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345 Money Saving Tips


Every day is the right day to start saving your hard earned money, though it is more important during these tough economic times. The editors of the Leewood Times have scoured the internet and have listed 345 tips that can save you and your family money and help you get out of debt. Our money saving tips range from everything from budgeting & finance, to transportation & travel. This guide is also a great reminder of how much we waste.

It is important to understand when trying to saving money not to beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Even if you make ten good choices, it’s easy to beat yourself up and feel like a failure over one bad one. Always keep looking ahead. Don’t let the mistakes of your past drag you down into more mistakes. Look ahead to the future.

Also never give up! Whenever the struggle against debt feels like it’s too much, remember that there are a lot of people out there fighting the same fight. It is our goal to help you learn some new things - and perhaps get inspired to keep going, no matter what.

BUDGETING & FINANCE Money Saving Tips:

1. Switch your bank accounts to a bank that respects you
2. Never pay checking account fees
3. Avoid ATM fees
4. Request a reduction in the interest rate for your home equity line of credit
5. Make an extra mortgage payment each year - You can save money on interest.
6. Request a reduction in the interest rate on your credit cards
7. Refinance you mortgage
8. Get rid of Private Mortgage Insurance
9. Consolidate your student loans - Interest rates are quite low right now, so it might be worthwhile to consolidate your student loans into one low-rate
10. Get on an automatic debt repayment plan for any student loans you have
11. Buy low cost mutual funds
12. Buy term life insurance
13. Pay your life insurance annually
14. Pay car insurance annually
15. Increase insurance deductibles
16. Think before submitting an insurance claim
17. Cancel the health club membership
18. Take advantage of employer 401(k) matches
19. Use flexible spending accounts
20. Find out about all of the benefits of your job and take advantage of all you can
21. Get organized and avoid missed payments
22. Sign up for every free customer rewards program you can
23. Design your “debt snowball” - Everyone needs a plan to help them get out of debt, so sit down and plot out what debts you’re going to pay off
24. Create a visual reminder of your debt - It keeps your eyes on the prize and leads you straight to debt freedom.
25. Utilize online bill pay with your bank

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ENERGY & UTILITY Money Saving Tips:

26. Eliminate some cable service or combine your cable, internet and telephone service
27. Slow down your internet service - You may not need high speed
28. Go through your cell phone bill, look for services you don’t use, and ditch them
29. Get rid of your home telephone if you can
30. Consider VOiP telephone service - Internet phone service will save you substantial money over Verizon service for example
31. Turn off the television
32. Check the insulation in your home
33. Air seal your home - Most homes have some air leaks that cost you extra money when keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter
34. Shut vents in unused rooms
35. Be diligent about turning off lights before you leave
36. Change the filters in air conditioners and furnaces
37. Do a “maintenance run” on your appliances - Check them to make sure there isn’t any dust clogging them and that they’re fairly clean
38. Keep weeds and shrubs trimmed - Keep them away from outside heating/cooling units for best airflow
39. Install a programmable thermostat
40. Buy energy efficient appliances
41. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFLs) bulbs
42. Convert to a gas water heater
43. Use a clothes liner to dry clothes - You’ll save on your energy bill
44. Make sure all your electrical devices are on a surge protector - This is especially true of your entertainment center and your computer equipment. A power surge can damage these electronics very easily, so spend the money for a basic surge protector and keep your equipment plugged into such a device.
45. Connect your entertainment center and/or computer setup to a true smart power strip. If you keep it easily accessible you can then turn it off when finished using to save extra money
46. Make sure your freezer is full - An empty freezer requires more energy to keep cold

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ENTERTAINMENT Money Saving Tips:

47. Don’t go to stores or shopping centers for entertainment - Doing so is just an encouragement to spend money
48. Read more - Reading is one of the cheapest - and most beneficial - hobbies around
49. Subscribe only to magazines that are must reads
50. Get rid of unread magazine subscriptions
51. Read magazines at the library or online
52. Swap books, music, and DVDs cheaply on the internet via services like PaperBackSwap
53. Get your books from the library
54. Cancel the cable or satellite channels you don’t watch
55. Get DVDs from the library
56. Get DVDs from Red Box
57. Encourage your friends to do less expensive activities
58. Invite friends over instead of going out
59. Start a book or film club
60. Have a game night with friends
61. Buy an Entertainment book - There’s hundreds of dollars in entertainment savings in it.
62. Attend movies at dollar theaters
63. Save money on movies by going to the matinee
64. When dining out, don't order two dinners
65. If you do, make a second dinner on leftovers
66. Go for lunch specials at restaurants
67. Just order side items when you dine out
68. Dine out only on special days
69. Drink water, this will help fill you up before ordering
70. Skip dessert
71. Exercise more - Go for a walk or a jog each evening, and practice stretching and some light muscle exercise at home
72. Check out what your town’s parks and recreation board has to offer
73. Dig into your community calendar - There are often tons of free events going on in your town that you don’t even know about.
74. See if your local zoos, museums, entertainment parks and water parks have annual passes
75. Watch amateur sports - High school athletic competitions are cheap and can be just as exciting as the pros
76. Join up with a volunteer program
77. Do freelance work on the side - You can make some extra money by selling your talent to companies
78. Start an errand Service - Offer to pick up groceries or dry cleaning for others
79. Start a garden - Gardening is an inexpensive hobby if you have a yard. You’ll have a very inexpensive hobby that produces a huge amount of vegetables for you to eat at the end of the season

