How to Save - Part 13
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How to Save

Inexpensive Ways to Get Your Flu Shot

Posted on Thursday, October 11th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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It’s flu season! The best way to protect yourself, and others, from catching the flu is to make sure you get your flu shot. Doing so helps increase herd immunity. There are people who cannot get the flu shot because they are too young, elderly, or have a compromised immune system. Here are some inexpensie ways to get your flu shot.

Covered by your health insurance
The influenza vaccine should be covered by your health insurance plan. This is true no matter if you get your health insurance from work or from a Marketplace. You are already paying the premiums, so you should definitely take advantage of the “freebies”.

Your workplace might set up a conference room where workers can stop by and get a free flu shot. They might let workers know about this through email or a memo. In general, flu shots offered for free at a workplace are given to those who have the insurance – and those who do not.

At your local pharmacy
You can make an appointment online to get a flu shot from Walgreens. They are being offered for $0 copay (with most insurance).

CVS is offering a no-cost flu shot. Eligible patients will not pay any co-payments unless required by their plan (including Medicaid Part B). Get your flu shot at CVS, and you can receive a merchandise coupon valid for 1-time use at CVS Pharmacy locations. The coupon gives you $5 off $25 of product.

Rite Aid offers a free flu-shot from a pharmacist. (It is free with most insurance.) There is no appointment necessary.

Your County Health Department
Call your county’s health department and ask if they are offering free flu shots. They might be able to tell you when it will take place. Or, they could refer you to another place that is offering free flu shots.

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Best Things to Buy in October

Posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Every month, there are annual sales. The very best time to buy something is when it goes on sale. You can pick up some great stuff without having to spend much money. If you wait to buy it later – it will cost more money than it does now.

October is National Pizza Month. This means you are likely to find coupons and discounts from all of the big chain pizza franchises. There may even be a deal on delivery. The best thing about it is that your family can have pizza night in October for less than it would cost any other month.

Stores tend to purchase too much denim for their Back To School sales. By October, the stores realize that they have too much stock. So, they have denim sales. It’s great for parents who want to pick up a few more pairs of jeans for their kids. It is also a good opportunity for people who need to buy new jeans to replace some worn out ones.

Halloween Candy
Those who live in areas where there are plenty of children are going to need to buy some Halloween candy. It tends to get less expensive the closer we get to Halloween. You might be able to knock down the price a little more by using your loyalty card.

The best time to buy Halloween candy is the day after Halloween. Pick up the type of candy that your family enjoys, or bring some in to work to share with co-workers.

Patio Furniture
Do you need to replace your patio furniture? The best time to do that is in October. Patio furniture takes up a lot of space in stores, and they generally don’t want to store summer items all year long. Patio furniture is on sale now.

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Things You Should Not Store in Your Garage

Posted on Thursday, October 4th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Many people find that they have accumulated too much stuff, and that they have no place to put it. This is when people start cramming their garage full of the overflow of items.

Be aware that there are things you should not store in your garage. Doing so could lead to an expensive mess to clean up. Here are a few common items that people store in their garages – but shouldn’t.

Food: There are people who use plenty of coupons specifically so they can afford to create their own stash. The purpose is to save as much money as possible. Unfortunately, many decide to store their stash in their garage. It is never a good idea to store food – people food, or pet food – in a garage.

Animals may be attracted to the food you store in your garage. Mice, rats, raccoons, and stray pets can rip open the packages and spread food all over the place.

Perishable food can go bad if it is not stored properly. The temperature in your garage could become too hot, or too cold, for the food you have stored there. If your stash goes bad before you can use it, you will have to throw it away and waste money!

Cardboard: It can be tempting to store the cardboard boxes that you used when you moved in. People figure there is a chance they might need them again. This often leads to people using the cardboard boxes to store all manner of things in. The problem with doing this is that cardboard boxes tend to attract insects.

Insects and spiders often think that cardboard boxes are a great place to live. They can damage the box and the items that are stored inside it. If you must store non-perishable, non-fragile items in your garage, make an investment in plastic tubs with sealable lids. This will protect the stuff you want to store inside a box.

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How to Save Money on Health Insurance Coverage

Posted on Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018 at 7:00 am
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The 2019 Open Enrollment Period for health insurance begins on Thursday, November 1, 2018, to Saturday, December 15, 2018. The easiest way to get a new health insurance plan is during the open enrollment period.

Do you qualify for a premium tax credit?
You might qualify for a premium tax credit that lowers your monthly insurance bill. The amount you can receive depends on your income. It is also called a “subsidy”.

The money is used to lower the cost of your health insurance premium. Those who qualify for a premium tax credit must purchase their health insurance coverage through a Marketplace. The “subsidy” cannot be used anywhere else.

Do you qualify for Medicaid?
The Medicaid program is offered in many states to families and individuals who have incomes that are below a certain amount of money. The amount may differ from one state to the next. Each state will have their own rules about who can qualify for Medicaid. It is worth taking a look at to see if you qualify.

Can you get health insurance through your employer?
Find out what the health insurance your employer offers will cost. Does it cover the things that you, and your family, need? How much of your paycheck will be taken away in order for you to pay your health insurance premium? The answer to those questions may reveal if you can get a better deal through your workplace, or if you should buy insurance from a broker.

