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5 Money Saving Tips for the New Year

(1)  Clogged drains may require an expensive call to the plumber if you are not able to fix the problem yourself. Most plumbers charge a trip fee before they even get started, you are lucky to get out for less than $75 on about any issue. A few common sense safeguards will save you money:
•  Make sure your shower or tub has a strainer put in. They are inexpensive and easy to install.
•  Never pour cooking grease down the kitchen sink.
•  Toss your hair in a garbage can, never the toilet or sink. This is an easy problem to avoid.
•  Pour a pot of boiling water down your drains monthly to reduce buildup.
•  Don’t put items like potato skins, broccoli stems, celery, banana peels, and onion skins in the garbage disposal. Cut large items into small pieces and when in doubt put it in the garbage can.

(2)  Be sure to put Sta-bil in your lawn equipment as gas can get stale over the winter and gum up your carburetor. I learned this the hard way and had to have my riding mower serviced in the spring. The first thing the repair guy asked is “did you put Sta-bil in the tank and run it for 5 minutes before storing?” Somewhat hesitant, I said “gee I didn’t know about that, but will remember next time”. After paying the $80 repair bill, you bet I have been doing it ever since and no problems. Change the oil, spark plugs, and clean or replace the air filter is a good maintenance tip as well come.

(3)  Shop at Costco (or Sam’s Club) and buy in bulk. You can save considerably on food staples, fresh and frozen produce (particularly the organic stuff), beer & wine, and the rotisserie chicken at Costco is tender and juicy, yummy!

(4)  Make a list before you go grocery shopping, bring coupons, don’t go when you are hungry and try to tie the trip in with other errands to save on gas.

(5)  Curb your impulse buys. From fancy cupcakes to fashion magazines, DVD rentals to fast food – everybody has a few inexpensive vices. But, these little luxuries can add up to a big drain on your wallet. The New Year is a great time to cut down on impulse purchases. Got a daily eating out habit? Kick it down to once or twice a week. Addicted to convenience foods? Make a lunch at home and brown bag it. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ll save.

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