I’ve done the refills from Walgreens and they didn’t always print well at all. Either that or they only lasted a few prints and then they were dry already. That always bites. I guess since then I’ve bought them from Staples. I would prefer to find a cheaper place to get Canon printer ink. Have you heard of InkGrabber.com? I hadn’t either, but I am always down for a deal on ink.
They have Canon ink, Dell ink, HP ink, Kodak ink…you name it they have it. Need it for Canon inkjet cartridges? Well they have that too! Let’s price a few things shall we? Let’s price the Canon BJC-4000 ink. Staples.com prices 1 color cartridge at $24.99 and InkGrabber.com has it for $20.88!
Not convinced yet? Let’s try another. The Dell 922 all-in-one printer (we used to have this one). The color cartridge at Staples.com is $27.99 and the InkGrabber.com one is $11.99!!! WOW! That is quite a savings there!
So I advise all of you to head over there and price your ink! You may get it at a good enough price that even with shipping you’ll still save money! That’s worth a click or two, don’t ya think?
Tip 22: Hypermiling
Hypermiling is the act of driving using techniques that maximize fuel economy. Those who practice these techniques are referred to as “hypermilers.”
Hypermiling.com has a 6 step plan to get you started on your way. If you commute to work/school then hypermiling is something you need to know about.
My husband drives 60+ miles one way to work every day and as the gas prices were on the rise we were looking into hybrid cars, but buying a new car wasn’t an option for us at this time. Then we heard about hypermiling. Once hubby looked up the information he was set on trying it.
He went from averaging about 28-30 mpg to about 50+ mpg! That’s amazing!!! We cut our gasoline costs from around $400.00 a month to $250.00 a month! Isnt’ it incredible?!? I highly recommend you check it out. It’s worth the research!!!
Tip 21: My Spending Plan
My Spending Plan is a Powerful FREE online budgeting software and planning tools for all your needs!
Save money, reduce debt, manage tasks and reach your financial goals faster. It’s safe, secure and no downloads are required! It’s recommended by the Wall Street Journal and it’s been discussed on Oprah.
If you input your income and your debts it will help you create and manage your debt. It will allow you to monitor your funds and create a pay off plan.
I recommend you Take a Tour of the site and all it has to offer. You won’t be disappointed!
Tip 20: Transfer Credit Card Balances
My husband and I have recently learned about Dave Ramsey and the Total Money Makeover. I’m sold and we have declared that we will no longer use our credit cards. There are 7 baby steps to his plan and that’s where we are…starting the plan.
Here’s my point, if you carry a credit card balance you need to pay it off! With the ups and downs of today’s economy you need to try and eliminate debt from your life. Credit card balances are on the rise and so are the interest rates. We had been informed from Capital One that despite our long standing account they were raising our rates due to the economy. The new rate would apply to our current debt! That’s right…you heard me! Insane that they can get away with this! We haven’t used our credit cards in 2009 and will not use them again.
If you have a credit card with a high interest rate you need to look at your other cards (if you have them) and check to see what the interest rate is on those. If it’s lower you need to contact that company and ask about balance transfer. Until you have the funds to pay it down you must continue to make the payments, but at a lower interest rate if at all possible. I wouldn’t recommend signing up for new credit cards unless you KNOW you’ll be approved, this could negatively affect your credit score if you apply and are denied.
If you are able to transfer your balance to a credit card with a lower interest rate you will save yourself some money while paying off your balance. What can be better than that?
Tip 19: Budget Billing
Do you know about Budget Billing? I didn’t always either.
Budget billing, also known as an equal payment plan (EPP), is a particular billing method in which power utilities charge a even monthly amount to a customers bill based on an estimated consumption profile. This consumption profile is usually calculated over a 12 month period. If, on the 12th month the utility has determined the customer has used more than the estimated amount a “true up” charge will be applied so that the customer may be charged the correct amount.
I called my Electric Company and asked if they offered Budget Billing and if so, how do I sign up. Before my bill would vary based on usage, but with Budget Billing it’s the same every month! Every now and then they adjust it up to catch up if I’m behind, or they lower it down if I’m ahead. It’s never much of a difference, usually just $10-$12.00 a month in variation. Having the security of knowing what my bill is makes a world of difference though.