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FAMILY & HOUSEHOLD Money Saving Tips:


80. Don’t spend big money entertaining your children - Most children, especially young ones, can be entertained very cheaply.
81. Buy video games that have a lot of replay value - Don’t acquire new ones until you’ve mastered what you have
82. Keep your hands clean - This can help you and your family stay out of the doctor’s office
83. Cut your family’s hair at home
84. Use a simple razor to shave
85. Host a toys party
86. Shop for toys at thrift shops
87. Get used toys from rummage sales
88. Exchange a box of toys with friends - fill up your box with toys that are unused and have your friends do the same then exchange them
89. Swap babysitting with neighbors
90. Turn a critical eye to your “collections" - Some hobbies and collections can be quite expensive
91. Talk to your loved ones about what your dreams are - If you spend time with the people you love the most and come to some consensus about your dreams, it becomes easy for you all to plan for it. If you’re all planning and working together towards this dream, it becomes easier to stay focused on it and reach it

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92. Reevaluate the stuff in the rooms in your house - Go into a room and go through every single item in it
93. Cancel unused club memberships
94. Clean out your closet - Go through your closets and try to get rid of some of the stuff in there. You can have a yard sale with it
95. Do some basic home and auto maintenance on a regular schedule - Instead of just waiting until something breaks to deal with it
96. Instead of throwing out some damaged clothing, repair it instead
97. If something’s broken, give a fair shot at repairing it yourself before replacing it or calling a repairman
98. If you need a tool, see if you can borrow it from someone before you go out and buy it
99. Use rechargeable batteries for your electronicsKids games and accessories use batteries up rapidly; a family can easily save $50-100/year
100. Don’t throw away “dead” batteries - Remove them from your radio and use them in quartz clocks. These clocks take such a small amount of power that batteries too weak to run anything else may have enough power to run a clock for a while
101. Buy furniture at a consignment store
102. Wash and reuse plastic bags
103. Clean your own carpets - You can rent carpet cleaning machines for about $10
104. Use baby shampoo for a makeup remover
105. Buy makeup online
106. Use makeup samples
107. Add water to your shampoo to get more uses
108. Stop using shaving cream
109. Buy gender neutral baby clothing so you can use them again with the next baby
110. Make your kids Halloween costumes
111. Adjust your water heater settingset it at the lower end of the heat range (120 degrees or lower) – it’s cheaper and safer also
112. Take shorter showers
113. Don’t allow the faucet to keep running while you brush teeth, wash hands, wash face, etc.
114. In summer, run clothes washers and dryers and dishwashers during the night
Longer days mean shorter nights - Don't forget to adjust your outdoor lighting timers. You'll save money and extend bulb life.
116. Keep your home comfortable without air conditioning on all but the hottest days
117. Keep windows closed in the heat of the day - Open windows in the cool of the night
118. Resist opening and closing doors - Shut the door or at least try to minimize the number of times that doors to the outside are opened and closed. Each time you open the door heat enters the house.
119. Close the curtains - Close drapes and shades on windows during the day to keep heat from the sun out of your house (particularly on windows with an eastern and western exposure). In the evening opening drapes and shades lets the heat escape through the windows
120. Insulation in your attic protects your home from excessive heat penetration in summer and cold penetration in winter - Invest in attic insulation for year-round comfort and efficiency.
121. Make sure roof ventilation is adequate to prevent heat buildup in summer and moisture buildup in winter.
122. Use floor and ceiling fans to create gentle breezes to keep you and your family comfortable
123. Use compact fluorescent lighting wherever you can - Compact fluorescents use very little energy and produce much less waste heat than incandescent and halogen lights
124. Turn on your range hood when cooking to exhaust waste heat from your home - Coordinate meal planning with the seasons. Remember, nothing tastes better than a cold meal on a hot day.
125. Keep your oven door tightly closed - Use the oven light to check on progress when baking or roasting.
126. Select right-sized pots and pans with tight-fitting lids and cook at lower temperatures to reduce energy use - A six-inch pan on an eight-inch element, for example, wastes 40% of the element's heat output
127. Make full use of microwave ovens in hot weather - Microwave cooking can reduce energy consumption by two-thirds and produces much less waste heat than your stove. Toaster ovens and slow cookers are also a great way to reduce energy use in the kitchen.
128. When you run the dishwasher use full loads - Use your range hood when the dishwasher is operating to vent excess heat and humidity outdoors
