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Two for Tuesdays #3

Posted by billspaced | 12:47 AM | , | 0 comments »

So far, we've discussed ways to save on bulk purchases using Amazon's new Subscribe and Save program, as well as a novel way to time the use of coupons you gather throughout any given 30-day period. We've also covered going to the library to save money buying books and opening an online savings account in Two for Tuesdays #1.


In this, our third edition of Two for Tuesdays, we're going to explore ways to save money on used appliances using Craigslist. Often times, the sellers on Craigslist simply want to unload used kitchen and laundry appliances that they've replaced with new models and it's simply easier to put them up on the site for little or no money than it is to cart them off to the dump or a consignment shop.

Here's a typical deal: FOR SALE CHEAP!!! - $100

Best guess is that these appliances really are in good condition and they're offered at a steal of a price. Best thing about Craigslist is that you'll get to look at the merchandise before you buy it, unlike eBay.

Bring your truck!!!


With gasoline prices at or near record highs (they've come down a bit in the Bay Area), we can all stand to save a little at the pump. One of the biggest scams the auto and oil industries have played on us unsuspecting consumers is that of the Premium versus Plus versus Regular gasoline choice. This tip may not apply to all automobiles; in fact, it won't apply to the majority of drivers.

However, it's so important for those of us driving supercharged or turbocharged vehicles that I cannot neglect to mention it.

Back in the old days of carburetors and the absence of computer controls, you had to pay attention to the octane rating (Premium is 91, Plus is 89, and Regular is 87) of the gas you purchased. The rule of thumb was to buy the minimum octane necessary to achieve "knock-free" acceleration. "Engine knock," or "ping" was basically caused by too low an octane rating given the car's ignition timing and other factors.

Today's cars are technological wonders when it comes to minimizing engine knock. Essentially, your engine, with the help of some sophisticated electronics, can self-adjust to the conditions it's presented with. In short, if you use a lower-octane gas than the manufacturer "recommends," your engine will change its timing such that the ping is eliminated. The downside is that your engine will make less power.

But if you're trying to save money, which is what this site is all about, you won't be stomping on the gas pedal anyway.

So here's my recommendation: Save 20 cents a gallon (typically) by buying 87 octane rather than 91. This will save you 3 bucks per fill up on a 15-gallon tank, or about $150 a year (assuming 300 miles driven per week and 20 mpg, which isn't too far off for most cars and is a pipe-dream for you SUV drivers).

Beat the Gas Pump

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