- If it sucks, send it back and get a refund, a credit or a replacement. Restaurants expect you to send back food that is poorly prepared, or wine that has turned bad. Most retailers have more liberal return policies than you might imagine, and often do not even require the original receipt.
- Change the oil in your car every 3,000 miles. You will get tens of thousands of miles of extra use out of your engine and potentially save thousands of dollars.
- With gas over $5 a gallon, switch to regular even if your car says "Use Only Premium." If your engine still runs smoothly, without pinging or dieseling, stay with regular grade.
- Go to the web sites for the credit reporting services, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, and dispute every negative item in the report. This generates a notice to the company that put the information in your file. Often, they won't bother participating in the dispute process and even if the item is true, it will be deleted from your record.
- Put money into an expired parking meter. There! You've just improved someone else's life.
- If you live on a busy street or it's otherwise hard to back out of your driveway, see if you can back in instead when you park.
- If your car always has frost or moisture on the front window when you come out in the morning, check the back window, and if it is less frosty, park your car facing the other direction next time.
- If you're on a budget or can't get out of the office, make a pseudo-mocha by mixing office coffee with a hot cocoa packet from the breakroom. You might even find ice cubes in the freezer to make an iced pseudo-mocha.
- Always carry jumper cables in your car. This is another tip that can also benefit others.
- When traveling by air, at home or before you get to the airport, stuff a couple pieces of fresh fruit, a sandwich, a Happy Meal, a candy bar, a cookie or whatever you might crave later, into your backpack or briefcase. They'll cost a lot less than what you might find at the airport and you won't have to pay $19 for the airline's bullshit "Bistro Box" meal.
- If you love to read, buy your books at Goodwill. Or go to the web site for your local library and find the "Friends of the Library" organization. They hold regular book sales, and often, on the last day of the sale, you can fill a shopping bag for a dollar or two. Either way you can get hardback and paperback books for $1 to $3 each, no shipping costs. Great source for beach and bath tub reading material. Or go use your Nook, iPad or Kindle. I can't stop you.
- Another reading and entertainment tip. Your library system may be able to reserve books and DVDs from anywhere in the system and deliver them to the branch that is the closest to you. It's almost like a Netflix queue, but it's free.
- Sign up for Amazon Prime. $99 a year, less than $9 a month and you get thousands of streaming movies and TV shows AND free two-day shipping on all Amazon purchases. People are buying Cheerios and toilet paper from Amazon using this deal. They've stopped going to the store.
- If you have $19 in your bank account (or some other odd amount that is not a multiple of 20) and want to withdraw it at an ATM, go to your own bank's ATM, deposit $1 cash and then withdraw $20. You can even borrow the difference from a friend, make the withdrawal, get change and pay back the person you borrowed from instantly.
- For trips that start at home but end up in an unfamiliar location, set a starting point on your GPS as far from your home as possible, in the general direction of the destination. This way the navigation system only covers the unknown portion of your trip, and you don't have to listen to an annoying stream of audio directions for a route you already know.
- Don't play claw machines.
- Plead hardship at the DMV if you have late registration fees. They have a surprising amount of leeway when it comes to blowing some of these off if you tell a good story.
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Dec 7, 2015