129. Avoid activities that add heat or humidity to your home, particularly during the hottest parts of the day or limit them to times when nobody is home - For example, turn on your dishwasher as you leave the house or let dishes air dry rather than use the dishwasher's heater
130. Vacuum your refrigerator's cooling coils every three months - Excessive dust buildup will reduce the energy efficiency and life expectancy of the compressor. Make sure there are no gaps in the door seal
131. Don't use your washing machine for a few small items; wait for a full load. Use the cold water cycle whenever possible
132. Clean the clothes dryer filter after each load, and clean the dryer duct regularly - Clogged filters and ducts restrict airflow, decrease energy efficiency and can be a fire hazard
133. Inspect and maintain your cooling system - Simple measures such as cleaning and replacing clogged air filters can reduce cooling costs up to 10%. An annual service call will extend the life of your expensive cooling equipment and boost efficiency
134. Don't forget cooling system ductwork - Leaking joints, elbows and connections can boost energy consumption 20 to 30%. Use duct mastic to seal loose joints
135. Adjust your air conditioner's thermostat when you go out, and shut your system down when you are away for extended periods - Unnecessary cooling costs money
136. Walk away from the thermostat - Your house won't cool down any faster if you lower the thermostat setting. When your air conditioner is on it cools at the same rate regardless of the temperature setting
137. Open the doors - A breeze on a summer day can be enough to keep you cool. Instead of turning the air conditioner on, open doors and windows on opposite sides of the house for cross ventilation
138. When using your air conditioner, close all windows, doors and chimney dampers when using your air conditioner - Don't use your hard-earned money to cool the great outdoors. Unused rooms should be closed off to cut cooling costs
139. Raise the thermostat - Raising the thermostat just 6°F can save 10% on your cooling bill. To compensate, the breeze created by a ceiling fan or portable fan typically makes you feel just as comfortable at a temperature 6°F warmer
140. Dehumidifier Benefits - Consider using a dehumidifier instead of turning on the air conditioning. You will be comfortable at much higher temperatures if you reduce the humidity
141. Vacuum dehumidifier evaporation coils - Dust builds up on the evaporation coils of every dehumidifier after steady use, causing them to use more energy. Unplug yours and vacuum the coils every 6-12 months
142. Wash/change dehumidifier filters - Dirty filters cause dehumidifiers to use more energy with poorer results. Replace your disposable or wash your permanent filter at least yearly
143. Turn your thermostat down several degrees when leaving the house for the day or extended periods of time - One easy way to do this is to purchase a programmable thermostat. You can also save by turning the thermostat down a couple of degrees all the time
144. Make sure your water heater is in good condition and keep the water temperature between 115-120 degrees - Even consider getting a tankless water heater that only heats the water you need
145. Limit your time spent in the shower to cut down on hot water usage - You can also install aerators to save on the amount of water you use while showering - this will cut down on the amount of hot water you use
146. Try and use cold water as often as possible when doing the laundry and line or rack dry your clothes - here is an example of a large drying rack you might wish to use - other racks are readily available at your local hardware or home stores
147. Make sure to turn off the lights when you are not in a room
148. Shut the doors to rooms you don't use on a regular basis
149. Keep baseboards clean and unrestricted by furniture and carpet or drapes
150. Use the smallest oven or burner when cooking, or a crock pot, or use the smallest pan possible
151. Don't peek into the oven as you are cooking
152. Defrost foods in the refrigerator before cooking
153. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs in standard fixtures
154. Replace or clean your furnace filters monthly - This could save up to 5% on your heating bill
155. Buy Green - many utilities offer rebates in return for purchasing efficient appliances through the Federal Government's Energy Star program
156. Seal up your home - Seal air leaks and add insulation
157. Weatherize your windows
158. Upgrade your windows - Look for windows with multiple layers of glazing, and approved by the NFRC (National Fenestration Rating Council), a non-profit collaboration of window manufacturers
159. When buying a new furnace or boiler, make sure you purchase one with a more efficient AFUE or adjusted fuel utilization efficiency - The AFUE is the amount of heat actually delivered to your house compared to the amount of fuel that you supply the furnace. Thus, a furnace that has an 80% AFUE rating converts 80% of the fuel that you supply to heat -- the other 20% is lost out of the chimney. All Energy Star approved furnaces have AFUE ratings of 90% or more
160. Print off your documents in draft mode - It’s faster and saves ink
161. Keep an idea notebook in your pocket - This keeps you from forgetting to pick up milk and having to backtrack ten miles, for starters

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FOOD & SHOPPING Money Saving Tips:


