Expert Money-Saving Tips
Cutting costs at home is a cinch with this advice from readers and experts
Gas for less. Warehouse clubs like Costco are a given for rock-bottom prices on staples, but many stores also have gas pumps where members can fill up for about 10 cents less per gallon than at a local station. No price club in your area? Just click on gasbuddy.com to find the cheapest pumps near you.
Avoid the runaround. Group errands to save gas. Take it a step further and plot a clockwise route: Making right-hand turns will avoid the idling (and gas wasting) that comes with waiting to make lefts.
Slow down. Driving 55 miles per hour instead of 65 miles per hour boosts fuel economy by 15 percent. And check your tire pressure, says Karp. Underinflated tires up gas usage by 3 percent.
Ditch the extras. According to Consumer Reports, car buyers shouldn't fall for unnecessary add-ons like VIN etching, in which the vehicle identification number is etched onto windows to deter thieves -- you can buy a do-it-yourself kit for $25, instead of the $200 that some dealerships charge. You can also forgo rustproofing (it's not a problem in modern cars), paint sealing, and fabric protection. Instead, safeguard paint and fabric with products found at auto-supply stores. SHOP smart. If you can, wait until January to get a new car. Dealers are motivated to sell the old year's models, offering rebates and price cuts. "We paid nearly $20,000 less than sticker on our Suburban," says Charlotte Thomas of Fayetteville, Georgia.