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Recent good idea's to save $
Old 09-19-2014, 09:57 AM   #1
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Recent good idea's to save $

Hello all,

I did three things recently that saved my $ and wanted to share them with you. Feel free to make suggestions as well.

1> Moved from my bundled package(TV/Internet/Phone) to just TV and Internet. purchased and installed a MagicJackgo device and will be saving $15/month for the first year then $12 after that. Purchased it directly for all the good deals.
>>> Also got free upgraded service and HD receiver for 1 yr free by telling them that I am thinking of going to another service provider. After 1 yr I will drop the TV service and go with a Chromecast device.

2> Got rid of my Microsoft box and moved to a ChromeBox - no Norton contract and I don't have to purchase applications. $90/yr savings

3> Contacted Garmin telling them that my device was not updating correctly - using the correct cable fixed the problem. Then offered me a free swap to the latest and greatest device plus free maps for life, a dashboard bag and memory card. I just paid to ship my old device back!!! $160 savings

I know that these are not massive savings but every little bit counts esp. if you get more and pay less!

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Old 09-19-2014, 10:02 AM   #2
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Read The Only Investment guide You'll Ever Need (2010 edition) by Andrew Tobias chapter 2 in the book. It is a great chapter on how to save money. Tons of ideas. I have done several of them and am saving around 2k a year.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:42 AM   #3
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Good thread. Thanks for starting it. I love finding little bargains and ways to save money. We have a long list of money saving ideas we want to implement and each week, or at least each month we knock off a few, plus add in anything new that pops up.

This past month I bought an annual planetarium pass for half price on Groupon. Actually I sent a referral to my husband so he bought the pass for half price plus I got a $10 bonus. Now on weekends instead of paying each week to see a movie for date nights we can see planetarium shows and big screen science documentaries for free.

We bought a Costco membership through living social for $55 but it came with a $20 gift card and $31 in free food and TP.

One of the kiddos moved into an apartment and I was able to equip the whole kitchen and buy some of the furniture, lamps, tools, mirrors and general household goods for pennies on the dollar from estate sales and charity thrift shops. I like the idea of recycling products, keeping money in the local economy and especially buying from shops where the proceeds go to local charities. Our kiddo doesn't need much more now but I am going to buy more of our own household goods second hand from now on. I found some vintage items this past week I am going to see if I can make a little extra pocket money by reselling.

The library has free attraction tickets all year and this month is offering free train tickets, so I reserved tickets to the Asian Art museum with train tickets to get there.

I think the little savings all do really add up. I am rereading Your Money or Your Life and the book mentioned that if you find ways to spend less on everything you buy that can add up to 1,001 ways to save money.
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:46 AM   #4
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Like many on here already probably are, I am a "pre-paid" phone customer. I have an iPhone 4 on AT&T's GoPhone plan. I pay full price for the phone up front, and just $40/month for my plan (down from $80-90). Pays for itself in 14 months, even without the subsidy. I've had the iPhone 4 for almost 4 years, so I estimate I've saved more than $500 in all (I wasn't a GoPhone customer at first...).

With the release of iPhone 6, I don't know how that will impact this plan. I might purchase a discounted iPhone 5S and stick with GoPhone, but I also intend to look at the pricing structure and plans for which the 6 works.
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:47 AM   #5
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Here's a list of cost savings we've implemented since I retired last year:

1. Canceled cellphone "family plan" with Sprint. Kids are on their own now. Moved our two existing phones to ting.com (a Sprint MVNO). Reduced from $260/mo to $40/mo.

2. Canceled ADT security system monitoring. Replaced with a local company that converted the system to wireless and charges less for monitoring. Reduced from $35/mo to $15/mo.

3. Canceled cable TV and landline phone. Replaced landline with Obi100 VoIP device using Google Voice. Replaced cable with broadcast TV, Netflix, and XBMC. Kept 50/25 FiOS internet. Reduced from $200/mo to $80/mo.

4. Expanded our use of cash-back credit cards. We get 5% using AMEX Blue Cash for groceries and gas. Get 2% on everything else using Fidelity AMEX. We also started buying gift cards at Kroger for major purchases, which earns the 5% "grocery" cash-back, plus double fuel discount points. Increased average cash-back from $50/mo to $125/mo.