162. Make enough for a few days, and then use the leftovers in sandwiches for work the rest of the week
163. Don’t fear leftovers - Instead, jazz them up - Many people dread eating leftovers
164. Take your lunch to work one more day a week than you do now - Eating at your desk or office could save you more than $100 a month
165. Eat breakfast - Eating a healthy breakfast fills you up with energy for the day and also decreases your desire to eat a big lunch
166. Write a list before you go shopping - and stick to it - One should never go into a store without a strong idea of what one will be buying
167. Plan out a weekly menu
168. Have a budget
169. Make a pantry checklist
170. Keep your receipts, then enter into a spreadsheet
171. Use a brutally effective coupon strategy - Here’s the trick: wait a month before using the coupons. Save your coupon flyer out of your Sunday paper for a month, then bust it out and start cutting anything that might be of interest.
172. Buy cheap food coupons on eBay
173. Drink more water - Not only does drinking plenty of water have great health benefits, water drinking has financial benefits, too. Drink a big glass of water before each meal, and not only will you digest it better, you won’t eat as much
174. use a cup (refillable plastic bottle) and drinking tap water instead of bottled - (most bottled waters (Aqua Fina, Deja Blue, etc., are actually filled from tap water anyway) – you can save $365-$550/year by foregoing one bottled water
175. Mix your own sports drinksBuy concentrated powder and save money – less than $5 for powder buys enough mix to replace 24 bottles, or $30 worth
176. Cut back on the convenience foods - Prepared meals, microwave meals, and so on cost more money
177. Make a quadruple batch of a casserole - Casseroles are nice, easy dishes to prepare, but on busy nights, it’s often still easier and they freeze well
178. Grow your own vegetables - Check out a book on local edible plants and start stocking up on them
179. Buy bread at the bread outlet store and freeze excess loaves
180. Join a food co-op
181. Use a crock pot - A crock pot is perhaps the best deal on earth for reducing cooking costs in a busy family. You can just dump in your ingredients before work, put it on simmer, and dinner is done when you get home
182. Eat less meat - For the nutritional value, meat is very expensive, especially as compared to vegetables and fruits
183. Make your own beer or wine - This is a great way to enjoy some of the beverages that you love at a very cheap price
184. Buy staples in bulk - Buy items you use a lot of in bulk, particularly items that don’t perish - trash bags, laundry detergent, diapers, etc.
185. Invest in a deep freezer - A deep freezer, after the initial investment, is a great bargain
186. Buy frozen veggies
187. Shop for food online
188. Cut back on your "one-item" trips
189. If you buy soda, buy 2 liter bottles instead of cans - It’s much cheaper per unit price
190. Have potluck dinners
191. Buy generic brand products at the supermarket
192. Eat cereal instead of fast food. It’s cheaper and usually healthier
193. Join clubs at school and take advantage of free food at meetings
194. Don’t buy prepackaged cheese or meat - Go to the deli and have them slice it for you. You can get more for you money
195. Collect vegetable scraps in a bag in the freezer - As soon as it’s full, make a soup out of them
196. Buy whole roasted chickens - When you have used all the meat, throw the bones into a soup

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197. Don’t spend money just to de-stress - Quite often, we spend money just to wind down from a stressful day at work
198. Use cash as a negotiating tool - Nothing makes a seller’s mouth water than cold hard cash in their hand.
199. Send away for and follow up on rebates
200. Get a rewards card
201. Call your credit card company and ask for a rate reduction

202. Don’t pay interest on credit cards
203. Take advantage of 0% credit card offers
204. Pass on extended warranties
205. Always ask for fees to be waived - Any time you sign up for a service of any kind and there are sign-up fees, ask for them to be waived
206. Remove your credit card numbers from your online accounts
207. Master the thirty day rule - Whenever you’re considering making an unnecessary purchase, wait thirty days and then ask yourself if you still want it
208. Use the ten second rule - Whenever you pick up an item in order to add it to your cart or to take it to the checkout, stop for ten seconds
209. Do a price comparison - and find a cheaper grocery store - Most of us get in a routine of shopping at the same grocery store
210. Maximize yard sales
211. Get tires from Costco or other wholesale clubs
212. Buy generic over-the-counter medicines
213. Don’t overspend on hygiene products - For most people, inexpensive hygiene products do the trick
214. Buy online when it saves you money
215. Use Open Source software when possible for your software needs
216. Buy your car over the internet
217. Buy appliances based on reliability, not what’s cheapest at the store
218. Hide your credit cards - Take your credit cards and put them in a safe place in your home, not in your wallet where it’s easy to spend them
219. Challenge yourself to try making your own things
220. When shopping for standard items (clothes, sports equipment, older games, etc.), start by shopping used.
221. Try generic brands of items you buy regularly - Instead of just picking up the ordinary brand of an item you buy, try out the store brand
222. Cut dryer sheets in half to double the value of each box
223. Go through your clothes - all of them - If you have a regular urge to buy clothes, go through everything that you have and see what you might find
224. Don’t buy into trends - Keep a wardrobe of classic pieces, so you don’t have to update your clothes every year
225. Buy clothes at a thrift store
226. Wear clothes more than once before washing them - You’ll reduce wear on your clothes and save energy by not washing so often
227. Shop at outlet stores
228. Avoid buying clothes that require drying cleaning
229. Buy your winter clothes at the end of winter/beginning of spring - Buy summer clothing at the end of summer/beginning of fall
230. Shop at discount stores like TjMax and Ross
231. When buying a car, go for late model used
232. Go for reliability and fuel efficiency when buying a car

