Things to Save Money On, You Normally Wouldn’t Think of

I thought it would be fun to sit down and think of a list of things (and create one with all of your input too) to save money on – these may be things you would not normally know how to save money on or even think it was possible.

Please feel free to help out and leave some of your own tips in the comments. What do you save money on that most people wouldn’t think of and how do you do it? I will pick my favorite comment/tip and they will get a special surprise!

1 – Hotels….I’m  not sure if a lot of you know this or not but when you book a Hotel online it is almost always a little cheaper than doing it over the phone. Easy right?! You can also Google coupon codes for the specific Hotel you will be staying at. Or, check their website for special promotions. Plus, go though Shopathome.com and earn cash back for booking online – this can REALLY add up!

It never hurts to ask…..This is a true story and awesome tip I learned for a Hotel I just love. If you go to Las Vegas and need a nice yet affordable place to stay, on the Strip and in the middle of my favorite part of The Strip (right by the shopping). I highly recommend Treasure Island. They have remodeled the rooms and they are very modern and nice. My favorite part is the FREE buffet….say what?! YES! One time while making a reservation in person, the very nice gentlemen offered my Mom and I 2 FREE Buffet vouchers (valued at $27 each!). We were like umm, what? A little skeptical at first but he assured us they would work and we would not be charged. So we took them, thanked him and headed off to the yummy buffet (which is quite tasty and has THE BEST dessert section – especially for free). They have eclairs, chocolate covered strawberries, cotton candy freshly made there, gourmet ice cream, etc. NO, I am not getting paid to do this post, LOL I truly love this Hotel. Anyway, it worked out great and we got nearly $60 worth of dinner for FREE!

My point is, every time I stay there now I always ask about the 2 free buffet tickets (even over the phone for reservations) and guess what?! Two out of three times I’ve asked since then, I got them and they were included in the same price I would have paid for the room without them.  The one time they couldn’t do it, they offered me a Buy 1 Get 1 FREE Buffet voucher and yes, I took it…who can pass up that kind of dessert! 😉 Anyway, be sure to ask for special perks like that (especially in Las Vegas and especially at Treasure Island)!

2 – Medical expenses and credit cards – Did you know that you can save money on these 2 things?! Yep, it’s true and I learned it from an episode of Oprah. The main one is for credit cards. You can almost always call your credit card company and get your interest rate reduced! You may get lucky and the first person you talk to may do it for you but if not, don’t give up! Try, try again….call back and ask another representative. Try it out…it really works.

If you have large balances on credit cards, you can call the company up and ask them what kind of a pay off they can get you if you pay it all in full RIGHT NOW. Tell them you do not have enough money to pay the full balance but if they can settle with an amount that works for you then BAM, you could save thousands! YES, THOUSANDS! I have heard of people having $6,000 credit card bills and getting a settlement of $3,500 if they pay it in full right then. It’s worth it and it can save you a ton of money…then, cut up that credit card and pay cash (that’s a-whole-nother money saving tip). 😉 Don’t forget, “try, try again” until you succeed. You can also do this same thing for medical balances and they are almost always willing to help in some way.

 Okay, please share your tips on things to save money on that you normally wouldn’t think possible.

Comments

  1. If you do this with your credit card does this count against your credit

    • No, paying off a credit card debit (even reduced) will not negatively affect your credit, however, you will have to pay taxed on the canceled debt. Over all you will be saving money, but just remember for cancellation of debt the amount that is written off is taxable on your federal return.

  2. i almost never pay shipping online. or i get an equal amount discounted by using retailmenot.com they have coupon codes and also printable coupons for almost any online store.

  3. anyone have any luck with Bank of America? Im trying to get them to settle… Thanks!

  4. Thanks for posting this, Sarah. I LOVE the tips you’ve highlighted.

  5. Anytime you order anything online, Google “[name of store] coupon code” first. You never know, there may be an active code out there.

  6. P.S. Yes, it will show on your credit as a settlement, which will ding you. But, not as bad as a chargeoff if you don’t pay at all.

    • What is chargedoff mean? and Are you supposed to pay for an account after it has been label “Charged off”?

      Please and thank you.

  7. Wow, thank you so much for these tips I really appreciate it!!

  8. We asked the surgeon if he could work with us on hubby’s rotator cuff repair surgery (have insurance, but out of pocket was still a large amt)…he did and we saved a ton.
    It’s that same story: it NEVER hurts to ask…what’s the worst they can say? NO 🙂

  9. I ALWAYS ask for military discount. 9 times out of 10 people (especially mom and pop businesses) give you one. So many places offer it, and not online, but I try to call in to order something and ask about it then. Usually big companies do it too. from restaurants to name brand stores. never hurts to ask 🙂

  10. I’m an energy nazi! I wash in cold water, shave in the tub not the shower, have the energy saver bulbs, etc. When these new electric companies came around, I was intrigued. I was sent an email from mypoints.com to sign up for Spark Energy and got about 4500 points for doing so (free cash!). We’ve been active with Spark about 3 months now. Our average bill is around $60/month. This month it was $40. I haven’t had any issues with power going out or interruptions. I highly recommend you sign up if it’s available in your area.

