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10 Ways to Cut Your Costs Today

1. Grocery shopping: Control your spending by shopping alone, with cash, following a list. Never shop when hungry. The most profitable items are at eye-level on the shelf; so look down for better prices. Buy extras of butter, bread, meat, and poultry when they're on sale and freeze them.

2. Grocery coupons: Download coupons from the web at,,, or Just click and print. For more coupon sites, visit and search "coupons."

3. Get the insider's deal: Sometimes an online store will offer a discount or promotion to an exclusive segment of customers. Make sure you're not missing out by visiting,, and They locate special deals and list the codes on their sites.

4. Get cash back: is a site you join for no costfee and receive cash back from literally hundreds of online merchants. Simply by clicking through Ebates to get to my favorite online stores, I got about $25 cash back in the first year. (I would have shopped these stores anyway.)

5. Prescription drugs: Ask your doctor for free samples when the drug is prescribed. Always ask for generic drugs and comparison shop pharmacies. A survey by the New York Attorney General found the retail price of one popular drug ranged from a low of $250.19 to a high of $372.97.

6. Auto Insurance: If you're a safe driver and have an older vehicle, consider dropping both collision and comprehensive coverage and raising your deductible to save money.

7. Home Insurance: Raise your deductible to $1,000 and save up to 25 percent on your premium, according to the Insurance Information Institute. You can also save by buying your home and auto policies from the same insurer. Safety features such as smoke detectors, burglar alarms, dead-bolt locks, or other systems can also win you a discount.

8. Heating and cooling: Buy a programmable thermostat, a gadget that costs from $30 to $100. You can save up to 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills by adjusting your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees for the eight hours you're at work. Keep it at 68 degrees when you're home and lower it to 60 when you're out or in bed.

9. Water: You use most of your water in the shower-about 37 percent. Replace your old showerhead and faucet with low-flow aerating models. Lower the thermostat on your water heater to 115 degrees.

10. Phone service and other bills: Visit and enter your area code and the first three digits of your phone number. The site spews out a list of the lowest cost services in your area.

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Adapted from Money & Happiness, © 2005 by Laura Rowley
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