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Money Saving Tips:

233. Agree to limit gift giving
234. Make your own gifts instead of buying stuff from the store
235. Make your own greeting cards
236. Make your own wrapping paper
237. Give a gift of a service instead of an item - For new parents, give an evening of babysitting as a gift. If you know pet owners, offer to take care of their pets when they travel. Offer up some lawn care as a gift to a new homeowner. These are always spectacular gifts for anyone
238. Do holiday shopping right after the holidays

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239. Drive your car longer - Get as many miles as you can before buying or leasing a new one
240. Buy a used car - New cars drop significantly in value as soon as you drive off the lot
241. Get rid of your car - If you’re married, just have one
242. Maintain your vehicle
243. Keep tires properly inflated
244. Clean your car’s air filter - A clean air filter can improve your gas mileage by up to 7%, saving you more than $100 for every 10,000 miles you drive
245. Make it a goal to eliminate half of your car trips eventuallystart out moderately, combining trips, walking or cycling for short distances
246. Take public transportation
247. Carpool - Why not ride together?
248. Don’t speed - Not only is it inefficient in terms of gasoline usage, it also can get you pulled over and cost you a bundle
249. Drive a different route to work - This is an especially powerful tip if you find yourself “automatically” stopping for something on the way into work or the way home
250. Don't drive during rush hour if you can
251. Remove weight from you car - Excess weight puts a heavier load on the engine
252. Minimize idling
253. Roll up windows on highway
254. Don't top off - Spilling fuel is just a waste
255. Park in shade
256. Use your air conditioner only when absolutely necessary
257. Perform group errands
258. Wash your car regularly - A dirty car can damage paint
259. Wash and vacuum your car at home
260. Accelerate slowly and smoothly - Avoid jackrabbit starts. Get into high gear as quickly as possible
261. Avoid unnecessary stopping and braking - Maintain a steady pace
262. Do not rest your foot on the clutch or brake pedal - This causes needless wear and poor fuel economy
263. Keep the front wheels in proper alignment - Improper alignment not only causes faster tire wear, but also puts an extra load on the engine
264. Rotate your tires regularly - Rotating tires slows down tire wear
265. Avoid heavy traffic - You’ll save on gas by not idling as much
266. Pay your auto insurance premiums annually instead of every six months - You may get a lower rate
267. If possible, ride your bike or walk to your destinations

Travel Money Saving Tips

268. Pack food before you go on a road trip - Have everyone pack a sack lunch for the trip
269. Cut down on your vacation spending - Instead of going on a big, extravagant trip, pack up the car and see some of America some years for vacation
270. Bring an empty water bottle with you to the airport - Bottled water at airports is expensive. While you can’t bring any liquids past security, you can bring an empty bottle. Put it in your carry on and fill it up as soon as you get past security
271. Plan Ahead - The general rule is, the further in advance you book, the cheaper it is going to be
272. Stay flexible with your travel dates and times - Sometimes moving your departure or return date by a day or two will save you money. And don’t forget to price out morning flights and evening flights
273. Fun on a flexible schedule - The more flexible your window of travel, when your trip starts and how long it lasts the more options you have for savings. You'll be able to take advantage of airline ticket sales and the cheapest days to travel. Generally, it's a better deal to travel midweek than over the weekend
274. Buy your tickets at least 21 days in advance - There are usually four different timetables for advance purchase: 21-day, 14-day, 7-day, and 3-day. The further in advance you book your flight, the lower the fare you're likely to find
275. Research your destination - Before you leave, make a list of sightseeing priorities. Use the internet to find free and inexpensive attractions.
276. Prepare a budget - When you travel overseas, you generally know how long you’ll be gone and where you’ll be staying
277. Carry a guidebook - A travel guide is worth its weight in gold. You’ll pay $20-$30 for a good one, but ultimately the book will save you money
278. Take advantage of coupons - Whether it is for lodging, food, or attractions – coupons SAVE money! Find them everywhere... online, in local newspapers, at convenience stores, motels, etc. Always read the fine print carefully for terms of the coupon
279. Take advantage of the chambers of commerce and visitors centers - You'll find great restaurant discount coupons. Plus, you'll hit on valuable coupons for area attractions and ideas for inexpensive activities
280. Avoid tourist traps - Research places of interest to visit before your trip or visit the local visitors center. By traveling off the beaten path, you'll avoid the expensive tourist traps
281. Stay Local - Explore the sites you might not normally visit, like a local museum or holiday festival. Think about places that are within 100 to 200 miles from home, where you can drive in a few hours. Look at the Web site for cities' convention and visitors bureaus. They often highlight local specials you might not read about in your own paper

