19 Surefire Money Savers: Avoid Unnecessary Expenses, Foreclosure, Hidden Fees, Nasty Food, Career Dead Ends, and Jail

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It’s not just about avoidance techniques. Also covered: What’s the most economical sandwich to make at home? If you’re thinking PB&J, you’re wrong.
3 Reasons Stay-at-Home Parents Should Consider Working Part-Time. Summing up this MoneyNing post: A SAH parent taking on a part-time gig will help the family with extra income, help his or her career by staying current and employable, and help his or her sanity by doing something that requires you to be away from your kids now and then.

4 Ideas for Anyone Facing Foreclosure. An Atlanta-Journal Constitution story advises against ignoring pleas for payment from your lender. Instead: “Stay in touch with your lender, and insist that you communicate with the Loss Mitigation Department. To have success, you must get beyond the Collections Department.”

5 Things You Can Haggle For. Well, the list could be a lot longer than five, but these five (from Kiplinger) may surprise some people: You don’t necessarily have to pay the listed price for big-screen TVs and gym memberships, and financial adviser fees are often negotiable as well.

5 Ways to Avoid the Latest Hidden Credit Card Fees. The first and most important step to avoiding fees is by becoming aware of the latest dirty tricks being played by credit card issuers. Then, see if the tips from Ask Coupon Sherpa will help you avoid such annoyances as annual fees and reward recovery fees.

5 Ways to Avoid Going to Jail Over Debt. It’s not all that complicated: Two of the strategies are opening your mail, and showing up in court.

6 Ways to Groceries for Free (or Nearly So). Sample tip from GeorgineSaves (via Consumer Reports): “If something’s on sale ‘buy one, get one free,’ you can still redeem a coupon toward the one you buy.”

6 Extreme Ways to Go Frugal and Save. Depending on your current lifestyle, these strategies for saving from BankRate—including getting rid of your car, downsizing your home, using generic products—may seem as extreme as a bike ride with training wheels.

8 Condos That Cost Less Than a New Car. A CNNMoney gallery of condos on the market for less than the price of a new Prius. They’re not only in Florida and Arizona, but in Iowa, Minnesota, and Kansas as well. The resale value may be higher on the Prius, however.

8 Valuable Freebies from Big Companies. DailyFinance analyzes the benefits consumers get from freebies or extras such as streaming movies from Netflix, free Wi-Fi at Starbucks, and free scheduled maintenance from some car manufacturers.

10 Most Economical Sandwiches. You’ll save by making your own sandwich rather than buying one at the deli, but you’ll really save by going with salami, bologna, or PB&J (25¢, 30¢, and 31¢ per sandwich respectively, according to Len Penzo’s exacting study), rather than a swanky BLT ($2.16 per sandwich). And if you’re trying to make your PB&J especially economical, go with more J (7¢ per serving), less PB (15¢ per serving). (See also: More Than 100 Ways to Spice Up Your Sad Homemade Sandwich.)

10 Ways to Save on Back to School Shopping from a Frugal Daughter. This bit of advice obviously comes from a kid, but it’s hard to argue with: “Take your kids with you when it’s time for back to school shopping. If parents try to shop by themselves, they are more likely to buy the wrong size or purchase something kids won’t like. This is one of the reasons kids need to go with parents to save you time and money.”

10 Expenses You Don’t Need. Basic investment advice, bank fees, pet care, and warranties are among the expenses you can skip, according to Kiplinger. Also, a favorite on lists advising ways to cut back on unnecessary expenses: bottled water.

12 Fabulously Free Offers. WalletPop’s Bargain Babe rounds up a dozen freebie promotions, including free oatmeal, free trial gym memberships, and free rootbeer floats.

12 Ideas for Frugal Artwork. Most of SimpleMom.net’s DIY ideas for prettying up your walls cost mere pennies—for instance, scan a dazzling, cute, or silly image from a children’s book and put in a picture frame you got from a thrift store.

15 Foods You Should Never Buy Again. Or, if you’ve never had the pleasure, 15 foods you never should buy once. Considering taste and value (or lack thereof), Reader’s Digest’s suggests skipping microwavable sandwiches, preformed meat patties, “gourmet” frozen vegetables, bottled water (again), and individual servings of anything.

18 Things You (Supposedly) Should Never Pay for Ever. Water also made this list from Len Penzo, who not only names 18 “things” (exercise, newspapers, baby formula, books, credit cards), but evaluates whether these expenses truly are unnecessary. Like: Sure, you don’t have to pay for a cell phone, but if in getting one for free you’re roped into an expensive, long-term plan, it’s a net loss—and you would have been better off with a different phone, even if (God forbid) you had to lay out some money up front.

18 Ways to Dress for Less. Simple, sensible advice like “Trends are not friends,” and “Don’t buy clothes to change your mood.” Why? Because the trends always change, as will your moods, after which you’ll be stuck with an outfit for some outdated, moody person.

40 (or so) Costs of Modern Living. So many of today’s expenses simply weren’t around decades ago, bringing up the questions: Do we really need them? How did folks survive back in the pre-GPS, pre-Netflix, pre-Kindle era?

More:
The Something-for-Everyone List of Money-Saving Lists

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