July 22, 2010

16 Frugal Tactics Saving Me Over $2,000 a Year

Below is a list of 16 frugal tactics that I've been using.   All together these tactics are saving me around $2,000 a year total.

Some of these tactics require a one time purchase like buying some compact fluorescent lamps, some are one time negotiations for lower prices and other tactics are ongoing shopping strategies.    While they may require a bit more work or effort on your part you shouldn't be giving up on quality.   None of these frugal options should lower the quality of goods or services you pay for in a significant way.

Some of these won't apply to you and you may already be doing others.    But I think its a pretty good bet that theres something on this list you aren't already doing.

16 Frugal Tactics:

  1. Mowing my own lawn and washing my car myself saves me $500/yr + $30 /yr  (ongoing effort)
  2. Using a credit card that pays cash back rewards I saved $550 last year  (ongoing shopping strategy)
  3. Negotiate a reduction in the interest on your home loan rather than doing a full refinance.  You could cut 0.5% off your rate and save $500-$1000 a year on $100-$200k loan  (one time shopping negotiation)
  4. Get classic car insurance instead of standard insurance for your classic car and save $470/yr (one time shopping negotiation)
  5. Avoid higher priced gas stations to save 5-30¢ / gallon up to $400 yr (ongoing shopping strategy)
  6. Haggle with your cable company to cut your rate $148 / year (one time shopping negotiation)
  7. Using a water filter system (like Pur or Britta) to drink filtered water at home instead of bottled water saves $110 to $133 /yr
  8. Use compact fluorescent light bulbs at home saves $61 /yr (one time purchase)
  9. Go to the movies at a a lower priced theatre's matinee instead of evening show  $10 / movie (ongoing shopping strategy)
  10. Using  Ebates to get cash back when you shop online can net you $59/2yr (ongoing shopping strategy)
  11. Buy your vitamins at Costco or online rather than grocery store can add up to $24/yr (ongoing shopping strategy)
  12. A water saving shower attachment could save $20/yr in hot water (one time purchase)
  13. Using a smart power strip can save $18/yr in electricity. (one time purchase)
  14. Permanent air filters in your car can save you $60 over 100k miles or around $7-10 /year (one time purchase)
  15. Using an electric lawn mower instead of gas = $8/yr   (one time purchase)
  16. Shut down your car instead of idling saves on gas = 2¢ /min (ongoing frugal strategy)


  1. I'll have to look into Ebates!

    Thanks for the tips (so far, I only do about half...)

  2. What's the difference between "classic" car insurance and "regular" insurance? I've printed this list out, and will see how many of these I can do in the next few weeks.

  3. "classic" car insurance is for classic cars. i.e. collector cars that are 20-45 years old. I have a restored 1967 Dodge. Few people have such cars so that entry doesn't apply to many people. Classic car insurance is generally much cheaper way to insure classic cars than normal automotive insurance. That is because normal auto insurance assumes you'll drive your car reguarly and treat it like a regular car. Classic car insurers tailor policies for classic car owners who drive very few miles a year and probably assumed to 'baby' their cars.


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