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Planes, Trains, & Automobiles


282. Keep your airline options open - Use a travel Web site to search for fares instead of the individual airline sites, and choose "none" as a carrier preference
283. Consider another airport - Find out about all the airports that are near your destination city. You might be able to fly into a smaller airport or neighboring city at a much lower rate
284. Stay over a Saturday night - Airlines quote the highest fares to business travelers, who fly during the week and spend their weekends at home. If you plan to leave for your trip on a Wednesday and return on Saturday, your fare would be considerably higher than if you extended your trip to Sunday morning
285. Some Days are Cheaper than others - Fly on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Some airlines offer cheaper fares on specific days of the week. Generally, it's cheapest to fly on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. Remember, though, that a Saturday stay is necessary to receive the lowest rate
286. Be flexible about the time of day you travel - If possible, let the fares dictate the day and time of your departure. Often the less popular early morning or late evening flights have lower rates
287. Pick a flight with plenty of open seats - Seats in a flight are divided into "classes," and each class has its own price. Since the cheapest classes sell first, the fewer seats that are left on a plane, the more expensive they are
288. Sign up for a frequent flyer program - If you are a frequent traveler, it may make more sense for you to fly consistently with the same airline and accumulate frequent flyer miles, rather than base your criteria strictly on which carrier has the lowest fare for a particular destination
289. Travel during the slow time - There are lots of bargains out there for travel during the week after Thanksgiving. Another slow time, with good values out there, is the week after New Years through mid-January. You’ll find big savings during this time as opposed to waiting for the peak winter break travel time
290. Avoid traveling around the holidays - Most airlines have "blackout days" around popular holidays, when fares are more expensive and passengers cannot use frequent flyer miles. However, flying on the day of the actual holiday (Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day) generally means low airfares and plenty of seats
291. Sign up for fare special e-mails - When airlines get into a fare war, the cost of a plane ticket can fall overnight and the discounted fare may be sold out by noon the next day. Get on the mailing list of airlines and other travel Web sites so you can be notified immediately if fares drop
292. Look into booking your vacation as a package - You might be able to save by booking your airline tickets along with your hotel room or rental car

Tips to Getting a Flight Upgrade

293. Be polite and friendly - Upgrades are usually at the discretion of check-in staff so a bit of flirtatious charm can go a long way
294. Be subtle and discreet - Airline staff is unlikely to upgrade you if other customers are within earshot
295. Scrub up well - Airline Staff will prioritize customers who look the part, so that rules out any jeans and beach wear
296. Join a frequent flier program - If you're a frequent flier, then you should definitely consider becoming a member. After all they're completely free to sign up to and usually you'll be given priority over low fare economy ticket holders when upgrades are available or necessary
297. Get friendly with staff - Having friends or family who work for the airline will always help. Also, if you regularly fly on the same route, get to know the staff and they'll be more likely to keep you in mind
298. Avoid regular business hours - Flying during the working day obviously means more business people taking up seats and less opportunity for you to fill them. If possible, fly at the weekend or unusual hours to increase your chance.
299. Fly on planes with larger first class sections - It goes without saying the more first class seats there are, the more likely it is you'll get one. You can either check the airline's website or use a website to investigate a specific plane's layout
300. Get bumped off - Companies often over-book flights, especially in busy times like school holidays, and hope people will cancel or not turn up. Then they'll ask passengers to voluntarily fly on the next available flight and more than likely offer you an upgrade as well as compensation for the inconvenience
301. Celebrate in style - If you're celebrating a special occasion like your honeymoon always let the staff know. A good tip is to take your marriage certificate with you so you can prove it. You never know, you may get lucky!
302. Use Frequent Flyer Miles - If you prefer a guaranteed way to travel in comfort without shelling out, you can always use your Frequent Flyer miles to top up the flight. Cash in on credit card air miles. Use your credit card to make monthly purchases and pay that balance off every month. The benefit: You'll accrue air miles faster. Cash them in for ticket upgrades and free travel
303. Ditch the family!It's easier to get upgrades when you're travelling on your own. Families and groups aren't likely to be offered them
304. Chat up the travel agent Try and get the travel agent to annotate your booking with SFU (suitable for upgrade) or CIP (commercially important passenger), while it won't assure an upgrade, it should increase your chances

What Not To Do

305. Be demanding - While it might work for celebrities, having an attitude isn't going to warm the staff to you and they'll be less inclined to give you an upgrade
306. Undersell yourself - While this won't definitely secure you an upgrade, if you're a Doctor or Reverend, make sure you book with this on the ticket. Some peoples' experiences suggest this will help you on your way to getting a luxury seat
307. The Next Best - If you don't rate your chances of getting an upgrade, there are ways to improve the likelihood of getting those much sought-after bulkhead seats with the big leg room. While airlines say these seats are only allocated on the day of flying, frequent flyers may actually be able to pre-book them. If not, why not try checking in online? As well as saving time, you might be able to grab aisle or bulkhead seats this way. If you've a back injury, get a certificate from your doctor to help persuade staff at check-in