5. I took over the grocery shopping from DW. I use coupons and watch for sales, buy store brands, buy what I can from the Dollar stores, and do better meal planning which reduces waste. I buy small quantities about every 5-7 days and we stay away from Costco and similar places where DW used to buy pickles by the gallon. Average monthly savings $150.

6. Utilities. Re-programmed the sprinkler system, thermostats, pool pump timer, and outdoor lighting timers. Also turned down the temp on the water heater and spa. Even with me at home all day, the average utility bill has reduced about $80/mo.

7. Pool maintenance. Stopped using expensive chemicals from the pool store. Converted to the so-called BBB method, which primarily uses household bleach for chlorination and borax for algae control. Monthly savings $35.

8. Clothing/Shoes. Sold most of my fancy work clothes at a neighborhood charity garage sale. My needs are minimal now, but I always check the local thrift shops before buying anything at a regular store. Monthly savings $20-30 (should be more if I can get DW on-board).

9. Taxes. Challenged the property tax valuation on one of my rentals and won. Annual savings $240.

10. Insurance. Consolidated auto, home, and umbrella at one company after extensive shopping around. We still carry the kids on our auto policy (because it's cheaper), but they now reimburse us for their portion. Annual savings $1500.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:16 PM   #6
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* High deductible insurance (car, home, health...)
* Fresh vegetables & fruits instead of packaged "foods". And, store brands instead of national brands for everything else.
* got rid of the mortgage
* kicked last kid off my payroll
* focus on the vital few, not the trivial many for real impact
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Recent good idea's to save $
Old 09-19-2014, 12:33 PM   #7
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Recent good idea's to save $

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* Fresh vegetables & fruits instead of packaged "foods".

Did it save you money? I buy only fresh fruits and vegetables but recently participated in a food drive for the local food bank. They asked for canned food only, which I rarely buy anymore, and I was astonished at how much cheaper it was. I bought what would be about two weeks worth of food for two people and only paid $45 dollars for the lot (good assortment of canned fruits, vegetables, meat/fish, soups, etc...). If I were to prepare all this from scratch using fresh ingredients bought at the same store, I'd spend well over $100.
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:38 PM   #8
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While we usually pamke a pot of drip coffee in the morning, later in the day we use k-cups. I just scored a package of 72 for $27.50 (38 cents a piece) - best price I can recall getting.

Amazon.com : Keurig, Green Mountain Coffee, Nantucket Blend, K-Cup packs, 72 count : Grocery & Gourmet Food
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:39 PM   #9
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Ged rid of Cable TV and replace it with antenna and Netflix.

I have not missed 100 channels of junk
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:04 PM   #10
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Got rid of netflix - stream stuff on Amazon prime.

Threatened to get rid of cable - they offered me "basic" cable (no hd channels, no premium channels) plus standard internet for $35/month. Was paying $120/month for hd basic and standard internet... I can go low-definition for that savings.

Switched to magic jack for landline.

Switched to ting for family cell phones. 3 smart phones runs us $50-70/month. We were paying more than that with one smart phone for verizon.

Spent $750 on school bus for the boys. Their school is 10 miles away (magnet school). We drive 5 miles round trip to where the bus picks them/drops them for 10 miles a day - we were driving 40 miles a day. The bus allows us to pay less for insurance (fewer miles) and saves us wear and tear on the cars... plus gas... PLUS TIME IN TRAFFIC. We estimate that net of our time, we're saving about $2000/school year. Bonus - boys are doing their homework on the bus.

I use the library... a lot. Why pay for a book when you can reserve it - have it transferred to your local library - and borrow it for free.

Home cooking. We rarely eat out - cooking at home saves big big $$. Plus we enjoy it. I have a beef stew in the crock pot right now, and am about to go start some french bread to go with it.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:52 PM   #11
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Ged rid of Cable TV and replace it with antenna and Netflix.

I have not missed 100 channels of junk
Once the free year is up we are going broadcast TV, and using a Chromecast - I can get NBA games streaming for $149 and baseball for much less. Probably use Netflix.

Then all we will have with them is the ISP service. They are the only provider in our area.
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Old 09-19-2014, 01:54 PM   #12
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We have 5 Verizon phone contracts and as they expire we are moving, unless someone has a better idea to TracPhones. That way each phone service can be customized and priced by use and need.

Anyone else doing that? If so hows it working for you?
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:01 PM   #13
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....snip.....