    • I should clarify, our average bill USED TO BE $60/month! With the new energy company, this months bill was $40.

  11. So you’re saying it’s ok to rack up thousands of dollars in credit card debt then negotiate it down to 1/2. How is that fair to those of us that actually pay our bills?? Sounds to me like a better money saving tip is to stop buying crap you can’t afford!!! Good grief!!!!!!

    • NO… that’s NOT what she is saying… WHY must there ALWAYS be someone you has to start crap!!
      All she suggested was ASK… ASK the CC company.. if they say no — they say no… no harm no fowl….Geesh!!!
      Was your comment REALLY necessary???

      • I’m not trying to start crap. How is it fair to those of us that have paid our way out of debt?? Is it REALLY necessary to rack up that much debt? NOOOOO!!! So THINK before you SPEND!!! Our tax dollars bailed out banks that allowed people lines of credit that they CAN’T AFFORD!!! How about using a little common sense??!! If you’ve had to use the cards in times of emergencies I understand but then to call and get the payments cut down? How is that ethical?? I see getting the interest rate lowered but not paying back the money you spent? NOT COOL!

        • I agree it may not be fair in some cases, but my credit cards are so high not because I bought crap, but because my husband needed his wisdom teeth pulled in an emergent situation ($2200 which I don’t just have on hand), and some people need to put things on credit for reasons other than stupid shopping habits.

          • Miranda, I completely agree with you. Not all credit card debt is stupid shopping habits. I too have used a credit card in times of emergencies and I’ve also shopped some LOL. However, I didn’t call and try to get the debt lowered. I paid it off! I spent the money, I should be the one to pay for it. That’s all I’m trying to say. I apologize if I came off harsh but it really rubbed me the wrong way. I’m all for Darci’s suggestions. Get the interest lowered. Try to get the late fees waved. But trying to just get rid of some of the money that you owe them is unethical to me. I understand not everyone agrees with me and that’s fine. I just wanted to throw that out there to maybe make people think a little.

            • Susan Thompson says

              I see your point, and I apologize if my comment was harsh as well, I just feel really strongly about companies taking advantage of people in the first place (high interest rates, low wages for workers, shipping jobs overseas, corporate tax loopholes, 450:1 ceo to worker pay ratio) and trust me, they make enough money to forgive some of people’s debt. Even if you feel like you rightly owe that money, ask yourself “If they produced this in China for the equivalent of two cents, shipped it for five cents, and pay workers an average of 8 cents per product WHY are they selling it for $79.99??!” One of the reasons the economy is in such bad shape is because businesses can charge whatever they want regardless of what the product is actually worth or what it cost them to make it, and also because they victimize people who already have weak credit by forcing them to pay higher interest rates. I didn’t mean anything to personally insult you, I just can’t stand large corporations.

              • Susan, I totally get what you’re saying. I’m still ticked that the goverment bailed everyone out. I feel thay should have NEVER loaned people the amount of money they did but by the same token, people shouldn’t fall for it!! Just because the bank says they’ll loan you $300,000 for a house doesn’t mean you have to take it! And i totally agree with you about charging way too much money for stuff that cost’s pennies to manufacture. That’s just insane!! But if people buy it, they’re just going to keep doing it! I’m by no means a perfect model citizen (@ Joe) but I do know how to live within my means… I hope you have a great weekend Susan! No hard feelings 🙂

        • Susan Thompson says

          In some cases people lost their jobs or their health or their income in some way and can no longer pay back what they had borrowed. This is pretty much a second great depression for America, and trust me those companies CAN afford it because they can afford to pay their CEOs billions of dollars a year. For people who are being crushed with debt they acquired based on a salary they no longer receive, that tip is a good one. It is better to pay something than nothing. Oh, and to your question how is it fair to people who pay blah blah… life isn’t fair. So its not. Boo-hoo. It’s also not fair to charge ridiculous interest rates or sell products at a 1,000 percent profit. Stand up for the greedy corporations if you want, but personally I couldn’t care less if they go under and they shouldn’t have been bailed out in the first place, that’s what capitalism and free market economy are all about. Plus, if they felt so shorted by settlements, they wouldn’t do it. Nobody needs to come on here and be Captain Save-A-Co.

        • Tina ,you are so perfect. People that lose their jobs or face medical bills that are a matter of life and death sometimes are forced to turn to credit cards for temporary relief. Negotiating your debt down is much better than walking away or filing for bankruptcy. Its a shame you think you are such a model citizen ,however narcissism and lack of empathy are not traits everyone cherishes.

  12. thank you for posting the credit card stuff and not all of us with high credit card bills buy crap we can’t afford, life throws problems at you that you cannot afford out of pocket!

  13. Also, with the credit cards (I used to collect for Chase)… You can ask them to waive overlimit and late charge fees, some up to three a year, and they should offer a 5 year pay off plan with little to no interest and lower payments if you can’t settle

  14. Find out if your favorite grocery does price matching with competitors’ ads. If they do, you save yourself gas and time by not having to go to several stores. If the same store also offers double or triple coupons, then it’s a win-win-win situation.