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308. Go Public - Taking public transport is almost always going to be cheaper than driving, especially if you book in advance. There are some great deals to be had, and you can even turn it into an adventure for the kids or just for yourself. Not only are you going to save some money, but you are also going to be helping the environment


309. Rent a car - What sounds expensive can actually often save you money. If you are driving to your destination, renting a car instead of using your own vehicle is often cheaper than the extra wear and tear on your own car
310. Consider renting a car instead of using the airport shuttle - Many times the cost of the shuttle is more than that of a modest car rental and you have the flexibility of having available transportation. However you might want to avoid renting a car at the airport because you'll find more competitive rates, plus avoid extra surcharges at car rental agencies away from the convenience of the airport. Look into car rental offices away from the airport. Airport fees can raise the price of a rental car up to 10 percent. If the hotel you plan to stay in offers shuttle service, ride the shuttle to your hotel and rent a car there
311. Make your reservations as early as possible - Many companies increase rates as their cars become booked. Also, certain classes of cars will sell out, and you may end up paying for a larger or more expensive vehicle than you need
312. Shop online - The quickest and easiest way to compare rental car rates: Consult a travel Web site. This way you can see what each company charges for the same type of car and length of rental
313. Consider the mileage policy - If you plan on doing a lot of driving in your rental car, make sure that you get unlimited mileage. Car rental companies can charge an exorbitant amount for each mile you go over the limit
314. Ask about special rates - Many rental car companies have weekly, weekend, or seasonal rates. Find out which discounts they offer and then see if your travel plans can be altered to meet their requirements
315. Book the smallest car you need - Often you can upgrade to a larger car at the rental counter at a rate far less than what you would have paid if you reserved that size. However, be aware that an upgrade is not guaranteed, and you may end up stuck with the car you reserved. Ask about all classes and sizes. Sometimes a rental car office may have extra cars in a certain class or size and rent them for even less than the cost of a smaller car
316. Compare daily and weekly rates - If you need to rent a car for four or five days, it may cost less ultimately to book it for a full week
317. Use coupons - Car rental coupons can be found in travel magazines or the travel section of the Sunday newspaper. Make sure to mention your coupon when reserving the car

Road Tripping

318. Start your road trip car-happy - Keep the tires inflated properly. Underinflated tires waste fuel and wear out the tire tread. Plus, a well-tuned engine burns less gas. The right parts and fresh oil keep your engine happy and less thirsty for gas

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Hotel Accommodations

319. Book in advance - The cheapest hotel rates can go quickly, so book your room at the same time that you make your travel plans
320. Compare packages - Choosing the cheapest hotel doesn't necessarily save you the most money. Weigh the hotel rates based upon the meals, entertainment, housekeeping, room amenities, airport shuttle service, and activity packages that the hotel may provide
321. Check for special deals through your memberships, associations, or clubs - Sometimes a credit card, a travel agent, or a frequent flyer plan can qualify you for a discounted hotel rate
322. Ask your travel agent about booking your room through a consolidator - Consolidators buy large blocks of rooms and often pass large discounts on to the individual consumer
323. Consider staying in a business district - Since business travelers aren't around during the weekend, hotels in business districts have plenty of available rooms on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights and usually offer discounted rates
324. Ask about a suit - If your family requires more than one bedroom, staying in a suite may be cheaper than reserving separate rooms
325. Talk to more than one person - If you plan to stay in a national hotel chain, call its 800-number before contacting the hotel directly. One might quote you a lower rate than the other
326. Consider suburban hotels - If you don’t absolutely have to be in a downtown location, consider staying in a hotel in the “˜burbs. Often, these hotels offer a great value, and include additional amenities like free parking, complimentary continental breakfasts, etc. A lower room rate is no bargain, though, if transportation costs will eat up all the savings

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Packing Your Bags

327. Pack light - Experienced travelers always offer this advice, but rookies seldom heed it. Even if you’re staying in the same hotel for three weeks, packing light can prevent headaches. Pack lightly and carry a spare. Keep things simple. Carry two credit cards, a debit card and enough cash for a few days. That way, you'll have less to protect and it'll be easier to monitor spending. Carry a backup card in a separate place from the rest of your cards
328. Pack smart - Take items that serve double duty. Don’t carry stuff you can buy cheaply at your destination. Leave room in your bag to bring home things you purchase while on vacation
329. Carry a money belt - A money belt is cheap insurance. There are many people who have had cash stolen from purses. It will be nice to know that you have backups in your moneybelt
330. Ship Ahead - Many airlines now have begun to charge passengers for each checked bag and fees up to $100 for bags weighing more than 50 pounds. If you are flying and think you might be overweight it pays to ship some of you luggage in advance. It is far cheaper to do this than to have to pay for excess baggage at the airport
331. Carry On - Split you luggage and take all your essential items as carry on. Airlines are not the most reliable people anyway when it comes to luggage. If you are traveling with more than one suitcase, split your clothes and those of your travel companions into different suitcases. That way if worse comes to worst you won’t be out spending money on essentials because your bags lost. Even if you are only taking one suitcase, it is always worth putting as many essentials as you can into your carry on

