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These days, everyone is looking for a way to cut back on the purchases they make every day. It seems like every thing costs more and delivers less. So, how do you stretch your dollars in a world that wants to stretch your budget? Check out this list of unexpected ways to save:
Buy Refurbished Stuff
You want that fancy new cell phone? Try a refurbished version of last year’s model. Let’s be real about the iPhone and the Galaxy – they really haven’t changed much between the past few years. The latest model will always run smoothly, but for anything less than a power-user, a refurbished device will do the job. A refurbished computer will go for a lot less too.
Coupons aren’t just for groceries. You can find coupons for services you purchase on the Web (like printing business cards or buying tea). You might also be surprised to find coupons for services in the home. Before you cancel your broadband service for cost reasons, look for coupons. It’s not like there are a lack of AT&T discounts out there.
Honey is a browser extension for Chrome that searches the Web for coupons that you can use when you make purchases online. When you run the extension, Honey automatically checks for and displays the best discounts it could find from around the Web, testing them for validity. No one likes an outdated coupon code.
There is nothing wrong with courteously asking someone for a discount. Try buying the floor model or just asking haggling for the price. Many stores will price match, even though they don’t advertise it, so try asking the manager for a price match from an e-tailer. Paying cash for big ticket items can also help bring down the sticker price.
The five to seven dollar hummus you buy at the market costs $2.50 to make at home. Toss some garbanzo beans in a blender with a clove or two of garlic and some tahini paste. Blend it and you’ve got quality hummus. Ketchup with a teaspoon of garlic powder, a teaspoon of soy sauce, and a dash black pepper makes a mean barbecue sauce substitute.
Gordon Ramsey has an excellent video somewhere on the web that teaches you how to cook a steak the way a professional steakhouse would. Grab some candles, put on some Schubert and create your own amazing restaurant atmosphere.
Renovate Before you Buy
If you’re relocating because you need more space, consider the cost of adding a room versus moving to a new property. In some cases it might be more cost-effective to rent a bigger home while you save for something you really want. When your car is breaking down, always replace the cheapest parts first. Know when you’ve hit the limit of your investment. A car like a Hyundai has a 5-year warranty. Any major work after that may be cheaper than buying a new car because most of the early issues of ownership were already covered.
Maintain What you Own
Regular tune-ups are the key to keeping your car running into the hundreds of thousands of miles, but maintenance helps other appliances too. Run a five dollar can of air through your old desktop computer and you’ll see a slight bump in speed because the fans will be clear of dust and properly ventilated. If you don’t believe in the power of maintenance, here are 2000+ ways you can use a can of WD-40 to maintain something.
These are just six unexpected places to find new savings in your quest for financial freedom. Where else can you save in your financial life?