Strategies for saving at the supermarket and the warehouse membership store, for cutting expenses in retirement and returning items that aren’t up to snuff—and also for snooping on your spendthrift spouse.
10 Surprising Things You Can Try Before You Buy. A car isn’t the only thing you can take for a test drive. The list is heavy on things you can buy at Costco (electronics, jewelry, etc.) and bring back with its easy-returns policy, as well as designer clothes and smartphones you can return or exchange it they’re not satisfactory, and mattresses you can sleep on for three months before deciding, Goldilocks-like, whether it’s too soft, too firm, or just right. Also: homes. Realtors have been known to allow potential homebuyers spend the night in the place before closing the deal. How else are you going to know if the house is haunted?
10 Situations in which DIY Is More Expensive. For instance, when you add up all the time, material, and expenses involved in growing your own veggies, it can be more cost-effective just to buy ’em at the supermarket. Totally depends on where you shop, what you’re trying to grow (or buy), whether you’re gardening on a smart, small budget, and how much you value your time. Also, professional printers will often charge you less than what it’d cost for you to take on a big printing job at home, after you factor in what you pay for the rip-off that is printer ink. If you’re going the ethically questionable route and doing your personal printing job at work, however, that changes the math.
10 Signs Your Spouse Is Secretly Spending Money. If you’re scrimping, saving, and scaling back, but your spouse is spending like there’s no tomorrow, you’re not really saving at all. Keep an eye on your entire household’s spending by looking out for suspicious behavior—like if your significant other always picks up the mail before you have a chance to scope bills or notice all the debt notices. And if your grocery bill is much higher than usual, it could mean your spouse is buying stuff other than food (lottery tickets, gifts), or using the debit card to get extra cash during the transaction.
21 Ways to Cut Expenses in Retirement. Downsizing your home is the big one. Getting rid of a car and being flexible and traveling during less expensive time periods also work. And some of the tips—like eating out less, learning to cook, buying used, and ditching your land line—are classic savings strategies for anybody, not just retirees.
31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget. A MoneySavingMom series that maps out the logistics of saving at the supermarket, from why you actually need a concrete budget, to why you must plan meals, to why you really should shop with cash only.