It's official: You like to save money on everything. When the call went out for AARP members to reveal their favorite ways to cut costs, the response was overwhelming. We've already shared some of those money-saving tips, but it turns out there are plenty more where those came from.
Take a look below for even more penny-pinching ideas from AARP members that can improve your bottom line. If you think you've got a better way to save, send it to us. You can also join frugal-friendly groups, such as Savings Challenge or Make Ends Meet, in AARP's Online Community to talk dollars and cents with fellow members. Happy saving!
When I go to the grocery, I always check the area of the store where they have clearance items marked from 50 percent to 75 percent off. Most items are in good shape, but they may have a small dent in the can, be close to the expiration date or didn't sell well. I also take advantage of buy-one-get-one-free offers. —Mary B., 56, Little Rock, Ark.
It's a Wrap
Save your Sunday comics to wrap Christmas presents in. They are colorful and will look good under the tree — and they save trees. We do this especially for the kids who tear through the paper on Christmas morning and do not care how it is wrapped. —Alan R., 60, Mount Auburn, Ill.
A Haircut Above the Rest
Since our marriage nearly 44 years ago, I have cut my husband's hair, thus saving probably thousands of dollars. —Charlotte G., 68, Cincinnati
There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch
I am still a working senior and spend money on lunches, but when my 93-year-old mother visited, she got me into the mode of making a large pot of delicious turkey soup and freezing it in plastic containers. That way, I not only have a nutritious lunch but also a most inexpensive lunch. Use two large turkey legs, potatoes, barley, minicarrots, bay leaf or whatever you like in your soup, and you will remain healthy and save money on lunches. —Jackie S., 70, Richmond, Texas
A Dollar Saved Is a Dollar Earned
When I was young, I was taught to save my pennies. Well, these days, they take a long time to add up. So, I started saving all of my one-dollar bills instead. It's surprising how quickly that adds up. —Donna D., 65, Piedmont, S.C.
The Check Is in the Junk Mail
I recycle my junk mail, first by checking it and saving all 8-by-10-inch pieces of paper that are printed only on one side. I then use them to print my online coupons. This way, we are only using our ink, saving on perfectly good paper and utilizing our annoying junk mail. Coupons print perfectly fine, three to a piece of paper, and the supermarkets accept them. —Veronica B., 68, Sierra Vista, Ariz.
Fresh Food for Thought
Join a Community Supported Agriculture, a local farm where you buy a share and pick up produce weekly during the growing season. Some farms offer half shares if you find the quantity too much, or you can share a share with a friend or two. The produce is fresh, varied, often organic and at a very reasonable cost. Our share is $450 per season for 22 weeks of produce (June 1 through Oct. 31), which comes to $20.45 per week. This is a fraction of what I was spending weekly at a local farmers market. —Linda S., 58, West Halifax, Vt.
When I get into my automobile, the first thing I do is put on my seat belt. I do not start the engine until that is done and everybody is belted. It saves a few gallons of fuel a month. —Ken S., 81, Tigard, Ore.
It's in the Bag
Reuse plastic grocery bags as liners for small trash cans. —David B., 65, Bremen, Ga.
Water, Water Everywhere
The water you run off every time you need hot water for a shower, dishes or to shave can be saved to water plants. I keep a plastic water jug in the bathroom just for this purpose. —Rodger M., 52, Torrington, Wyo.
Next to airfare, lodging is the biggest expense in traveling. Since I don't go on vacations to spend time in my room, I try to spend as little money as possible and still be comfortable. Hostels used to be known as "student hostels" and catered to young people traveling for months with only a backpack, and they shared coed bedrooms with other students with as many as 12 beds to a room. A hostel owner in Rio de Janeiro told me that he finally realized that a lot of people travel as couples and are willing to pay a little more in a hostel for a private room with a lock on the door and a double bed. —Verne H., 60, New York
Airing Out Your Dirty Laundry
Save money by cutting the fabric softener sheet in two pieces. It has enough softener on the sheets to do a large load. —Margaret W., 50, Piedmont, Mo.
Parting Words of Wisdom
Do you need it or want it? “Need” needs to be met — if possible. “Want” can wait. —Candace D., 59, Chicago … Back to Article
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