We just bought a home safe. We were going to have it attached to the
basement floor, but we were advised that if our basement flooded, the
important papers stored inside could be damaged. Therefore, we poured a
square platform about 10" high that the safe sits on. If we have a flood,
we no longer need to worry about water entering the safe.
Grocery Store Sales Tactics
Most of us know that grocery stores place things like milk in the back, so
we have to walk through the whole store to get them. Did you know they also
have certain high profit areas they want you to visit? Instead of taking my
cart down each aisle, I just do the perimeter of the store. I start with
the produce section and then head over to meats and dairy. If I need canned
goods or pasta, I go down that aisle, but I don't "window shop" the grocery
store anymore. They may want to tempt me, but I can't be tempted by what I
With Mother's Day coming up, I'd like to pass on this suggestion. Instead
of giving mom a box of candy or something that she doesn't need, you might
want to give her something that she can't do for herself. For instance, my
mom still lives in the home I grew up in, but it's gradually becoming too
much for her. For Mother's Day, I'll do some inside spring cleaning for her
while my husband does some outside spring maintenance around her house.
She's grateful for the help, and it allows her to stay in her beloved home
for a while longer.
Recently, due to a screw-up with my employer, I got hit with an overdraft
fee. The next time I went to the bank I asked to speak with a banker. I
explained what happened and politely asked that the overdraft fee be
waived. To my surprise, it was waived! It probably helped that it was a
local bank, and I've been a customer for years. I figured it couldn't hurt
to ask, and I saved a $29 fee!
Credit Card Interest
When should you pay your credit card bill? That depends on whether you
carry a balance or not. If you don't carry a balance, you should wait until
the last day to pay your bill. You won't be charged any interest unless you
miss your due date. If you have a balance from previous months, you want to
get your payment in as soon as you can. You'll be charged interest until
the day your payment is credited to your account. If get the bill on the
20th and don't pay until the 30th, you'll add a third of a month's worth of
interest to your account. Given today's savings rate, that's no bargain!
We learned this trick when we were camping and forgot to bring the lighter
fluid. Another camper suggested that we place a couple of marshmallows on
top of the charcoal and light them. Being made of sugar, they burn and melt
to the briquettes. Since we like to roast marshmallows, we always have some
and there's no need to wait for the fluid smell to go away before starting
to cook. It's one less thing to remember to bring camping!
My two brothers and I didn't spend much time together until we started
helping each other with home repair/maintenance projects. Now we generally
take one Saturday a month to work on a project at one of our homes. We get
to spend time together (we enjoy each other's company), and with three of
us, we can save quite a bit of money that would otherwise go to
professional contractors or handymen. It's worked so well that our wives
are talking about getting together the same day to do some batch cooking!
Auto Insurance Claims
I make a point of updating my car's repair and maintenance record. I also
take pictures on a regular basis. It all started when my sister's car was
t-boned. I knew that she kept it in excellent shape, but the insurance
company insisted on paying her the average trade-in value of a six-year-old
car. Fortunately, she had the receipts and pictures to show that it was in
great condition. It took some time, but they finally upped their offer to a
more retail number. Now I take pictures at least twice a year and keep a
folder with every receipt related to my car. If I ever need it, I'll be ready.
This year, I took my first ski trip, but I didn't want to buy all the
winter clothing that goes with it. Therefore, I borrowed a parka, gloves,
and scarf from a friend of mine who goes skiing every winter. She was glad
to loan the items to me, as they were just hanging in her closet unused.
When I got back, she and her boyfriend came over for a dinner I prepared to
Grocery Shopping Trick
Who says that you have to go grocery shopping every week? I've gradually
stretched it out, so I only go once every two weeks. As a result, my
grocery bills have come down. I knew that I was adding a few things to my
basket that weren't on my shopping list, but I had no idea how much they
were costing me! I can't add things to my basket if I'm not in the store.
Free Senior Fitness
I am almost 70. In California, I belonged to 24 Hour Fitness. I let my
membership go because there are no facilities in Georgia, but I just found
out that my Medicare Advantage plan has a Silver Sneakers program, which is
free to me. It is a widely used program, and many insurance plans have it.
I figure it saves me the $29 per month I was spending for a gym membership.
I think because I didn't know about it, many of your readers might not know
either. You can call your insurance company, check your benefits manual, or
check your eligibility on SilverSneakers.com. I checked my eligibility, and
they sent me a card in the mail. I live in the sticks and there are
numerous facilities in my area. I would encourage anyone who has insurance
and Medicare to check it out. It could save some money. I really love
Dollar Stretcher and read every issue. Keep up the good work and may you