Ten Oddball Ways to Save: Free Beer, Fighting Parking Tickets, Writing Off Expenses Like a Pro, and More

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Today’s list goes beyond the basics. We all know that using coupons smartly saves money, right? To expand the amount of money you can save, you need to get creative and expand into more unusual spheres of money-saving.

1. Skip payday lending. If you’re experiencing a cash crunch awaiting your paycheck, there are better alternatives to the high-interest payday loans.

2. Get out of a parking ticket. There’s a new 79-page paperback on the topic, “Stick It to Your Ticket.”

3. Don’t order the second-cheapest wine at restaurants. Restaurateurs know that diners who don’t want to appear cheap are prone to ordering the second-cheapest bottle on the wine list, and therefore the restaurants are likely to especially jack up the price on that bottle. The cheapest bottle, in fact, is probably a better wine than the second-cheapest one. Read more about this and other money-saving wine-ordering tips at a WSJ story.

4. Even better, drink some free beer. USA Today reported on the growing trend for breweries offering free beer tastings, just like the way wineries offer samples of their products.

5. Fill your wallet with $100 bills. A study shows that people are less likely to spend money when only armed with bills in large denominations.

6. If you work from home or have shifted into being a consultant, get serious about deducting expenses.

7. Pay less for title insurance on a home purchase. Prices and services vary dramatically, and most home buyers have no idea what they’re paying for, or how to get more for their money.

8. Swap baby clothes via websites like (appropriately) SwapBabyGoods.com.

9. Let someone else pay to cremate your dead relatives. A disturbing trend: The number of bodies not being claimed has risen substantially, especially in Los Angeles, because people can’t afford the cost of claiming them and burying the dead.

10. Simply ask for a discount at every opportunity. One blogger did this for a year and proved that it works.