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20 Ways to Save Hundreds

Travel Calendar, 99 Ways to Save

Dan Saelinger

Tip: Pull out your calendar when booking your flight — some days are much cheaper than others.

Upgrade your dishwasher. A new dishwasher that is Energy Star-certified will use on average $323 in energy and water over its lifetime, versus $754 for hand-washing. Savings: $431.

Pay off credit cards faster. Credit cards charge interest daily. If you have a $5,000 balance and pay $121 every other week rather than $242 at the end of the month, Bankrate.com says you can cut interest payments by $359 a year on a card with a 17 percent interest rate.



Buy glasses online. It can be 70 percent cheaper to buy at sites such as zennioptical.com than at a store. That's $210 off a $300 pair of specs. AARP members can save at EyeMed.

Shop around for meds. Area drug prices can vary widely. For example, a customer in Raleigh, N.C., was quoted $249 at a national chain for duloxetine. Costco charged $43 for the same prescription. Savings: $206.

Be a chill driver. Hard braking and speeding can lower your gas mileage by 30 to 40 percent. At an annual gas consumption of 480 gallons, you could save $460.

Ask for open-box items — display models or unused products returned to the retailer (but not returned to the factory like refurbished items). A $1,200 MacBook Air, for example, was purchased in an open box for $230 less.

Get taxes done free. AARP Foundation offers free tax preparation to people with low to moderate incomes. Go to aarp.org/taxaide or call 888-687-2277. Save $273 on average.

Adopt a mutt. Many shelters offer pets for free or a small fee; a breeder can charge $500 or more.

Buy gas on Monday. It's the cheapest gas day in 23 states, according to GasBuddy. Thursday is the most expensive day. Stick to Mondays and save $325 a year.

Hire a haggler. Companies such as BillFixers and Shrinkabill will haggle with your cable TV company or other service providers for one-third to half of your first-year savings. BillFixers claims it saves clients an average of $300 per year.

Beef up your computer. Many PCs include only 4GB of DRAM, the active memory used when your computer is on. Add another 4GB ($33) for smoother operation. Then add a solid-state drive ($114) for more and faster storage. Save $500 or more compared with a new computer.


Discover great deals and savings as an AARP member on financial services, healthcare, travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and more


Add digital coupons to your supermarket loyalty card. At Kroger.com, for example, digital coupons range from $1 off Hefty trash bags to $3 off Tide detergent. Save $10 per week with these coupons, or $520 a year.

Pick your flights carefully. The cheapest days to fly are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. FareCompare.com revealed that a Boston-to-Las Vegas round trip cost $500 from Friday to Sunday but $228 from Saturday to Wednesday. Savings: $272.

Shop for new car insurance. In a 2015 study, drivers who switched insurers saved an average of $388.

Drive safely. Some insurers offer discounts if you prove that you drive safely by using, say, a plug-in device for your car. Nationwide insurance, for example, offers a SmartRide discount of up to 40 percent, or up to $400 off a $1,000 policy.

Take a driving class. Insurers can offer up to 15 percent off for older drivers who take an online safety course — that's up to $675 over three years on a typical policy.

Cancel collision. If your car is paid off, collision insurance is optional. You could save around $300 per year.

Get the good-student discount. If your teen gets good grades, you could get an average annual auto insurance discount of $263.

Swap steak for pork chops. They cost 55 percent less than rib eye. Sub two pounds of chops every other week and save $230 yearly.

Buy plane tickets separately. Airlines require each person on a reservation to pay the same, even if cheaper seats are available. Buy separately and save the group $1,000.

99 Great Ways to Save

Next: How to save thousands of dollars

 

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