in savings...


Canadian Saver said...

These are all good tips... and I see a few places too where I could save!!

I'm sure you could return unopened items at the grocery store... just explain you bought too much and won't have any use for them in 2008...

info said...

I love these tips. It's amazing how much you can save when you had everything up.

Planning your food shopping is definitely a saver. I used to pay for mine in cash to make sure I never went over budget. It can be a pain adding everything up in your head as you shop though.