6. Don't flush
money down the commode.
No-name-brand toilet paper, paper towels, tissues,
paper cups, plastic wrap, plastic bags, etc.,
are all available at half the price of similar
name-brand products when you buy them in bulk.
You don't even have to wait for a sale. Such stores as Wal-Mart,
Kmart, Costco and Sam's Club offer these items all the time at bulk
For instance, you can buy 15,000 sheets of toilet
paper for about $13, compared to the 4,224 sheets of the "squeezably
soft" variety that routinely sells for $9 in a 12-pack. Big-name
plastic wrap can be 10 times more expensive than the big-box variety.
Of course, bulk buying requires having some cash on
hand, transportation to carry large quantities and big enough storage
space for these items. If you can manage those basic requirements,
buying big can be a tremendous deal and easily cut costs by $500
per year. But remember, putting these purchases on your credit card
defeats the purpose.
7. Limit media.
A cost that didn't exist at all for most people
a decade ago has morphed into a major expense.
The average monthly cable bill, excluding Internet
access and other extras, now runs about $52, according
to Kagan Research, which monitors the broadcasting
hard at what you are spending for television,
phone and Internet. If you are like the rest of
us, cutting $50 a month out of this category is
a slam dunk.
Who watches 300 channels anyway? The easiest way to
cut costs: Just take a deep breath and cancel everything but the
basic plan. Most cable companies have a very limited plan for $10
or $15 per month that offers local channels and a few other networks.
If you have satellite, the basic plan, including local channels,
will cost you about $30. If you want to watch a movie or an HBO
series now and then, rent it -- you'll still come out way ahead.
If you have greater than average do-it-yourself skills,
consider installing an antenna and capturing high-definition
television signals over the air. An antenna isn't
your father's rabbit ears -- you get no snow and
reception that's probably clearer than your cable
or satellite provides. And best of all, it's free.
A page on the National Association of Broadcasters'
site lists the stations you can expect to
receive. In most cities, that's all the networks
plus PBS. In rural areas, you might get less,
but that's changing quickly. CNET
offers a great set of instructions for setting
it up and calls it a three-hour project.