Thinking of doing some traveling this summer? If you are anything like me, any chance to hit the open road is definitely taken advantage of. I have already taken a cross-country train ride this year along with a few long driving trips, and I have plans for many more in 2011. And although I have many favorite tools that I always have with me on my trips (like my trust radar detector!), one of the most important ones is my iPhone. Between finding a place to eat, making phone calls, GPS directions, and streaming Pandora, it’s definitely at the top of any packing list I put together. With that in mind, I wanted to assemble a Top 10 of free travel-oriented apps that I either currently use or have used in the past, in hopes that it can help out other iPhone owners during your travels this year. Each link opens up the app in the iTunes app store.
It’s pretty much guaranteed that if you are looking to save money on anything you need to buy, you’re better off buying whatever it is online. I am a big supporter of buying local when I can, but sometimes the extra cost is just too much to take, especially on some big-ticket items. For example, I recently bought tires online to save a ton of money, but I did have them installed by a small local independent shop rather than my nearest Costco or Sears. I think it is important to find a healthy balance between saving money and supporting your local economy, so I try my best. Online shopping, though, is where you can find major savings, especially if you do a little homework before hitting the “BUY” button.
The other day I scored a car wash and complete auto detail package which normally costs $230 for the low, low price of only $40. Yes, you read that right — $230 worth of car shine-up for $40. How did I do that? By buying a deal from the website Yelp, best known for being a one-stop site for all things local to your neighborhood. I use Yelp anytime I need to find a business because it has reviews from regular people who live near me, and I found my mechanic and my dentist through the site in the past. But now the site isn’t just for trustworthy reviews anymore, as they are offering coupons and deals that users can buy into just like another popular “deals” site, Groupon. Here’s how both of them work and how you can use them to save a ton of money on services or restaurants you may have been willing to pay for at full price anyway.
As I mentioned in a recent post I have moved back to California for at least a little while. Not sure how long, but will be here at least until the end of the lease on this house. That being said, renting a house to live in here in California costs a lot more than renting one to live in back in New Mexico. But that’s not only because the rent is higher; it’s because utilities cost more too. My water, gas, electricity, sewage, and trash bills are way higher than any amount I have ever paid for them. I have lived in many different apartments in SoCal, but paying all the bills on a stand-alone house is much different. For the first time in my life I am scared to open my utility bills, even with all the energy (and cost) -saving steps I have taken to keep them as low as possible. With that in mind, I wanted to put together a list of things that you may or may not already be doing to keep your utility bill on the low side. If you aren’t trying all of them, I recommend you do so! Let’s take a look, shall we?
It’s been a month since the holidays and you may have recently found some gift cards you received from your favorite relative or a coworker. When you first opened them, you said your “thank yous” and then they disappeared into your junk drawer in the kitchen because they were for stores you never, ever shop at. A gift card to a cooking store when all you do is eat Ramen Noodles? That’s not going to be of much use to you, is it? Thankfully, you don’t need to give away your gift that you would never use, as there are ways in which you can sell or trade that gift card for one to a store you may actually buy a product in! All you have to do is know where to look online and you can either sell the card for slightly less than its face value or you can trade it for something else. Let’s take a look at a few places where you can buy, sell, or trade those unwanted gift cards for something a little more “fitting” to your lifestyle.