Are you under the age of 26?
People who are under the age of 26 can say covered under their parents’ health insurance plan. The parent pays the premium, and the bills (generally) are sent to the parents.

It’s an excellent idea for college students who are going to school and cannot take on a full-time job. It’s also great for recent graduates who are struggling with student loan debt and who have not found the type of job that offers health insurance coverage.

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7-Eleven Accepts Digital Payments

Posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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7-Eleven announced that is will accept payment from customers via Apple Pay and Google Pay. It already accepts Samsung Pay.

This means 7-Eleven customers in the United States can pay by using their smartphone. Apple Pay users will continue to receive all the rewards and benefits offered by credit and debit cards in 7-Eleven stores.

There are other ways to save time and money at 7-Eleven:

7Rewards: is 7-Eleven’s loyalty program app. It is free to download. Scan the 7-Eleven app in store with each purchase. Doing so earns you some points. Redeem your points for items at 7-Eleven.

You can earn bonus points faster when you buy select snacks, drinks, and other items in store. The app also gives customers who buy six qualifying cups (beverages) the seventh cup for free.

7-Eleven NOW: is 7-Eleven’s smartphone app that is currently being rolled out in the United States. It enables on-demand ordering of products from local 7-Eleven stores, and offers Apple pay as a payment option.

Amazon: The in-store package pickup service, Amazon Locker, is in approximately 1,100 7-Eleven stores. This means you can use Amazon Locker and have your purchase sent to the nearest 7-Eleven (that is participating in this offer). Amazon Cash may be used at more than 8,000 7-Eleven locations.

BillPay: An app powered by PayNearMe enables users to pay a variety of bills at participating 7-Eleven stores.

TransAct by 7-Eleven: is a reloadable, prepaid card that enables people to have their paycheck or government benefits loaded up to 2 days faster with direct deposit. It also lets people add another person to their Card Account and share funds with a secondary cardholder. With Mobile Check Load, you can load funds to your account using the camera on your iPhone or Android smartphone.

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How to Save Money at Subway

Posted on Monday, September 17th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Subway has recently put some effort into making some changes. Some of the new innovations could help customers save money at Subway. Some of these new things are going to stick around, and others are on their way out.

$5 Footlong
The inexpensive $5 footlong is on its way out. Many franchisees don’t like this offer because they feel it they cannot make their margins with this deal.

That being said, there’s nothing stopping individual stores from continuing with the $5 footlong. Ask your local Subway store if they still have a $5 footlong offer.

My Subway Rewards
Subway MyWay Rewards allows customers to earn tokens and get rewards. You can sign up online or download the app. If you already have a Subway rewards card, then all you need to do is log in.

Swipe your Subway MyWay Rewards card at any Subway Restaurant. Or, you can place an order on Subway’s app or through Subway’s website. Customers earn tokens for every dollar they spend. Hit 200, and you get a $2.00 reward. There will also be special deals, offers, and surprises.

This could be a good deal for people who go to Subway often. You’re likely to earn tokens and rewards just by doing something you already do.

Share a Sub
Are you someone who struggles to eat an entire footlong sub? Bring a friend or family member with you to Subway. Figure out what kind of sub you want ahead of time. Buy one footlong, split the cost, and the sandwich.

People who can’t eat a whole footlong themselves won’t have to worry about what to do with the leftover half sandwich. This prevents food waste (which also saves money). It’s also a great idea for parents who want to feed themselves and multiple kids at Subway while keeping things inexpensive.

Coupons and Groupon
Check your mail for sales papers. There could, potentially, be some Subway coupons waiting for you. Clip the ones that you think you will use, and remember to use them before they expire. In addition, you can check Groupon for Subway promo codes and printable coupons.

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Frugal Entertainment Options

Posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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People who are trying to stay within their budgets are going to have to limit their spending. It doesn’t sound like fun. Fortunately, there are many frugal entertainment options to choose from.

Visit the Library

Need something to read, but don’t have the money for new books? Visit the library! It’s a great place to find interesting books. Unlike bookstores, libraries are happy to have people quietly sit and read. Libraries also offer newspapers and magazines. Many libraries allow patrons to check out physical books and ebooks. Some offer videos as well.

Read Books You Have at Home

People who love to read have a tendency to buy tons of books. They end up with piles of books that they intend to read…. someday. If they are trying to save money, then “someday” is now! It can be very satisfying to check books off a “to read” list.

Stay Home and Stream Movies

Do you currently subscribe to a video streaming service like Netflix or Hulu? That subscription costs money. Get the most from your dollar by making time to watch the movies and TV shows that you are already paying for.

It’s much less expensive than going to the movie theater. Even better, you can eat and drink whatever you want to while sitting on your comfortable couch.

Play or Watch a Game

Families can grab some board games and make a family game night. It’s a good way to make use of games that haven’t been played in a while. Another option is to go outside together and play baseball or basketball. Video games, especially ones that have already been purchased or subscribed to, are another great option.