  15. Susan Thompson says

    To Tina: I see your point, and I apologize if my comment was harsh as well, I just feel really strongly about companies taking advantage of people in the first place (high interest rates, low wages for workers, shipping jobs overseas, corporate tax loopholes, 450:1 ceo to worker pay ratio) and trust me, they make enough money to forgive some of people’s debt. Even if you feel like you rightly owe that money, ask yourself “If they produced this in China for the equivalent of two cents, shipped it for five cents, and pay workers an average of 8 cents per product WHY are they selling it for $79.99??!” One of the reasons the economy is in such bad shape is because businesses can charge whatever they want regardless of what the product is actually worth or what it cost them to make it, and also because they victimize people who already have weak credit by forcing them to pay higher interest rates. I didn’t mean anything to personally insult you, I just can’t stand large corporations.

  16. I think that with everything that is divulged on this site, there is always an unspoken understanding of responsibility, moderation and need versus greed. I dont honestly believe that an argument or order to be wreckless was ever intended by this site. We’re all grown men and women here. 🙂

  17. If I make a reservation online with Treasure Island how to go about inquiring about the free buffet tickets. My husband and I were planning on a trip to Vegas for June. We weren’t sure what hotel we were going to stay at until we read your post lol….Was it a long time ago that you got this deal and did you ever have an online reservation were you got this great deal? Thank you!

  18. If you live in a state that has tourism you can usually get resident discounts on things like hotels and theme parks or other tourist attractions. Sometimes you have to search the websites or just ask!

  19. If you’re on medications that are newer or expensive, look on the manufactures website. They may offer a discount card to go along with the medication on top of your insurance. I do this with my insulin. Being a Type 1 diabetic I won’t be losing weight and getting rid of the disease so I try to find discounts on insulin wherever I can.

  20. alisha waltman says

    Anyone know on tips for rental car

  21. I save money by completely eliminating satellite and cable for my TV. I use a set of antennae (even for my digital channels) works just fine! I get locals, several children’s stations, country and rock video channels all together about 25 all for FREE! I also eliminated my home phone and joined a no contract with T-Mobile. Two cell phones cost me $45 monthly. The best idea I’ve ever had is to plow up the backyard and plant a garden. I froze enough vegetables last summer to last through the first of April. It was a lot of sweating and hard work, but my grocery bill was really reduced. I go to Goodwill and purchase most of my family’s clothing. I have ran across several name brand items there that were sellable on places like Ebay and Craigslist.

    • I do all the same things as you except for the antennaes on the tv’s. We’ve gone one step further and watch free tv on computer. We use mainly HULU and tvguide.com.

    • I can’t wait to own a home and I want to garden. I agree I have seen that it’s hard work but so worth it when you have the fresh produce! My boyfriend and I also eliminated cable. We now watch stuff online for free on the stations. I actually don’t miss the TV. Now when I watch something, I look for it online so it’s something I actually want to watch and there are way fewer commercials so it saves me time and money!

  22. I agree with your “call and ask” strategy. Recently I called my cable company my goal was to reduce my monthly bill. I know the company has new customer promotions and bundling options but I wasn’t new and I didn’t want to bundle and be locked into a contract situation. I just wanted to keep the same service I currently had but was curious if I could get it cheaper. I had to talk to 2 people(1st wanted me to bundle and add a home phone line) but in the end my monthly cable bill was reduced $20.00 a month! a $240.00 a year savings from 1 phone call. This worked so well with my cable company that I decided to try it with my cell phone company. They weren’t able to reduce my monthly charge. However, they ran some reports on our usage and services and we found out that I had a service on 1 of our phone lines that had never been used and we were paying $10 a month for that. So they took that off. A savings of $120 a year. Just like that I had $30 added back to our monthly budget and all I had to do was “ask”

  23. We always pay cash on everything. My husband and I has been married for 8 years and we both never had a credit card since we got married. If we can’t afford something we want to buy we save for it. Now we own our house and our 3 cars. No mortgage payments and no car payments. We don’t believe in paying interest hence the reason for not getting any credit cards 🙂

    • Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment. I have built up my credit by paying stuff on time. Now I only apply for 0% interest credit cards. I rarely carry a balance, but at least if I need to I know I can make the $30 minimum payment and have no interest fees charged!

  24. My big thing is birthday freebies! I signed up for almost every restaurant in town and I got about 5 free meals! Granted the person going with you still has to pay but it was an awesome way to celebrate my bday 🙂 One of my favorites is Noodles! And I also thing you get a BOGO just for signing up for their club 🙂

    I also sign up for clubs that give out free things every month like Godiva that you posted about. It’s such a nice treat to go to the mall once a month and get free chocolate. Watch out tho because the sales people get crabby when you don’t buy anything afterwards. But I figure if they are offering it free they shouldn’t expect you to buy anything or they should make it free with a purchase!

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