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Nos. 71-89: Ideas for Frugal Living
71. Kill Old Subscriptions
En español | Paying for gym memberships you never use or magazines you never read? Trim scans your credit cards for recurring subscription and membership payments that you didn't realize you were still making.
72. Upgrade Your Fridge
A new model may reduce your electric bill by about $350 over five years. Also, your electric company may offer a rebate to its customers for buying an energy-efficient appliance.
73. Hot and Dry
Start a new load of laundry while the dryer is still warm. The machine doesn't have to warm up again, saving you energy dollars. And don't forget to clean the lint filter so your dryer will continue to run efficiently.
74. Get Savings Matched
Individual development accounts are designed to help people of modest means buy a house or start a business. Some programs provide up to $4 for every $1 you save. Go to ProsperityNow.org/map to find community organizations that administer IDAs.
75. Prescription Savings
You might find a prescription medicine cheaper than one you are buying over the counter. The heartburn remedy Prilosec, for example, goes for about $10 for 14 tablets. But a prescription for 90 tablets of omeprazole can be had for a $10 copay, saving you around $60 a month.
76. Go with Store Brands
When buying nonprescription drugs, you should always go with the store brand. What's the difference between Tylenol Extra Strength Rapid Release gelcaps at $12.49 per 100 and Rite Aid Extra Strength Acetaminophen Rapid Release gelcaps for $8.99 per 100? Practically nothing, except you'll save $3.50.
77. Round Up and Save
Acorns is an app that automatically rounds up your credit card purchases to the nearest dollar. The extra change gets invested in stocks and bonds. Those pennies add up. You can save and invest an average of $30 a month.
78. Organic Optional
Fruits and veggies grown without the use of pesticides cost more. Each year, the Environmental Working Group updates its Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to help you make decisions on when it is worth it to pay for organic.
Slow Cooker Savings
You can make tough cuts of meat tender and flavorful. Stew meat averages $5.60 per pound, versus $8.30 for sirloin steak. Save $2.70 per pound.
80. Senior Discounts
There are lots of savings online for those 65-plus. Websites list age-based discounts on everything from restaurant meals to airline tickets. But you have to know where to look. Start with SeniorLiving.org, DealNews.com and TheSeniorList.com. For more specific information, search “senior discounts."
81. Create a Money-Saving Email Address
Signing up for retailer rewards programs or sale notification emails can save you money. But you'll be deluged with spam. You can set up an email address just for those offers and keep your main account clean. Check the secondary account once in a while, especially before you shop at one of those retailers.
82. Toilet Running?
Take a look inside the tank before you pay a plumber a minimum of $75 for a service call. Usually a running toilet means the flapper at the bottom of the tank isn't closing properly. Sometimes adjusting the flapper chain or cleaning the seal does the trick, or you might need a new $5 flapper, which almost anyone can install in five minutes.
83. Track Your Finances
Mint.com is a free program that helps track your finances, create budgets and alert you when your bills are due. Quicken, another personal finance program, will run you $35. There is a catch: With Mint you'll see ads.
84. Don't Rinse Dishes
With modern dishwashers, it's not necessary to prewash dishes. Just scrape them off thoroughly into the garbage and load them. You'll save about 55,000 gallons of water over the lifetime of the dishwasher. That could save about $280, plus it will be good for the environment — and will avoid lots of unnecessary work.
85. Be Sale Savvy
Tell the free Shoptagr website and mobile app which clothing, shoes or accessories you are in the market for. The app is linked to over 3,000 online stores and can tell you when there are sales, when stock of an item is low or when it's available again.
86. Overseas Dorm Rooms
Some foreign universities rent rooms to summer travelers while their students are away on break. For example, in Perugia, Italy, you can spend a week at Casa Monteripido for $181 versus about $500 for the modestly priced Primavera Mini Hotel. Go to UniversityRooms.com.
87. Go Native in the Garden
Trees, flowers and other plants that are native to the region where you live will grow successfully with little or no watering, fertilizer or other human attention once they are established. Use local plants and save money while increasing your summer hammock time.
88. Reduce Your Lawn
Watering and cutting make the grass in your yard the most expensive and labor-intensive part of the property. Americans spend about $29 billion annually on their lawns — that's about $90 per person. Be creative. Patios, decks, planting beds, and rock and gravel patches can add visual interest to your property while saving you money.
Veterans Deals and Discounts
MilitaryBenefits.info lists hundreds of companies that offer discounts to vets. The discounts range from $500 off an eligible new Ford vehicle to 10 percent off at some Burger King locations.