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Easy Ways to Save Money

Entertainment: Go to entertainment.com, enter your zip code, and review the coupons available for your area. For only $25 to $35, you may find half–price eating out options, discounted theater tickets, dry cleaning deals, and even free oil changes. You might also consider purchasing these books for places you travel frequently on business or for pleasure.

Monthly mortgage payment: Most home owners pay their insurance as part of their monthly mortgage payment, so they never review that policy for changes. Make sure you don't over-insure your home. If the selling price is $200,000, then insure that for about 80 percent of the value and go for the 1 percent or higher deductibles. By going to a site like insweb.com you can compare policies. Some couples are saving as much as $100 a month!

Taxes: Don't settle for the taxable status given to your home by the county tax evaluator. By asking to have the value lowered to a more realistic rate, you could also save on your monthly payments if taxes are figured into this sum.

Auto insurance: Did you almost get a ticket but opted for the "Driver's Safety Course" instead? Fax that certificate to your auto insurance company for as much as 15 percent off your rates. Be sure you ask for any other discounts that may be offered in your state, such as non-smoker, the vehicle parked in a garage (instead of the street), an anti-theft device, between the ages of 30 and 60, and good student discounts.

Online savings: Here are three steps to cutting your online purchases by as much as 50 percent:

Step one: Research the best price on a shopping robot such as mysimon.com;

Step two: Get codes for free shipping, discounts, or free gifts by going to dealhunting.com or couponcabin.com;

Step three: Get a rebate for online purchases by registering at ebates.com where they send you a check at the end of each month!

Groceries: Go to a "price comping" store or one that honors competitors' ads, such as Wal-Mart. Just take all the other grocery stores' ads into one central location and these kinds of stores will match the sales prices of their competitors. You'll save gas, time, and money.

Gas: Map out your vacation road trip by the cheapest gas along the route. Go to gaspricewatch.com for pricing. Get better mileage by taking the junk out of your trunk, checking the tire pressure for accuracy, and making sure you change your oil on a regular basis.

Eating out: Check your Sunday newspaper for coupons on takeout, restaurants, and fast food. Eat lunch out rather than supper because lunch is cheaper. Say "no" to soda and "yes" to water. Go to www.restaurant.com for deals that will offer 50 percent off your favorite restaurant or buy one/get one free coupons.

Credit: Once you've improved your fico you can get discounts on the apr (annual percentage rate) you're paying on existing debt by simply calling your credit card company and asking for discounts. Call your utility company and if you paid a security deposit, ask them to recheck fico and refund your deposit.

Travel: Go to travelocity.com and sign up to receive the "Weekly Top Twenty" deals. My husband, Bob, and I went to Ireland for $1,200, which included two airfares, five days car rental, and five nights in a hotel or B&B. We also went on a fantastic Mexican Cruise for only $199.



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