First Person: 5 Things You’re Probably Paying Too Much For
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During these tight economic times, people are no longer looking at ways to save a dollar. Instead, a lot of families are looking at stretching quarters, nickels and even pennies as far as they can. Who can blame them? If you own an SUV, by the end of summer you’ll probably need to take out a second mortgage to get a half a tank of gas and the U.S. economic recovery is moving so slowly that even Buddha would be twiddling his thumbs in anticipation of better times. With that said, here are a few items that you’re probably overpaying for and some good alternatives that cost far less.
Household Cleaning Supplies
I was in the local supermarket and saw that some cleaning supplies have recently seen outrageous price increases. A well known brand of abrasive powdered cleanser costs $2.39 for an 8 ounce can. If you have discovered the value of dollar stores, here’s your chance to cash in. As a test, we went into the grocery store and priced five cleaning items that came to $14.68 total. The dollar store had comparable items for $5 total. You can compare the active ingredients and see that the dollar store is the way to go here.
I am no fan of the big cable companies. These monopolies have overcharged customers for decades and it’s only now that the Internet has come of age that we can do anything about it. Basic cable in my neighborhood runs an appalling $60 per month and, in comparison to some areas, that’s a pretty good price. Cut your cable line now. Of the major TV service providers, Dish Network is probably the most reasonable, but you can get access to the major networks, including HD, without paying a dime by getting a digital antenna.
How do you know if you’re paying too much for phone service? Here’s a hint. Do you have a plan that hasn’t been revised in over three years? If so, then the answer is probably “yes.” This goes for both cell phones and land lines. Land line prices have become outrageously overpriced and VOIP (voice over IP) services have become so good that they’re now major competitors to the old Bell companies. Also take a look at your mobile phone plan and provider. If you don’t travel to the backwoods of America then chances are that you don’t need one of the major carriers. Look at up and comers like Metro PCS and other pre-paid carriers that are far cheaper than the big boys and don’t require
Do you buy greeting cards at the drug store or grocery store? Do you buy them at mall card store? Then you’re paying far too much for greeting cards. A simple birthday card that I picked up at the drug store cost me $4.25. I went to the dollar store and got a great high quality card for $0.50!
This one’s a little tricky. It may not be that you’re paying too much for the service, but instead that you’re actually getting oil changes too frequently. If you’re driving a car that’s been purchased in the last 10 years then you need to consult your owner’s manual to see how often you need to change the oil. We’ve been programmed to believe that cars need oil changes every 3,000 miles when in fact that hasn’t been the case in a long time. In fact, there are some Hondas that require oil changes every 10,000 miles. That’s more than three times the normal interval, saving you an average of $50 every 6,000 miles.