Seven Easy Ways To Save $1,000

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Do you wish you could save an extra $1,000 this year without downgrading your lifestyle? It is possible to save big bucks by making small changes in your spending. Even small changes over a year really add up.

Here are some tips to give yourself a $1,000 raise. . .

1. Look for discounted dinner entrees

Saving money doesn't mean you can't enjoy meals at your favorite restaurants. Discount deals can be found in the mail, newspaper or online. Check out your restaurant online or when you get there ask the manager if they have any special promotions.

Watch for the "half off your entree" special or buy one get one free. At a couple of times a month a $5 discount will save you $120 over the year.

2. Return unopened, unused items

OK admit it you have some unopened gifts or purchases stuffed in a cupboard or maybe clothing with the tags still intact. Even if you can't find your receipt, the retailer may accept the return for a store credit. The savings are worth a try!

Search your closets, garage or storage where you may have put away items to do later.

And remember, all they can do is say “NO.”

3. Look for extra grocery savings

There are several opportunities to save at the local grocery store, even if you don't like to clip coupons. Check the store ads which are usually right in the front of the store.

Take a moment to check them out. . .you may find coupons for items you were going to purchase. Make sure the sales don't entice you to buy items you don’t need or weren’t planning to buy!

Avoid all the temptations they place at the checkout line. You can even ask the cashier if there are any coupons or specials on items you have purchased.

Another way to save is to sign up for store coupon clubs. If your grocer has a baby club, for example, signing up for the program could save you hundreds of dollars in diapers, infant food and other baby products over the course of a year.

If you're able to save just $4 off of your bill during each weekly shopping trip, total savings would be more than $200 a year.

4. Check the library

The next time you plan to buy or rent a favorite movie classic, head over to your local library instead and borrow the video for free. Many libraries stock DVDs -- movie classics and newer titles -- and CDs and you won’t have to run them back as quickly as some stores.

If you want reading material but you don't want to leave your home, call your local library and ask if they offer e-books that can be downloaded to your computer.

If you borrow just two books or movies a month that you would otherwise buy or rent, you could save between $120 and $240 per year.

5. Bundle cable, phone and Internet services

If you can't live without your cable, telephone and Internet access, but the monthly bills are getting uncomfortably high, consider bundling all of your services under one company.

Always check out any added fees that may be attached to that low quoted rate. Once you add up any taxes or extra fees you may not be getting such a bargain. Be educated and not caught by surprise.

Ask for a price break or ask your current provider to match the lower quote. If you're able to reduce your total fees by $20 a month, that adds up to $240 for the year.

6. Negotiate with monthly service providers.

Once you get off the phone with your cable, Internet and telephone provider, call your alarm company, lawn care person and any of your other monthly service providers to negotiate prices. The competition is stiff at least give it a try.

Ask for a supervisor as they have the most say. One tip is to call during normal business hours to increase the chances of reaching a supervisor who can make decisions.

If you aren’t a negotiator remember you don’t have to turn the conversation harsh simply state what you would like to do.

If you save a total of just $10 a month negotiating all your monthly services, you'll save an extra $120 a year.

7. Stash money for easier savings next year

By making these barely noticeable changes to your lifestyle, you could save as much as $1,000 over the next year. But how do you increase your savings in future years? Take what you have saved and put it into a high-interest savings account or mutual fund and let compounding interest do the rest.

If you place $1,000 in an account that pays a 7 percent annual return on investment, the original amount will nearly double after 10 years. No extra work on your part but more money. As hard as it is to make money make sure you are doing the most with what you have now!