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Money Saving Tips From All-Star Financial Experts Skip to content

Take a look at aging around the world in 'A New Age,' a special report by AARP and Magnum Photos.

 

More Ways to Save With All-Star Experts' Tips

Hear from money gurus in AARP's 10th annual list of bargains, discounts, deals and more

large number 99 with banner on top that says 10th anniversary, great ways to save

typography by jordan metcalf / experts' portrait illustrations by kyle hilton

Hot Tips from Money Experts

illustration of Allan Roth

— Allan Roth, financial planner at Wealth Logic and AARP contributor

51. Interest Rate Savings 

En español | A friend with over $200,000 in a bank account that paid no interest complained that a $12 sandwich at the local deli was overpriced. I told him if he moved his cash to a high-paying FDIC-insured savings account, like Synchrony bank, paying 2.25 percent APY, he'd make about $4,500 a year. That's the equivalent of getting one free deli sandwich every day! Two good places to find rates like this are DepositAccounts.com and BankRate.com.

 

52. Negotiate Bank Fees

Banks now charge fees even for receiving money via wires, something many customers may not realize. Be sure to check your statements, and dispute those fees if you find them — even if you need to speak to a manager. The bank needs your business. A 10-minute call may save you about $25.

53. Get a Signing Bonus

Many brokerage companies will pay an “acquisition award” if you transfer significant financial assets to them. Those awards can be $2,500 or more. You don't have to sell the assets in your account or even buy anything at the new brokerage.


illustration of Pauline Frommer

— Pauline Frommer, editorial director, Frommer's guide books and frommers.com

54. Book Travel on Sunday

Travelers who buy airline tickets on Sundays could save some 20 percent over those who buy midweek, according to a study by the Airlines Reporting Corp.

55. Go Fancy at Lunchtime

If you want to try an expensive restaurant on vacation, do so for lunch. Often the menu will be the same as the dinner menu, but prices may be 25 percent less.

sightseeing binoculars, lenses turn into dollar signs

Tommy Perez

Cut Costly Passes

Sightseeing passes can steer travelers to attractions they don't care to see. Save money by avoiding packages with costly sightseeing passes. Does anyone want to visit three museums in one day?

57. Ride the Strong Dollar

Right now U.S. greenbacks will go very far in Argentina, Vietnam, Canada, Colombia and Mexico. I was recently in Colombia, and a meal for two in one of the swankiest restaurants in Cartagena ran just $25, including drinks and tip!


illustration of Bob Vila

— Bob Vila, Home improvement TV guru and author of 12 books

58. Use Smart Outlets

Power your electronics on and off automatically with a voice command. Up to 20 percent of your electric bill comes from “vampire” home electronics that are plugged in but not in use. 

59. Get Occupancy Sensors

Put these in every part of your home. Walk in the room, the light comes on. Walk out, it goes off. Never pay for accidentally leaving the basement light on for a week.

60. Add Smart Thermostats

They sense when you are in a room and set the temperature automatically. Some sync with the GPS in your phone and adjust when you’re almost home.

61. Lower Your Water Bills

Update every sink and tub with a new faucet or aerator marked with the WaterSense label. Aerators, which mix air into the water, can cut water consumption by 700 gallons per year, an annual savings of up to $350. 

These Thrifty Lessons Fattened Our Wallets:

Having done this project for a decade, our team has gained wealth-building wisdom, too!

Be a savvy searcher 

Super savers monitor prices online and don't strike until those prices drop significantly. My wife keeps favorite shopping sites on a bookmarked tab and checks them regularly for reductions on targeted items. She also monitors deals on milled.com. —Bob Love, editor in chief

Rely on old-school tools

My family's $25 stove-top corn popper will last for years. Unpopped corn is way cheaper than microwavable or ready to eat. —George Mannes, senior editor

Labels aren't the last word

"10 for $10” doesn't mean you have to buy 10 of a grocery item to get the $1 sale price. A garment labeled “dry clean” may be hand-washable (guidelines: TheLaundress.com). A “use by” date is a guide to food quality, not safety. —Claire McIntosh, senior editor

End the waste

My family works hard at throwing out less. We wash and reuse freezer bags; compost produce scraps; save glass jars and takeout food containers for future use. We also are mindful that nothing goes bad in the fridge. —Neil Wertheimer, deputy editor

Enjoy the hunt

If you've got the time, the payoff is often great quality for significantly less money. My son and his girlfriend, estate-sale fanatics, found a cashmere coat for $17 and a set of English bone china for $45. —Myrna Blyth, editorial director

Never pick up staples at a specialty store 

Don't go into an upmarket grocer for one or two items and leave with a full basket to save a bit of time and gas. —Holly Zimmerman, senior editorial researcher

Cut costs with scissors

When you're at the end of a tube of moisturizer, face cleanser or shampoo, carefully snip the tube open. You'll get a few more applications. —Michele Wolf, manager, editorial copy

illustration of keith gumbinger

— Keith Gumbinger, online mortgage wizard and vice president of HSH.com

62. Retire Mortgage Free

With 15 years left on a 5 percent 30-year mortgage of $100,000, you can retire the loan in seven years by prepaying $442.63 a month. Do that and you'll save $16,035 in interest.

63. Use Adjustables

Adjustable-rate mortgages aren't always a good idea. But refinance with a hybrid ARM and save if you plan to sell in a given time frame. A five-year fixed-rate loan may be available for 3 percent.


illustration of Lisa Lee Freeman

— Lisa Lee Freeman, the “smart shopping coach,” is an expert at saving money.

64. Get Cheap Tech

Wait until Amazon Prime Day, which usually falls in mid-July, to buy an Amazon device. Last year, Kindle and other devices were marked down as much as 50 percent. If you're not already a Prime member, sign up for the free 30-day trial to get the deal.

65. Cross these Groceries Off Your Weekly List

Watch for steep markdowns on canned foods, butter, cereals and olive oil. Buy in bulk and lock in the low price for months.


illustration of Holly Philips

— Holly Phillips, expert Rx saver, physician and CBS News medical contributor

66. Compare Drug Prices

Prices vary significantly from pharmacy to pharmacy. To save up to 80 percent, try RxSaver, either the app or the website.

67. Cut CoPays

Got a long-term condition that requires prescription meds? Ask for a 90-day supply and make a single copay every three months, instead of one every 30 days.

68. Go Generic

Don't forget to ask your pharmacist if there's a generic equivalent. Save up to 80 percent.


illustration of Jean Chatzky

— Jean Chatzky, author and AARP personal finance ambassador

69. Credit Card Rewards

Stay on top of your points and use them before they lose value. Don't waste the cash or credits.

70. Don't Pay for Nostalgia

Downsizing? Avoid renting a storage unit for an average of $1,093 a year. Instead bulk up your savings by selling things that don't fit into your new, more streamlined life.

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