We primarily use Costco for food and household supply purchases whenever we can for the cost savings due to quantity purchased. The reduction in trips to buy means saving time and gas money.
My Bill is What?
As mortgage interest rates go down to historical lows, it sure seems like the price of everything else is going up. Am I wrong? With Halloween behind us and The Season of Gift Giving moving in fast, is the only way to save by buying a home? How's a person suppose to save any money these days? Whether you are buying a home, just bought a home or you are just trying to keep a roof over your head, saving money in this economy is a huge priority and we are always looking for ways to save.
I recently realized that saving money ain't what it used to be. Let's take, for example, our bi-weekly excursion to the Supermarket, the store we've shopped at for several years now. Last week Chris and I grabbed the same darn cart (the one with the broken wheel), chose the same old staples, and maneuvered into the same long checkout line. As usual, I glanced at the tabloids with my Super Savings Card in hand while Chris unloaded the groceries onto the conveyor belt and bagged all of our stuff. Get the picture? Domestic bliss. The cashier swiped my Super Savings Card and excitedly exclaimed "You've saved thirteen dollars with your Super Savings Card!" Wow. Thirteen bucks. Not a bad savings. Not bad at all... until I looked at the bill.
THE BILL IS WHAT?
Were the grapes dipped in gold? Did they charge me 12 times for the cat litter? Should I have chosen the cheaper non-organic eggs? I remember a few years ago I spent a whole lot less for the very same groceries. Plus, I NEVER saved 13 dollars using a so called "Super Savings Card" or coupon.
What a clever strategy to make the consumer get the impression of saving when we are not really saving at all! In Real Estate we call this "the illusion of a deal" and it is a sales technique that really works even with the most experienced investors. Blast those supermarket mental geniuses!
Chris and I thought we'd offer some "REAL" money saving tips to our readers that will prove to provide you with a money saving return on your efforts almost immediately.
- Ask and you shall receive. Ask for that discount. Ask your credit card company to lower your interest rate. Ask your homeowner’s insurance company to see if you are eligible for a discount. If you ask and do not receive a discount, there is always another vendor who will be happy to provide you a savings.
- Out with the old and in with the new. Did you know that refrigerators older than 1990 use up three times as much energy as new ones? Did you know that shower head fixtures and faucets older that 1994 use up more than 4 gallons of water per minute? Compared to the new ones that use up about 2.2 gallons per minute. That is an update that equates to savings for you! Go with the low flow aerators found at any local Home Depot or Lowes where Energy Star appliances are considered highly rated.
- Put a candle to it. Some experts say that drafts waste so much heat that it is like keeping a window open all winter! Light a candle or incense to identify where drafts are around windows, doors, under cabinets, around outlets & fixtures and then seal, caulk, insulate, and sit back to enjoy a lower heating bill this winter.
- Bulk up this winter. No, I do not mean join a gym but with this advice it may help offset that gym membership you may be considering. I mean buy things in bulk to glean the cost savings. Paper goods and dry goods are perfect to buy in bulk since they have a long shelf life. Buying in bulk will cut down on the time you spend driving to the store several times and time is a priceless commodity. Fewer trips to the store means using less gas, too.
- Be nice and share. Combine your bulk shopping with a friend, neighbor, or family member. You may not have storage for bulk items but between 2-3 people, you can split up the bulk and the cost savings can be had by all. The same goes for sharing big household jobs such as repaving a driveway, re-coating a roof, servicing the HVAC, landscaping, brick pointing etc... A contractor that you hire to do 3 jobs at once will be much more negotiable on their price. And if they do not offer a discount, go back to tip number 1.
It does not matter whether you are a home owner or a renter or whether you live in a small condo or a castle. If you pay bills, you want to find ways to save, not just get the impression that you are saving. Implementing some money saving strategies now can help ease the pinch of the economy. We hope one of these tips will help lower a bill or reserve a little extra cash to buffer "the illusion of a deal" you may be taking advantage of this Holiday Season.
If you are considering a Traditional or Short Sale of your home in Phoenix, Scottsdale or any location in Maricopa County Arizona, you owe it to yourself to talk with Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty to determine whether Tony and Suzanne Marriott are the best real estate Brokers in the Phoenix and Scottsdale metropolitan area to help you with the Successful Sale of your home.
Tony and Suzanne have personally Listed, Sold and Closed more than a hundred Short Sales with the highest list to close rate in the Phoenix Metro Area!
Tony Marriott - Chief Executive Officer - Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty
Suzanne Marriott - Chief Learning Officer - Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty