Continuing with the second savings column for throughout the New Year, let's take a look at the next group of saving powers - $101-$1,000.
* Purchase airfare from airline consolidators instead of the companies themselves. The former buy tickets in humongous quantities and sell them to savvy consumers (like us!) at a nice pretty decent discount. AARP's issue gives the example of a Boston to London flight on Aer Lingus at a regular price of $546 per ticket; however, through Airline Consolidator.com, we can fly across the Pond for $419. Quite the savings, huh?
* Sealing a home saves big bucks. Take a lighted incense stick and check doors and windows for air leaks. By sealing these leaks, we cut our heating bills by $1,000 and cooling by $200.
* Ladies, don't buy that expensive dress you're apt to wear only once to a wedding or a fancy ball. Rather, check out sites such as RentTheRunway.com. Boo-coos of gorgeous attire, both cocktail and formal, dazzle the eyes when going through this site and, even better, assuming we're able to pare down the choices to two or three, the lady-oh-so-fair can show up glamorous to a fault for much more affordable price. You won't believe some selections that retail up to $1,000 for a measly $115. Now, if I can just find six white mice and one pumpkin a la Cinderella
* A defensive driving course saves money. Whether seniors or young drivers, most insurance companies will carve off as much as 10 percent from the families' yearly premiums, often salvaging two hundred bucks.
* Clean (rather than shut) your trap. Thoroughly check the clothes dryer for lint clogs. As much as 75 percent efficiency can be lost due to unwanted lint. If we clean the trap following each use, we not only save in excess of a hundred dollars but, also, prevent the chance of a fire.
* Boosting your homeowner policy's deductible promises a huge monetary boost. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, raising yours from the more common $500 to $1,000 could save 25 percent or, in plainer terms, $307 from an average $1,228 policy.
* Trade your special talent for one you'd otherwise have to pay for the service. Sign up at U-Exchange.com for the swap. Are you a good plumber or electrician? Barter installing a new toilet for example for, say, an accountant who agrees to prepare your taxes. In my case, I've actually traded editorial expertise in the past for handyman jobs. Don't be surprised if word-of-mouth spreads and your specialty even brings home some extra moolah.
* Gym rats or even those of us who desire to lose some holiday-induced pounds can save entire monthly gym memberships. Silver Sneakers is a great free bonus to many healthcare plans that insure ages 65-plus. Aside from losing unwanted holiday pounds and keeping in shape, the program can save close to $1,000 per year.
* Ebates.com is a super saver site. (How 'bout that for an English teacher alliteration?) Seriously, we can shop 24/7, 365 days a year, and always come out on top. Aside from "regular" savings, stores pay Ebates a commission each time we pull it up and the site than splits that commission with the shopper who is paid monthly via PayPal or check. (I prefer the former as I always pay for my online purchases with this method instead of giving out my credit card information.)
* eBay is not just an everyday shopping site. The thriving giant also offers many Warehouse deals and even an Outlet link so check to see if desirable items are available for discount.
(Continued next week)
Contact Ellen Phillips at email@example.com.