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All told, the average American household spent $51,100 in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
While the bulk of that money went for housing, we still spent more than $1,600 on apparel and services, $2,482 on entertainment, and another $2,625 on food away from home. Then there is that mystery category, “all other expenditures,” where we rang up, on average, $3,267.
Wouldn’t it be nice to spend a little less?
Fortunately, there are a number of tried and true ways to save money on virtually everything you buy. Watch Money Talks News money expert Stacy Johnson outline the key points in the video below, and then keep reading to discover savings strategies that work regardless of whether you are buying tires or shopping for makeup.
1. Never buy new what you can buy used
To start, if you want to save money on everything you buy, you should never buy new. Well, nearly never buy new. You might possibly want to buy new underwear from time to time.
But for much of everything else, let someone else take the depreciation hit. The average new car loses 11 percent of its value the moment it’s driven off the lot according to insurance site TrustedChoice.com. After five years, new vehicles typically lose about 63 percent of their value.
Cars might be the best-known example, but virtually everything depreciates over time. Jewelry, furniture, appliances, and even video games and movies can depreciate faster than you can say “impulse buy.” Check out Craigslist, eBay and Half.com for practically new items being sold for a song.
2. Save big with bulk purchases
Let’s say you use a lot of batteries. Why buy four batteries when you could buy 40? Buying in bulk can be an excellent way to lower your per-unit cost. Check out Amazon prices on Duracell AA batteries as an example. As of this writing, you can buy a four-pack of batteries for $5.59 or get 40 for $19.25.
However, not everything is a steal. If you’re thinking about going the warehouse route, read this article on what to buy at warehouse stores before you start shopping.