7 Tips to Help You Cut Costs

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Looking for more ways to save money? Here are some tips that can help you trim costs in everyday life.

1. Explore Your Library. Dust off your library card for extra savings. Today’s libraries have more than just books for you and your family to borrow. Stop by soon to pick up popular DVDs, exercise videos, even download a new Kindle book. (That’s right — you can borrow Kindle ebooks from the library!)

2. Search YouTube. Need to make a minor home repair? Trying to fix your broken bicycle chain?  Do a quick search on YouTube before hiring a professional. There are tons of free tutorials and demonstrations on how to fix anything yourself. You can learn how to fix everything from a broken tail light to a stopped-up sink.

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3. Compare Quotes. You’ve probably had the same auto and home insurance policies for years. Are you sure you’re still getting the best deal? Once a year, shop around for new homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance, and car insurance quotes. You might be able to save hundreds by either switching or renegotiating.

4. Exercise Outside. Get creative when it comes to exercising and you can save big on forgoing a gym membership. The outdoors provides hills, steps and different surfaces to help you get in shape. Plus, many city parks provide “gym equipment,” such as bars for doing push-ups and dips. Run up and down a stairwell at the local park in order to get your heart pumping and build some quadriceps. Run sprints around a free outdoor track.

5. Become Friends with Employees. It doesn’t hurt to smile and strike up a conversation with a sales employee next time you’re shopping at your favorite store. Establish a friendly relationship and ask about upcoming sales and find out when they mark down items. (In many stores, employees mark-down items on a particular day-of-the-week. If you know that everything is marked down on Wednesday after store closing, you can make sure you hit the store on Thursday morning to get prime pick of the discounted lot!) Plus, you never know when an employee might pass on some good coupons to you.

6. Ask for Generic. Ask you doctor if there is a generic option for your next prescription. If available, generic drugs can do the same thing as the name brand drugs but help save a ton. Don’t fall prey to the assumption that Tylenol is “better” than generic acetomenophin, or Advil is more effective than generic ibuprofin.

7. Order the Appetizer. Save a few bucks next time you are out to dinner by ordering an appetizer instead of an entree for your meal. Appetizers are generally large enough to fill you up. Alternately, split an entree with your dinner partner. (Or if you have large appetites, split one entree and one appetizer between the two of you.) Your stomach and your wallet will thank you later.

Kennedi writes money-saving advice for women.

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