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Two for Tuesdays #9

Posted by billspaced | 12:01 AM | , , | 1 comments »

Money Hacks
Last week, we showed how you could save $500 per year on car insurance and thousands of dollars when you purchase a car through Costco's insurance and car buying services, respectively.

This week, we'll talk about some frugal measures to save you some cash.

Wash your own car and save $5 to $50 or more. Sure, it's convenient to have somebody else do it, but it's not a good use of your money. In the old days, I spent hours washing my car, drying it with the finest chamois, detailing it with premium wax, cleaning every crevice in the wheels, putting on the tire dressing, Armour Alling the interior.

Whew. Just writing about it is making me sweat!

The convenience of dropping off your car and having it worked over by a team of 12 minimum-wage earning car washers is tempting.

Don't do it. First of all, they can never do as good a job as you can. They have no skin in the game; it's not their car.

Second, their markup is huge. They can wash your car in 5 or 10 minutes and they charge you upwards of $20, sometimes $50 or more.

In a future post, I'll give you some money- and time-saving tips to wash your car in less time, with little expense, and with superior results. Suffice it to say for now, that the only expenses you'll incur are water, soap, once for a chamois or drying cloth, and a small amount for some detailing products. Buffalo Milke is my favorite line of premium car detailing products at a very reasonable price. You know it's good when high-dollar car customizers use it unreservedly.


The second tip for today is one you've heard of before, but with a twist. Save money by buying in small quantities. The idea here is to buy the quantity you need at the best price possible without letting the goods spoil.

Buying a case or two of shaving cream on sale is prudent. Buying 10 pounds of hamburger without a way to freeze most of it is wasteful. Unless you're having a BBQ, in which case I hope you'll invite me. I'd be happy to Q a few things. It's something I really like to do and I'm darned great at it.

So the key is to buy what you need in a quantity that you won't waste. Trust me on this one: I've wasted more food buying in bulk than I can remember. It never pays to save a few dollars if you waste what you bought.

Remember that side of beef your aunt bought when you were a kid? She had a giant freezer and you ate beef every time you came over. Her children grew up to be vegans. You get the picture.

That concludes this week's Two for Tuesdays. Come back next week for 2 more money-saving tips.

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  1. Clean ClutterFree Simple // 3/29/2008 11:01 AM  

    One environmental note about car washing. Commercial car washes are required to have proper disposal systems for the waste water. If you wash at home, the water (with car products mixed in) goes into the regular sewer, without treatment. A compromise is to use a commercial do-it-yourself place, where they have the water treatment, but since you're doing it yourself, you pay much less. Great tips!

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