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Our final list of savings for this new year and beyond consists of some whopping $1,000 prices and above whereby consumers can continue pocketing much-appreciated bucks. Let's begin, shall we?

» While I'm not a big buyer of LED bulbs, I should be. They're not as expensive as in the past and can really save purchasers a ton of money. If we replace 40 incandescent bulbs with LEDs, our bank accounts can see an extra $1,500 over the LED's 10-year life span.

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Ellen Phillips

» When buying or selling a house, try out your haggling skills on the real estate agent. No law mandates their 6 percent fee, especially when splitting the cost with another agent. Smile big and offer 5 percent in today's market, which can come up big bucks. (For example, a $500,000 home sale could save you $5,000.)

» Shop for mattresses at discount stores. Usually regular-priced at department stores, mattresses cost a pretty penny. Shoppers can save large sums at deeply-discounted national chains, often as much as a couple of thousand per queen and box spring.

» Carefully explore new car buys. Vehicles from the same manufacturer often offer some of the same features between luxury autos and the less prestigious. For example, if readers are like me, they buy a previous year's model to save lots and avoid high-end cars such as Lexus, Infiniti, and Acura; I always look at Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. Let's say you purchase a 2018 Toyota Camry XLE V6 listed at $34,400. How many of us realize we're buying the exact same engine found in the 2018 Lexus ES 350 that lists for $38,950? Edmunds.com and other car comparison sites give the two automobiles almost identical ratings. Bank a grand savings of $4,550!

» Speaking of cars, if you're into leases rather than purchases, always negotiate the amount. Be sure, though, to bargain on the full price and not the monthly payments. Actually, a shrewd consumer will parley based upon overall cost, then grab the best deal.

» Look at college cost cuts (there goes that alliteration again). Even though state colleges and universities charge by the credit hour, they also accept credits from most community/junior colleges. Why pay the norm of over $4K for twelve hours at a major university when you can take the same basic courses for less than $2,000 and later transfer them?

» Fifteen-year home loans beat out 30-year if buyers or refinancers can afford it. The average mortgage rate falls somewhere in the vicinity of 4.8 percent; according to AARP, a $200,000 mortgage would cost the borrower around $1,050 for a thirty-year and approximately $1,500 for the fifteen, saving him or her some $108K in interest.

» And for senior readers who may be on a fixed income (or not) and enjoy AARP membership, among other perks are free grocery coupons. The Grocery Coupon Center gives members 24/7 access to hundreds of our favorite brands with new offers added throughout each month.

I hope readers will put to good use all the savings since January 6th's column. If you take advantage of as many that apply to each individual, you'll save a bundle throughout this new year and subsequent years!

Contact Ellen Phillips at consumerwatch@timesfreepress.com.

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