3> Contacted Garmin telling them that my device was not updating correctly - using the correct cable fixed the problem. Then offered me a free swap to the latest and greatest device plus free maps for life, a dashboard bag and memory card. I just paid to ship my old device back!!! $160 savings

Great tread. Thanks for this gem, first time I updated maps(right before a 1600 mile trip) my Garmin is now as useful as a rock. Any tricks you used or did Garmin pony it up?
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Old 09-19-2014, 02:53 PM   #14
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Great tread. Thanks for this gem, first time I updated maps(right before a 1600 mile trip) my Garmin is now as useful as a rock. Any tricks you used or did Garmin pony it up?
Yup - sister in law just tried it and was offered a 50% discount with lifetime maps she did not get the same deal as I as she did not purchase lifetime map updates. I got the deal because I had purchased lifetime maps a year after I purchased the Garmin, 2007. The map purchase was the trick.

I chatted with the rep and also got a free memory card, so now I have all of North America on the device. They gave me a dashboard mound for free as well. You just have to talk civil to people and you will be amazed at how much you get.

They gave me the LM 54 which has a 5" display and say's the street names. It weight less the a smartphone!!

Good luck
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Old 09-19-2014, 03:01 PM   #15
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We have 5 Verizon phone contracts and as they expire we are moving, unless someone has a better idea to TracPhones. That way each phone service can be customized and priced by use and need.

Anyone else doing that? If so hows it working for you?
I'm a big fan of airvoicewireless (AT&T network if that is good in your area). We pay $10/month per phone. They deduct from our balance 2 cents a text, 4 cents a minute for voice and 6 cents a mb for data and any unused money rolls forward to the next month. We use our cellphones modestly and that is plenty for us - in fact my current balance is over $30 so in effect we're paying $10/month/phone for time. They have other plans available if you are a heavier user.

There are somewhat less expensive plans available now, but the service has been good so I'm not inclined to switch.

If you need phones, you can buy AT&T goPhone phones at Walmart and other retailers for $20 and up. We found a neat little Android smartphone for DW for $50. I wanted something nicer and sprung for a Samsung Galaxy 2 for about $200.
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Old 09-19-2014, 03:46 PM   #16
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3> Contacted Garmin telling them that my device was not updating correctly - using the correct cable fixed the problem. Then offered me a free swap to the latest and greatest device plus free maps for life, a dashboard bag and memory card. I just paid to ship my old device back!!! $160 savings

I recently tried to update the maps on my Garmin Nuvi (had a device with lifetime map updates) - totally screwed up the device; about as useful as a glowing brick. I just tossed it out and now use my smartphone and google maps. Maps was recently updated and the driving directions are just about as good as the garmin; has voice input for addresses, show traffic conditions, etc. I drive a considerable amount for my job and have been totally satisfied. The only thing missing is the screen for the highways signs which are useful for complicated interchanges, but sure not worth paying for a GPS again. I would recommend that you do NOT purchase a GPS anymore.

Also have T-Mobile without a plan, pay month to month $43 total for each of our 2 phones, for unlimited talk, text and data. We get a $10 discount / month due to my wife's employer (some program at T-Mobile that gives discounts to EE's of certain employers - check it out).
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:04 PM   #17
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In-control - Thanks, I did buy the life time maps so that should work for me too.

Billk400 - We resorted to Google maps on the cell. Not bad, but we weren't used to the inteface and it caused some confusion. The one feature Garmin has that I like is speed limits and a indicator when your over them. Great for driving around cities you're unfamiliar with. I can't see that Google has that.

Think that's part of the discussion with Garmin. Love your product, but I had to use my cell phone.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:05 PM   #18
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Ged rid of Cable TV and replace it with antenna and Netflix.

I have not missed 100 channels of junk
I keep trying to get myself to do this, but I just break my ESPN addiction. Hate those guys.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:08 PM   #19
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Our biggest savings come from Craigslist. None of the hassle or danger where we are. I refer to it as "life at 50% off". I can almost always find something I need/want on there at a fraction of retail. I just have to be flexible on brands/models. It's the modern day garage sale I guess.
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Old 09-19-2014, 06:33 PM   #20
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Various family members have pooled our library cards so that we can download ebooks instead of buying one-read Kindle books. As we all burn through a lot of books, this is collectively a big savings.

I've been working on DH to drop cable for years. I'm appalled by what we spend for cable. Of course, I never watch TV and didn't even own one prior to our marriage so I can see no downside to dropping it....

All LED lighting, all drip irrigation.
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