Dining Out

332. Of course you’ll want to try good restaurants - But for many meals, you can save money by picking up food at the grocery store
333. Eat lunch in your room - You'll be surprised how good a peanut butter sandwich, chips, and fresh fruit tastes away from home, and everyone gets a needed break from the heat and crowds of tourist destinations
334. Do lunch - Lunch menus usually offer the same entrees as dinner, just smaller portions and a smaller check. Another cost-cutting palate pleaser: Dine out during the week, rather than the weekends. Often, the menu prices climb over the weekend. Bring your own grub. Travel with a cooler. You won't be purchasing drinks and snacks at every rest stop. Rent a house, condo or efficiency, so you can cook or barbecue. Your meals won't eat away at your budget
335. Eat breakfast where kids eat free and split meals - This can mean an enormous saving for a family of four or larger. Children are many times too excited or tired to eat much at a time. Restaurants that are kid friendly are more than happy to accommodate special requests for extra plates

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How to save money when visiting National Parks or Theme Parks

336. Bring your own stroller - This can save $7 to $10 a day at some of the attractions
337. Bring along individual refillable water bottles - These can be refilled at the hotel and at attraction water fountains. A family of four could easily spend $20 or more a day buying water
338. Take advantage of multi-day passes at the attractions - This is especially a good deal when they can be used anytime. These days, if you plan to visit three or more parks in a year's time, the $80 investment in an America The Beautiful Pass (ATB Pass) generally is worth it, as more and more parks are charging either $20 or $25 for entry
339. Make your own reservations - Many hotels and airlines offer additional discounts and specials for booking online
340. Give each child a set amount to spend - You can tame the "gimmes", and your pocketbook at the same time, by giving children a pre-set spending limit for souvenirs
341. Spend the day away from the attractions - You're paying for that hotel swimming pool... use it! Spend the day at the beach or a nearby museum. The shopping areas near the major attractions (like Downtown Disney) have children's play areas, providing an inexpensive day of fun for the little ones

Overseas Travel

342. Consider the Exchange Rate - If you’re planning to travel overseas, then in the earliest planning stages, consider the exchange rate. For example, if you were currently choosing between traveling from the U.S. to either London or Argentina, you’d get the most bang for your buck from the latter. I realize there are other considerations, but if you’re in a position to leverage the exchange rate, do so

Cruise Lines

343. Early booking gets the cruise deals - Cruise lines offer many early booking specials, plus you'll save on airfare if you book early to get to the port city. While you may be able to net a low-priced, last-minute cruise deal, the last-minute airfare is more expensive

Avoid the Fees

344. Manage your money - Know which money source is best for each situation. I didn’t understand this, and was dinged with unnecessary fees. For example, you should know that Visa charges a 1% overseas usage fee regardless of whether you’re using debit or credit. Some cards waive this fee. Some of this you learn with experience, but it never hurts to review your account policies before making a trip.
345. Swipe with savings in mind - Use only your own bank's ATM whenever possible. If one's not available, look for machines with a "No surcharge here" logo. If you plan on using an ATM regularly on your trip, withdraw larger amounts of cash to reduce your number of transactions. Or, when you're at the grocery store stocking up on food and sunscreen, ask for cash back to avoid fees and additional surcharges.

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Help sometimes comes at a price or with a hidden agenda, but our helpful guides have neither. We hope that the information in our Leewood Times Guides give you starting points and focus. Our goal is to assist you in making informed decisions.

Here are the links to all the Leewood Times Guides


345 Money Saving Tips

Leewood Times 75 Money Saving Travel Tips

Leewood Times 2008 Winter Guide

Leewood Times Bar-B-Que Tips & Tricks

Leewood Times Employment Guide

Leewood Times Energy Saving Tips Winter / Summer

Leewood Times Guide to Credit Repair

Leewood Times Guide to Fall Festivals

Leewood Times Guide to Going Green

Leewood Times Guide to Holiday Entertaining

Leewood Times Guide to Local Farmers Markets

Leewood Times Guide to New Years Resolutions

Leewood Times Guide to Seasonal Allergies & Pollen

Leewood Times Guide to Spring Cleaning

Leewood Times Guide to the Capital Beltway

Leewood Times Guide to Volunteering

Leewood Times Guide to Voting

Leewood Times Spring Yard Maintenance Tips

Leewood Times Summer Fun Guide



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