When we first moved into our house our bill seemed to run around $150-$250 a month depending on the weather of course. That first winter was a shocker though. We got smacked with a $450.00 electric bill and I about went through the roof!!! I guess that’s what happens when you live in an older house with older windows. Lesson learned.
If this has happened to you I stronglyrecommend that you call your local electric company and inquire about budget billing. It’s worth it!!!
Tip 18: Shrink your bills
Have you heard of billshrink.com? It is an ingenious website that will save you money!!!
How you ask? It will do research based on the information you enter and compare pricing plans with other companies.
Currently it compares:
When I tried the Gas Station advisor it recommended 10 stations that are on my route that have the best price! It didn’t recommend ANY at my city of destination, because the prices are higher there. This is not something I normally pay attention to…if I need gas I get it! With this knowledge I will make sure that I fill up in my hometown so I won’t have to spend the extra money.
So give it a try and let me know if you can save any money!
Tip 17: Use your community resources
The town I live in is quite small, around 17,000 people. Despite the small size the Tourism Department and the Chamber of Commerce has done a great job creating a monthly calendar of events. We have many activities at our local museum that are going on all month long that are free or charge a small admission. They have many art gallery viewings from local kids, nearby college students, and photography exhibits. Our museum often holds classes for things like ceramics, knitting, basketry, stained glass, etc.
We have a raceway, jazz festival, Historical Village, book clubs, and in the warmer months they host a FREE movie in the park night. My kids LOVE movies in the park. It’s always a kids movie and local people sell (or sometimes give away) popcorn, hotdogs, and soda.
If it wasn’t for our city website and their calendar of events I would have no idea that there were so many things to do!
In your area I would recommend first checking out the city website for activities, then follow up with contacting churches, local schools & colleges websites and exploring all there is to offer in your community. You never know what you might be missing!
Tip 16: Netflix for Fitness
My husband and I use netflix because it’s more affordable then running to the video store when you want the latest release, plus there are no late fees. What I like so much about them is their wide selection of exercise videos!
A gym membership will run you anywhere from $20.00 – $35.00 a month, and that’s just for a single person…a family membership will run you much more! Netflix has many different plans based on how many rental you want at a time. Their maximum is 4 at a time, but 1 at a time would suffice for most people. The one out-a-time plan is only $8.99 a month! You you can have one new DVD at home and have hundreds online at your disposal. That’s saving you money!
The great thing is they have MANY videos (including fitness videos) that you can watch from your computer!!! They will stream it live to your PC! So if you have the room in front of your desktop or laptop, get out those freeweights and a bottle of water and workout whenever you want in the privacy of your own home!!!
I’ve done pilates, dance videos, yoga, kickboxing, walk aerobics, etc. while the kids are napping. I didn’t have to get in the car and drive to the local gym to get a great workout. Plus you can pause it if you need to take a break! How great is that!
For information on how it all works click here.
Do you work out online?
Tip 15: Watch TV online
There are so many times I miss a show that I was really looking forward to. You know how it goes, homework, dinner, bath, bed…then you realize that the show you didn’t want to miss has come and gone. We recently got a DVR, but I still forget to set the schedule up to record.
If you are looking for ways to cut your budget you might want to consider cutting cable/satellite. If you keep your internet you still have access to just about everything that is on TV.
Here are some of my favorite sites:
- ABC – click on Free Episodes
- CBS (video, full episodes)
- NBC (watch video, full episodes)
- Fox – click on Watch Full Episodes
If you are looking for a particular show just go to Google and type in “Watch _____ online”. I’m sure you’ll find it somewhere!
If you’re looking for something fun for the kids to do online just scroll down on my site and you will see a category in the right hand column that says “Games & Cartoons” for kids. I often refer back to those links when my kids are itching for a new game to play. You can play online for free and very easily find age appropriate games too! A great way to pass the time on a cold and rainy day!
Tip 14: Use your local library
This week I’d thought I’d discuss frugal entertainment ideas. One often overlooked form is your local library.
I like to take the boys up there (my goal is once a week or once every two weeks) from time to time to pick out some books and movies. Our libraries check out time is 2 weeks, so that’s plenty of time for them to watch a video over and over and quickly get bored with it. It’s also a good place for me to get my hands on some cookbooks, or crafting books. I love having fresh ideas for crafts that I can do with the boys.
You can also check out audio books! This is a great idea if you have a commute to and from work. My commute is incredibly short, and I’m grateful for that, but I would love to dig into a good story if I had the time!