How to Save $3,000 This Year

Making thrifty decisions can become a regular habit that adds up. We all know how difficult it is to put aside money for the future when there are so many competing claims on your income. Small wonder that half of American households currently have no savings for when they stop working.

But trimming a few dollars here, a few there in the daily way you shop, drive, cook or use utilities can add up to serious savings and can be a good way to pad your nest egg. Try these 10 savvy tips, adapted from AARP2, and you could add upwards of $3,109 to your wallet this year.


• Store brands. A recent survey of the cost of 16 common grocery items showed that name-brand items
cost $56.24 while store brands totaled $41.51.3 Annual savings: $766.

• The soap slope. A branded liquid soap pump costs about $1.50, but a gallon sets you back only $14, good for 17 refills (or $0.68 a pop). Annual savings: $20.4

• Robotic rebates. Use your computer to automatically search for savings at A toaster priced at $45 recently was priced at $9.99 after mail-in rebate — with free shipping! Savings: $35.


• Tire-lessly. If the best price for four tires at your local tire shop is $448, try an online store. With free delivery and $80 installation fee, you might save a bundle.5 Savings: $68.

• Blow ’em up. Underinflating tires by just 5 percent can cost you $2.50 in monthly gas, plus wear and tear.6sup> Keep them properly inflated. Annual savings: $30.

• Air it out. Changing your car’s air filter — a big contributor to improving the air quality inside your vehicle — takes just five minutes and will save you $19 in labor.7sup> Savings: $19.


• Dress for success. A simple vinaigrette of Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper can save you $1.50 a week over store-bought dressings. Annual savings: $78.

• Veg out. Foregoing meat one day a week can save you an estimated $10 per week — and may possibly deliver ecological and health benefits.8 Annual savings: $520.

Heating and Cooling

• Turn off the AC. On average, air conditioning in your home costs 36 cents an hour, but ceiling fans only about 1 cent an hour.9 Assuming you only need cooling for half the year, that could mean $1,533 in annual savings.

• Pipe up. Insulating your hot water lines with preformed foam insulation jackets could lower your power bill by $40 a year.

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