Too tired to play a game? Try watching one. Tune in when your favorite sports team is on TV. Or, check out Twitch or YouTube for some video game live streaming. There are plenty to choose from.

Shop at Thrift Stores

People who love to shop are going to want to continue that activity even when they are trying to save money. The most frugal way to shop is to visit thrift stores. Most communities have at least one or two to shop at. It is possible to buy a lot of things at thrift stores for a little bit of money.

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How to Save Money in College

Posted on Monday, September 10th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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College is expensive. Tuition, classes, and textbooks all cost a lot of money. Students have to figure out how to pay for food and housing and how to fit a part-time job around school. In the end, there will be a huge student loan to pay off. It’s a good idea to be frugal. Here are some ways for students to save money in college.

Rent Instead of Buy

Don’t purchase brand new appliances while living in a dorm or apartment. The less expensive option is to rent a microwave, mini-fridge, or air conditioner. Search the local area for appliance rental places that cater to college students. Don’t forget to compare prices!

It might be possible to rent the textbooks your classes require. Some good places to start are Amazon, Chegg, and Barnes & Noble. Find out if the local library carries the edition of the textbook you need. It may be possible to borrow it.

Test Out of Classes

Many colleges and universities allow students to “test out” of some college courses. The student takes a test on the content that course would teach. If the student passes the test, they are given credit for completing that course.

The student will have to pay for the test. It’s worth it because paying for the class and the required textbooks will be much more expensive than the test.

Use the Campus Amenities

Tuition covers more than a dorm room. It can also include access to the campus gym. Students might be able to attend concerts and speaking events for free on campus. Sporting events may be free for currently enrolled students.

Take advantage of this! Use the campus gym for free instead of paying for a membership at an off-campus gym. Attend the free concerts. Go to the game and cheer for your school’s sports team. These freebies can keep you entertained and help you save money.

Students who live in dorms may be eligible for a meal plan. It is often included in tuition. All the student has to do is arrive at the cafeteria and show proof that they are a student.

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How to Save Money on Car Repairs

Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Nobody enjoys getting stuck with a huge car repair bill. It can be hard to fit unexpected expenses into your budget. Fortunately, there are ways to save money on car repairs.

Keep Up with Maintenance

AAA recommends drivers do regular maintenance on their cars. Doing so can extend the life of the components in the car. Simple repairs like getting the oil changed can help keep the car running smoothly. Cleaning your wiper blades can help keep debris from scratching the windshield.

Regular maintenance can help drivers identify problems while they are still small. It is going to be less expensive to take care of a little problem than a big one. In other words, regular maintenance is preventative care for your car.

Buy Parts Online

Market Watch says drivers should buy parts online rather than allowing the dealership to buy them. Some dealerships will markup the price on the auto parts that your car needs repaired. Consumers who know what to look for might be able to buy the same part for less money by purchasing it online.

Set Aside Money for Repairs

The Nest suggests that drivers create a car maintenance fund. Start setting aside money so that it will be ready to pay for maintenance and repairs. The Nest recommends that drivers put maintenance funds into a savings account and avoid borrowing from them.

Setting aside money for repairs can prevent expensive problems. It enables drivers to avoid having to use their credit cards to pay for the repair, and prevents the worry of being able to pay it down. It also means the driver will not need to take out a loan.

Ask Questions

State Farm emphasizes that drivers should ask the mechanic for a copy of the estimate. Make sure the estimate is signed and includes all parts and labor totals. It is a good idea to go line by line with the mechanic and have them explain it.

Find out if the repairs on the estimate are recommended or if they are essential. Repairs that are not essential could potentially wait until later. Knocking those off the estimate can save you money.

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Sears is Closing More Stores

Posted on Monday, September 3rd, 2018 at 7:00 am
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Sears will be closing 46 more Sears and Kmart stores. This follows the more than 100 stores that Sears Holding shut down in January of 2018, and the 100 or so stores it shut down in May.

These closures may result in changing how and where you shop in the upcoming holiday season. Here are some tips for coping if your local Sears or Kmart will close before Christmas.

Don’t Do Layaway

It can be risky to put something on layaway in stores that are closing. There’s a chance that the layaway deal you paid for could abruptly end if the store ends up closing sooner than expected. You could end up paying for layaway and not being able to access the items you were trying to save.

There is also a possibility that a store that is closing may have already stopped offering layaway. If you see something you want to buy while shopping – purchase it right away. If it’s not in your budget, then it might be best to buy the same item from a different department store that is still offering layaway.

Find an Alternative Catalog

Many people grew up pouring over the Sears catalog that arrived by mail during the holidays. It was a huge, fat, catalog filled with the hottest toys of the season. It seems unlikely that Sears will publish their catalog this year.

An alternative catalog might be found online at the Sears website. Amazon typically has special offers during the holiday season. Kohl’s and Target might print advertisements that function sort of like the Sears catalog did (but in a smaller format).

Find Deals at Stores that are Closing

Stores that are in the process of closing need to liquidate their stock. These stores may have sales that you won’t find in the stores that are going to remain active and open. Shop wisely! Check the item to make sure it is in good condition. Don’t be tempted to buy things that you don’t need just because they are on sale.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.