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99 ways to save

Dan Saelinger

of clever money-saving ideas offers ways to cut costs in all areas of your life, including travel, entertainment, shopping, technology, utilities, insurance, dining, medicine and banking.

Among this year's 99 Ways to Save are tips that can save you pocket change (cut your budget by a buck and a half a month by buying men’s shaving gel instead of ladies) or jack up your bank account by thousands (become a one-car couple).

Start below with ingenious ideas on how save up to 10 dollars and browse your way up the savings ladder. In all, this year’s list adds up to more than $34,000 in savings. Ka-ching!


19 Ways to Save Up to 10 Bucks

Try these tips to fatten your wallet

En español |  Travel with a water bottle. Airport security will let you pass if it's empty. Just fill it at a water fountain after the security checkpoint. It beats paying $5 for a liter bottle at a gift shop. Savings: $10 per round trip.

For some meds, skip your insurance. Ask your pharmacist about the retail price of your prescription medication; it might be cheaper to pay that price. For example, the diabetes medication Metformin costs about $4 for a month's supply, while the average copay is $11. Savings: $7.

Have grease and grime on your hands? A tub of a popular hand cleaner costs $10. But many do-it-yourselfers say if you scrub thoroughly with a teaspoon of cooking oil and some sugar, it works equally well. Others swear by a teaspoon of peanut butter.

Coin Purse, 99 Ways to Save

Dan Saelinger

Tip: Check in with your cable company every so often for under-the-radar offers on TV and Internet service.

Use a carrier on top of your car? Remove it whenever possible. It can reduce gas mileage by as much as 25 percent. That's a three-gallon waste per fill-up, or about $8 in gas.

Use gas advantage programs. Many grocery store chains, including Safeway and Kroger, let you earn a discount at select stations. At 10 cents a gallon, that's $5.20 after four typical fill-ups.

Use ceiling fans more. Air conditioning costs about 36 cents an hour. A ceiling fan: 1 cent per hour. You could save $8.40 for each day without the AC.

Plan to rent a car on vacation? Pack your toll pass transponder device; many can be used at toll plazas in other states. In Illinois, for example, vehicles with an I-PASS device pay half of what the cash lane charges. You'll save $7.50 or more if doing lots of back-and-forth driving.

Sign up for a Twitter feed that offers deals. Sources like @AmazonDeals and @RetailMeNot alert you to discounts. An example: @couponkid recently tweeted a $10 coupon with a purchase of $100 or more at Also follow @AARPMemberAdv on Twitter for alerts available to AARP members.

Reveal your age! Ask restaurants if they have a senior discount. At 15 percent off, you'd save $7.50 on a $50 dinner for two.

Use baby oil to remove eye makeup. At 25 cents an ounce, it works as well as many brand-name removers, which can cost $4.50 an ounce or more. Savings: at least $4.25 per ounce.

Ladies, use men's shaving gel. It's usually cheaper. (That holds true for many grooming products packaged differently for men and women.) A recent check at found that a 14-ounce container of men's shave gel sold for $3.76; the same quantity of a similar women's shave gel was $5.34. Savings: $1.58.

Keep your tires inflated. For every 5 psi of air pressure below normal, you lose 2 percent on gas mileage. For a typical car, underinflated tires can waste roughly a gallon of gas each month (around $2.50) — plus you'll have extra wear on your tires.

Don't buy salon hair products for everyday usage. A brand-name conditioner is $23.94 online for 8.45 ounces. But a store-brand conditioner found at a national chain works well too, at $3.42 for 10.2 fluid ounces. Savings: $2.49 per ounce.

Routinely call or write your cable company, internet provider or TV services to see what they'll do to keep you loyal. Netflix, for example, offered a free month of service. Savings: $8.

Get reimbursed for ATM fees. Most online banks and some traditional banks will reimburse you for fees incurred when you use another bank's ATM. But you have to ask. That's an average of $4.57 per transaction.

Pizza Clock, 99 Ways to Save

Dan Saelinger

Tip: Make your own pizza and save cash (plus, delivery is always free)

Become a pizza chef. The secret is premade pizza dough bought at the store. Add tomato sauce from a jar, cheese, herbs and toppings for a total of about $4 per pizza. Compared with a large one-topping pizza to go, you save about $8.

Make broth. Finished eating the roasted chicken? Boil the carcass for an hour, strain the liquid into a freezable container and you have two quarts of high-quality stock that costs about $6 at the store. Do the same with vegetable peelings, as well as your beef or pork bones.

Tap into your local library from home. OverDrive is a free app that makes it a snap to borrow and read your library's e-book collection on your phone, tablet or computer. Savings: $8.35 (the typical cost of an E-book for Kindle).

Try a parking app. ParkWhiz, SpotHero, Parking Panda and similar apps show you the rates at parking lots near your destination and then let you reserve a space. A search for two-hour parking near a Manhattan address showed one lot charging $15 and another charging $25. Both lots were one-tenth of a mile from the address. Savings: $10.

99 Great Ways to Save

Next: How to save up to $20

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