Real Simple

Here’s a portion of the article emailed to me today:

Save Money All Year Long
You can’t always avoid the cost of convenience, but a little planning ahead will save you a lot

Save $240Redeem on Tuesdays
An American family with one car and one SUV or minivan consumes about 1,200 gallons of gas each year, according to the Federal Highway Administration. At any time, however, the price of a gallon of gas can vary by as much as 20 cents within a metropolitan area, says Brad Proctor, founder of GasPriceWatch, a consumer-advocacy website. To get the best bargain, avoid buying gas on weekends, when most people travel or run errands and gas stations raise prices accordingly. (Tip: Plan to take care of errands all at once instead of making extra trips.) Also, stay away from stations on toll highways, which charge high prices to their captive customers. To find the lowest price near your home or job on a given day, go to or GasBuddy ( and enter your home or work ZIP code. These sites bring together volunteer “price spotters” (GasPriceWatch has 110,000) who regularly update the sites with prices at local stations. If you can stick to pumping once a week, says Proctor, you can often find the best prices on Tuesdays.


Save $750 on a laptop computer Redeem when a discount is offered
There is no set yearly schedule for sales on computers and consumer electronics, says Glenn Cunningham, director of the electronics store at Instead, these items go on sale when manufacturers introduce a new version or need to sell a lot quickly to impress investors, says Tim Storm, president of FatWallet, a website that tracks consumer-goods prices. Last October, for example, computer maker Dell offered a one-day promotion that cut the prices of some laptops by 50 percent ($750) a few weeks before it was due to make a financial report to Wall Street. To take advantage of these sudden, deep discounts, decide exactly what you want to buy, then go to a site like,, or TechBargains (, where you can check for the day’s latest discounts. The latter two sites let you set up free e-mail alerts that tell you when a specific item — or something in a general category, such as “Dell laptop” — has gone on sale.

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1 Response to Real Simple

  1. I like thinking strategically about gas. We’re down to one car while here, and we can usually make a tank last two weeks. There is a station on the island that drops their price by forty cents on Sundays during lent. We stop in after church. You should see the lines we wait in, but something about it seems right, so it’s not really considered an inconvenience…just one of the things I’m going to miss when we leave.


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