Savings Surprises

Shopping Savings
on April 5, 2012

These five simple money-saving steps will help you cut down costs and build your savings.

Analyze what you're paying. Gather your monthly bills. Look at them. Find out what you're being charged for and drop services you don't use. If you're paying $30 extra per month on your cable bills for movies you never watch, for example, then ditch the flick subscriptions. Disconnect your telephone landline if you never use it. Scour your bills for fees. Most fees will be removed — even if they're justified — with a phone call and persuasive speech.

Conserve. Reducing energy use can save the environment of your wallet. provides 13 simple ways to lower your electric bill. These include getting your heating and cooling system inspected, programming your thermostat, weather stripping openings, changing to energy-efficient light bulbs, closing the blinds, using fans and unplugging electronic devices. Conserve gas by car pooling, riding a bike or walking. Conserve water by planting eco-friendly shrubs and bushes.

Save on groceries. Food on a daily basis is strongly recommended. When finances are tight, saving money on food is strongly recommended. Cooking at home is much less expensive than eating out. Large families have recognized the wisdom of buying in bulk for decades, and the smart shopper always looks for discounts, especially on regularly purchased items. Using coupons also can add up to big savings.

Compare and save. The Internet, in addition to providing wonderfully informative articles on how to save money, has made it easy to compare prices on similar items. Looking for the least expensive place to find the hottest new fashions? Compare prices online. Price comparisons are not restricted to tangible items, either. The wise consumer saves money on insurance by comparing rates of competing companies.

Stay on top of your finances. The key to not getting behind on your bills is simple: Don't get behind on your bills. Once you miss one payment, you have to make a double payment the following month, and if you thought making a single payment was tough, just wait until you have to pay double. Simple things such as consolidating debt, being aware of your bank balance and avoiding overdraft fees, avoiding ATM fees and avoiding credit cards with annual fees all add up.

What are you waiting for? Start saving now.

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