Way to Save #135: Don't Buy Softener Sheets
on November 30, 2009

Don’t buy drier softening sheets. Instead, mix up a spray bottle with half water and half fabric softener. Spray a washcloth with the mixture and toss it in the dryer.

Way to Save #134: Buy Textbooks Online
on November 29, 2009

Buy textbooks online, used or both. Used to be you were trapped paying outrageous prices to the monopoly known as the campus bookstore. Nowadays, thanks to the Internet, you can buy new and used textbooks online and save serious bucks. Do a search for “used text books.”

Way to Save #133: Local Scholarships
on November 28, 2009

You can look at all the scholarship search websites and library books in the world and still miss college cash. Why? Because the $300 scholarship offered by your local Rotary Club isn’t in there. Neither is the local Elks club $250 essay contest or any number of other awards local civic, cultural and religious groups … Continued

Way to Save #132: FAFSA First
on November 27, 2009

FAFSA stands for “free application for federal student aid,” and it’s basically a standardized form that will help you find out what kind and how much aid will be available to your student. Colleges and universities use it as a basis for the tuition packages they offer, and nearly every scholarship, work-study and other dispenser … Continued

Way to Save #131: Get Money For Nothing
on November 26, 2009

Billions of dollars of grants, scholarships, work-study programs and low cost loans are available every year. Don’t pay a company to find them for you, because there are places you can search for free. The Internet is a great resource for this. Websites to check out include www.fastweb.com and www.finaid.org, but there are many others. … Continued

Way to Save #130: Free Cell Phones Aren't Free
on November 25, 2009

Normally you’re better off getting a cheaper plan and buying your own cellular phone. Plans that include “free” phones often also come with long contracts and higher monthly costs.

Way to Save #129: Save On Cellular
on November 24, 2009

Cellular phones are convenient, but they can really fracture family finances. If you keep one for emergencies, consider a much less expensive pager instead. If you really need cellular, understand what you need it for before you buy it. For example, why pay for an unlimited national calling plan if you rarely leave your state? … Continued

Way to Save #128: Use Calling Cards
on November 23, 2009

If you travel, calling cards are important because they allow you to get the same rates from the road that you’re used to paying at home, at least theoretically. But the big three long distance carriers often have ridiculously high rates and fees for their cards. Before you enroll in any plan, be sure to … Continued

Way to Save #126: Know The Phone Lingo
on November 22, 2009

It’s hard to shop smart for something when you don’t know what questions to ask. In long-distance land, there are three major ones. First, “What is your cost per minute?” Second, “What is your billing increment?” Billing increment is crucial if you make lots of calls, and especially lots of short calls. Billing increments for … Continued

Way to Save #125: Shop Your Long Distance
on November 21, 2009

Internet sites like www.trac.org and www.abelltolls.com can help you find the best long distance calling plan for your needs. If you don’t have Internet access, go to the library. Remember: part of your monthly phone bill goes to pay for library Internet access, so use it! Even if you aren’t willing to go to the … Continued

Way to Save #124: Turn The Tables On Telemarketers
on November 20, 2009

One of the most popular TV news stories I’ve ever done involves changing from victim to predator in the cold-calling jungle. Here’s how it works. Federal law requires that almost anyone who solicits you by phone give you their name and either address or phone number (which they virtually never do.) The law also requires … Continued

Way to Save #123: Hang Up On Frills
on November 19, 2009

The phone company is a master at getting us to buy services. They sell your phone number to telemarketers, then sell you caller ID to thwart them. In round two, they sell services that block caller ID to telemarketers, then sell you a gadget that won’t allow blocked calls to ring through. Don’t play this … Continued

Way to Save #122: Don't Lease Phones
on November 18, 2009

Stop leasing. You’ll usually save money by buying your own phones.

Way to Save #121: Use The Internet
on November 17, 2009

Email is free. Long distance calling isn’t (unless you also do that on the Internet!) The Internet is also a great free way to find numbers instead of using directory assistance. But if you are going to use directory assistance, your local one (411) is almost always cheaper than the national ones you see advertised … Continued

Way to Save #120: Oven Etiquette
on November 16, 2009

Use energy saving appliances like microwaves, pressure cookers and toaster ovens instead of always using the oven or stove. You can buy ‘em cheap at yard sales. Turn off your electric burner three minutes before the rice or pasta recipe calls for: it’ll stay hot that long. Same with your oven. And if you are … Continued

Way to Save #119: Refrigerator Etiquette
on November 15, 2009

If you’re buying a new refrigerator, remember that top mounted freezers are cheaper to operate than side-by-sides, and don’t buy more refrigerator than you need. Automatic ice makers add about $200 to the initial cost of a refrigerator, cost about $50 a year to operate and are the first thing to break. If your refrigerator … Continued

Way to Save #118: Wash With Cold Water
on November 14, 2009

Be cool. Using cold water only can save you 90% of the cost of washing your clothes. Disconnect the hot water hose.

Way to Save #117: Air Dry Your Clothes
on November 13, 2009

If you’ve got a decent sized family, hanging your clothes out to dry can save you $40 a month in electricity.

Way to Save #116: Save A Load
on November 12, 2009

Every load of wash uses between 25 and 50 gallons of water. The same is true of your dishwasher. And you shouldn’t need to soak or pre-wash dishes unless the food is burned or otherwise stuck on. By the way, the amount of detergent you use for both clothes and dish washing could probably be … Continued

Way to Save #115: Don't Waste Water
on November 11, 2009

You don’t need to run the water while you’re shaving or brushing your teeth, so turn it off whenever you can.

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