Consumer Watch: Money saving ideas for the new year

The speed at which time flies is simply amazing! 2019 has begun and with it comes all kinds of savings to last all year, every year. AARP offers many great tips for the savvy consumer regardless of age, and "Consumer Watch" extends some of these ideas over the next few columns.

1. $1-$10 savings:

* Getting paid for taking surveys may not yield a bunch of money but, on the other hand, let's not turn up our noses at any amount of change. Taking surveys, watching videos, or playing games at gives redeemable points that we can redeem for cash or gift cards at major retailers.

* Avoid paying fees for movie, theatre, and concert tickets. While convenience is a plus, paying "convenience fees" isn't. Instead, purchase directly from the box office or a no-fee vendor.

* Sell to Amazon for a trade-in gift card. Whether selling old video games, electronic devices, or books, approach Amazon's Trade-In Store to check if your item is listed. If so, print a free shipping label and send it in.

* Buy less expensive wiper blades. Since experts tell us to replace this set every six months, fork over only eight bucks for the cheaper ones and save up to eight more dollars off the more expensive pair.

* Cross state lines to save on gas. Recent overall price drops have been a boon to holiday traffic and travelers; however, some states are still cheaper than others. Reports point to Tennessee as one of the thriftiest states for gas purchases, so it behooves some Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, and Virginia drivers to come "visit" our Volunteer state.

2. $11-$100 savings:

* Women, sleep cheaper in a man's t-shirt. Instead of paying anywhere from $20-$30 for a woman's sleep shirt, buy a comfy gentleman's tee for around fifteen bucks.

* and sites that serve local eateries offer discount or BOGO gift certificates from all over the country. For example, we might pay $10 for a $25 meal, which adds up to an easy save.

* Pet owners can salvage money by purchasing generic pet meds. If Fido's mom uses Heartgard Plus at $43 for six months, she can switch to the generic and, therefore, less expensive HeartShade Plus with the identical active ingredients for only $20.

* Dive into the stock market with just $30 monthly. The app Acorn automatically rounds up credit card buys to the nearest dollar, and that extra change that the consumer won't even miss gets invested each month.

* Utilize senior discounts like I've urged in the past. At a minimum of 10 percent for most establishments, savings really mount up.

* Forget rental car insurance if you have your own plan. By doing so, save as much as $40 a day.

* Speaking of Insurance, use the same insurer (and agents) for all plans. Companies often charge up to 15 percent less if we purchase both home and auto insurance from them.

* Save yearly up to $100 by splitting pills. Obviously check first with your provider to ensure the savings of Doc Docile ordering double the dose to cut in half or the safety of using only half strength of the normal prescription.

* Buy refilled ink cartridges. Check the difference between new cartridge prices and the refilled ones to save a bundle.

(To be continued)

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